Where Did The Name Ross Come From

In “The Philipsburg Story” authored by Robert Oakley in August 1981 it is stated that Ross Fork “was named for a prospector that frequented the drainage in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s.” I have researched for more than twenty years and found no one named Ross in this area at that time. Also the Fork was named before the eighties and nineties because Nez Perce Jones, (The New Northwest , July 19, 1878) references watching the Nez Perce Indians traveling up Ross’ Fork as he sat on top of what is now Mt. Emerine (Amerine) after he climbed the mountain to get away from the renegades. This tells me that the Fork was already commonly known as Ross’ Fork during Nez Perce Jones prospecting ventures. 
Continued research shows only two people named Ross entering Montana when it was virgin land or a Territory. Granville and James Stuart with friend Reece Anderson arrived in the Big Hole in October of 1857 and their journals speak frequently of a person named only “Ross” camped with Grant and Meeks and he was with the Stuart’s often in their travels including Deer Lodge and Flint Creek, but never do they speak of traveling on any Forks of what was then known as Stony Creek. This Ross almost drowned in the Big Hole and then a year later did drown crossing a stream in high water in the Flathead valley, in the early 1860’s. There is no one named Ross listed in the 1862-63 early settlers Census contained in Contributions Vol. I, 1876. 
The second person involved in Montana ‘s early history was Alexander Ross a trapper with the Hudson Bay Fur Company. Born at Nairnshire, Scotland in 1783 he immigrated to Canada in 1805 and in 1810 traveled to New York where he enrolled in the John Jacob Astor Pacific Fur Company. In October of 1813 the Pacific Fur Company was passed over to The Hudson Bay Company while The U.S. and Britain were involved in the War of 1812. Thus Ross spent most of his 15 years in the fur trade with the Hudson Bay Company. In 1823 Ross was tendered a new trapping route in the Snake River country. He began his duties early and had great difficulties obtaining adequate trappers at Spokane House. Traveling into the Flathead he continued hiring men, whose families usually traveled with them, ultimately totaling twenty five women and sixty four children. Against expert advise he decided to begin the trip down the Bitter Root in early March. By March 20th they had reached the area which is just south of present day Sula with heavy snow and about fourteen below zero. Until the 14th of April the group of men and their horses battled this valley to cross over the pass into the Big Hole. 
In Ross’ words “Making the road took the united labour of fifty men and two hundred and forty horses, with all the available means within our power, (most of the time trampling down snow that was ten feet deep) for twenty one days…and our supper at night depended on the good or bad luck of our hunters during the day.” 
 Ross named the area "The Valley of Troubles" and shortly thereafter it became known as "Ross’ Hole", as is the current map depiction. This “Hole” is located at the base of the Sapphire Mountains south of Sula. About fifteen miles from the top of the ridge on the eastern slope is located the source of the Ross’ Fork of Rock Creek. As you travel east on the creek you then come to the South Fork of Ross’ Fork which comes in from a south westerly direction and the Pintler Range. These waters continue on down Ross’ Fork passing the south side of Mount Emerine and dump into the West Fork about one-thousand yards from the confluence of the Middle Fork and the beginning of upper Rock Creek. 

Ross resigned from the Fur Company after he completed this difficult first Snake River trip in 1824 and moved to the Red River country in Canada. He became a popular politician and died in what is now known as Winnepeg in 1856. 
After a lot of research, conversations, heated discussions and thought, I have come to the conclusion that Ross’ Fork is named after Alexander Ross and his infamous Ross’ Hole. In Ross’ journals he discusses numerous ventures of him and his men traveling up the mountain sides while hunting and attempting to find another way out of the valley, during their twenty-one day ordeal. I imagine at least once they looked over the ridge into the Ross’ Fork area.