Velma L. Ross was the daughter of Ronald and Leoneal “Leo” (Campbell) Ross. Velma was born on November 9, 1895 and was an only child. Ronald Ross was one of the founding lumbermen of the Beaverton, Michigan, and owned and operated the first mercantile store, grain elevator, and the electric power plant. Ron and his brother, William Ross, came to Beaverton in 1892, to operate the only major lumber operation on the Cedar and Tobacco rivers. They were also major stockholders in LaClede Lumber Company of LaClede, Idaho. Their brothers, George and Don Ross, operated a lumber company in the Upper Peninsula. Their father, Donald Gunn Ross, was the founder of Beaverton. The water tower corner in Beaverton is named in honor of Leo Ross.
Velma lived in Gladwin and Clare counties, Michigan, all her life. She graduated from Beaverton High School in 1913 and worked at the Art Damoth Insurance Agency in Clare from 1936 to 1954. At some point she married Mr. Damoth. As a child, Velma was wounded during a wild shooting match in Beaverton in 1901. On June 5, 1901, a drunk and mean Will Arnell, Jr. got into a gun fight on Brown Street with Sam Dopp. Dopp shot Arnell twice in the stomach. Dopp and others then entered the Commercial House Hotel, which Arnell managed. There they found Arnell’s five-year-old daughter, Reah, dead, Arnell’s wife, May, dying, and Arnell’s invalid mother and brother, Frank, both wounded, all from gunshot wounds. Arnell had also shot his sister, Mable, who was uninjured. Velma had been wounded by shattered glass. Will Arnell, Jr. was sentenced to fifteen years in Jackson Prison for manslaughter.
Velma Ross Damoth died on Monday, March 26, 1979, in the Midland Hospital Center following a long illness. She was survived by several nieces and nephews. Rites were held on Wednesday, March 28, at 2 p.m. at the the Hall Funeral Home, Beaverton Chapel. The Rev. Gilbert Miller officiated and burial was in Cherry Grove Cemetery, Clare. (This information is from her obituary in the Gladwin County Record, March 28, 1979, Beaverton : a century in the making, the Beaverton, Michigan, entry in Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org, and the federal censuses for Michigan, 1910-1930, via Ancestrylibrary.com, both viewed on December 16, 2008.)