Family tradition is that he was related to Betsy Ross and his mother was a Ross but the connection has not been verified.
He was a "self-made" man according to grandson Christopher, establishing a general contracting business during the depression and built many of the schools and buildings in Lancaster, OH.
He registered for the draft on 9/12/1918 while living at 615 N Columbus St in Lancaster, Fairfield Co, OH. He verified his birth date and said he was a corporation contractor. He gave wife Florence as next of kin at the same address. He was medium height, medium build, with blue eyes and light hair, according to the Registrar.