He was educated at Dunedin High School and joined the Railway Department as a clerk and telegraphist in 1883.
He was subsequently appointed the postmaster and stationmaster for Dipton at 1888, and later held similar positions at Te Aroha and Lincoln Junction. Upon the death of his father in 1902 he left the railway service, then went to live on his farm at Riversdale. While living in Southland, Ross unsuccessfully contested the Wakatipu seat in 1902.
Ross served on the Hawke"s Bay Land Board and the Hawke"s Bay Education Board.
In 1924 he joined the Public Trust in Napier. He died in Wellington on 16 January 1949 and was buried at Karori Cemetery.