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As It Was: Alfred F. Ross Serves Shasta County as Superior Court Judge

Born in 1894, Alfred F. Ross, Jr. was the third generation of his family to call Shasta County, Calif., home.  He was the son of Albert and Lizzie Greer Ross.

Ross served in World War I as an army sergeant.  He studied law, served in the California Legislature, and was appointed as a superior court judge, serving for 29 years until his retirement in 1962.

As a judge, Ross became known as firm but compassionate.  Reportedly, he once threatened to go to jail rather than submit to pressure from four other superior court judges over a decision he opposed.  In 1960, he accused state and county welfare departments of “bureaucratic attitudes” and “unjust action” when an 83-year-old retired logger was denied security benefits. The defendant was convicted, but Ross urged the district attorney to “see that a little humanity enters into the processing...”

After retirement, Judge Ross wrote a column for three years for the local newspaper, the Redding-Searchlight, where he shared memories of his early years as a logger, as a “doughboy” in France, and as a Republican Legislator.  

He met another World War I veteran for 41 years on Veterans Day.

Source: “Judge Albert F. Ross, Jr." The Covered Wagon, 1972, pp. 54-58.

Gail Fiorini-Jenner is a writer and teacher. Her first novel "Across the Sweet Grass Hills", won the 2002 WILLA Literary Award. She co-authored four histories with Arcadia Publishing: Western Siskiyou County: Gold & Dreams, Images of the State of Jefferson, The State of Jefferson: Then & Now, which placed in the 2008 Next Generation Awards for Nonfiction and Postcards from the State of Jefferson.