DANVILLE -- One rainy day in 1871, Jacob Ross annoyed the people of Danville one time too many.
Ross lived south of town (down the hill) and would ride his horse up the hill to fetch his mail at the post office. The problem was that Ross apparently didn't want to get his horse all dirty on the muddy, unpaved roads of town, so when it was rainy, he'd rein in his steed and move over to the gravel sidewalk.
This, of course, would force pedestrians on the sidewalk to step aside as Ross came galloping through on his horse.
And that irritated people.
Sure enough, complaints were made, and this particular rainy day, the town marshal decided to put a stop to it. The marshal stepped up to Ross and placed him under arrest.
History doesn't record how much time (if any) Ross spent in jail for his misdemeanor, but the middle-aged man was so furious about this treatment, he swore to get revenge by creating his own town, within sight of Danville.
In September of 1871, Ross laid out the platt for Rosstown, just down the hill from Danville, where the railroad used to cross US 62, on land owned by his wife Nancy's family, the Workmans. Before long, Jacob changed the name of his settlement to Rossville, and began encouraging others to build there.
A mill was built along the railroad, today the site of Danville Feed & Supply. At its height, Rossville boasted a sawmill, a flour mill, a drugstore, a dry goods store, a hardware store, a jeweler, and a lumber yard. The population swelled to 225.
It isn't known what exactly motivated J. C. Tilton to do the same thing Jacob Ross had done, but in 1880, Tilton laid out the platt for another town, Buckeye City, immediately adjacent to Rossville. In 1882, a post office was opened in Buckeye City that ran until 1924.
In time, Rossville was absorbed into Buckeye City, though the name Ross Street was retained to salute Jacob Ross, who lived until 1906. But the hint of things to come was in the railroad company's insistence on naming the railroad depot the Danville Depot, since Danville was still larger than Buckeye City, though the latter had at one point as many as 200 dwellings.
Meanwhile, Danville kept growing down the hill toward the railroad crossing. By 1924, the Buckeye City post office had been discontinued, as the area was beginning to function as a single community. In 1928, Buckeye City (with its core Rossville nucleus) was absorbed into Danville once and for all.
Whatever factions gave the community different roots, today it is one. Just be careful where you ride your horse.