Encyclopedia Titanica

John Hugo Ross

John Hugo Ross
John Hugo Ross

Mr John Hugo Ross was born in Glengarry Co., Ontario, 24 November 1875, and moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba with his parents when he was two years old. He was the son of Arthur Wellington Ross, Liberal-Conservative Member of the Canadian Parliament for the Manitoba Constituency of Lisgar. His father, a real estate broker, was involved in the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and in 1878 was elected a member of the Manitoba Legislature. He resigned his seat in 1882 to run for federal office, and was elected MP.

As a child John Hugo was described in the Winnipeg Free Press as "a rosy-faced boy in knickerbockers, riding his dog sled, or off skating. On Sundays and special occasions he was the little gentleman in a kilt." When he was still in his teens, his father got him a position working for the lieutenant-governor of Manitoba, James Coolbrook Patterson. He worked there for a year and left Winnipeg for Toronto where he went into business for himself as a mining broker. The firm failed, he had a falling out with his father, and in 1902, with 25 cents in his pocket, went off to the Klondike to pan for gold. By the time he got there he realised the rush was over.

When his father died, he inherited the family fortune and returned to Winnipeg to look after his widowed mother. Dapper and flamboyant, he had a sarcastic wit. He and realtor Thomson Beattie had offices across the hall from each other in the same Merchants Bank Building. Ross' secretary, Maud MacArthur, in fact, considered herself Beattie's fiancee. Ross, Beattie and Vancouver banker Thomas McCaffry sailed from New York on the Franconia on 20 January 1912. After two months in the Aegean and Egypt, Ross was feeling ill, and they decided to cut their vacation short. "We are on the last lap of doing the old lands and ready for Winnipeg and business," he wrote a postcard to friends in Winnipeg. Ross cancelled reservations on the Mauretania and booked Cabin A-10 on Titanic instead.

John Hugo Ross 

Left: John Hugo Ross
Right: Ross, Unknown, Thomas McCaffry, Mark Fortune and Thomson Beattie feed pigeons in St. Mark's Square, Venice, March 1912
Courtesy: Alan Hustak, Canada

When he boarded on 10 April 1912, he was so ill from dysentery he had to be carried to his cabin on a stretcher. The last person to see Ross alive was probably Major Arthur Peuchen. Peuchen made his way up the grand staircase and saw Ross still in his pyjamas. When Ross was told the ship had struck an iceberg and that he should get dressed, Ross refused to believe the trouble serious. "Is that all,?" he told Peuchen. "It will take more than an iceberg to get me off this ship." Presumably, Ross drowned in his bed. His body was never recovered, but a memorial plaque with his name on it can be found in Winnipeg City Hall.

Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mr John Hugo Ross
Age: 36 years 4 months and 21 days (Male)
Nationality: Canadian
Last Residence: in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 13049, £40 2s 6d
Cabin No. A10
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Recovered

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References and Sources

Alan Hustak (1999) Titanic: The Canadian Story. Véhicule Press,
Montreal, 1999. ISBN 1-55065-113-7

Newspaper Articles

The Evening Telegram (16 April 1912) HUGO ROSS WAS ABOARD
Toronto Daily Star (17 April 1912) Hugo Ross
Chicago Examiner (19 April 1912) John Hugo Ross among those not rescued
Manitoba Free Press (20 April 1912) Fortune Family Parted in Boat in Good Cheer
Women Had No Idea of Serious Condition of the Titanic

Images

Feeding the Pidgeons
Minneapolis Star Tribune (1912) John Hugo Ross

Graves and Memorials

Memorial Plaque
Search archive online

Comment and discuss

  1. Glen McKenzie

    Glen McKenzie said:

    I am interested in John Hugo Ross. Actually, I am related through his grandmother Flora McKenzie.

  2. Susan Booth

    Susan Booth said:

    Hi everyone, Im not sure exactly why im here but I have a little story to tell and wonder if it rings a bell with anyone. Last Sunday (6th Nov) I had a dream that I was walking through a dockyard looking at the ships, then all of a sudden I was on board a ship and talking to a guy who told me his name was John Hugo Ross and he went down with the Titanic. The next minute I was waking up and his name had stuck in my head so I checked up on the passenger list and found him. I was able to describe to my husband what he was wearing in the dream and when I looked at his pic he was wearing the same... Read full post

  3. Sax angy

    Sax angy said:

    Hi everyone, Im not sure exactly why im here but I have a little story to tell and wonder if it rings a bell with anyone. Last Sunday (6th Nov) I had a dream that I was walking through a dockyard looking at the ships, then all of a sudden I was on board a ship and talking to a guy who told me his name was John Hugo Ross and he went down with the Titanic. The next minute I was waking up and his name had stuck in my head so I checked up on the passenger list and found him. I was able to describe to my husband what he was wearing in the dream... Read full post

  4. Thomas Krom

    Thomas Krom said:

    I personally believe it is more likely that his two good friends Thompson Beattie and Thomas Francis McCaffry made him aware of the situation. According to Peuchen they moved to A-6 and A-8 to be nearer to their friend since he wasn't feeling too well. We know with certainty that both Beattie and McCaffry were on the boat deck near the final plunge.

  5. Arun Vajpey

    Arun Vajpey said:

    I would have thought if he was still under the weather on Sunday, his friends would have... Read full post

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Credits

George Behe, USA
Alan Hustak, Canada

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2017) John Hugo Ross (ref: #247, last updated: 10th August 2017, accessed 3rd December 2021 10:22:23 AM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-victim/john-hugo-ross.html