ROBERT C. RUSSELL.
A well known resident and business man of Oakville is Robert C. Russell, who was born in Des Moines county, Iowa,
on the 31st of July, 1851. His parents were David and Mary Ann (Smith) Russell, the father a native of Adams county,
Kentucky, and the mother of Ohio, her birth having occurred on the 16th of February, 1813. They were married in
Fulton county, Illinois, and two years afterward removed to Des Moines county, Iowa, settling on government land.
Upon this Mr. Russell erected a log cabin with a clapboard roof and puncheon floor, while the chimney was constructed
from stones, sticks and clay, and the door was opened with a latch string. The family occupied this crude residence
for twenty years, Mr. and Mrs. Russell continuing to reside on the homestead during the remainder of their days.
His demise occurred on the 19th of January, 1892, and hers on the 22d of December of the same year. Unto them were
born seven children: Elizabeth, who married F. Sharar, of Muscatine, Iowa; Louisa, deceased; William, a veteran
of the Civil war, also deceased; Frances, the widow of H. Dixon, of Mediapolis; Ellen, the widow of James Cox;
Robert C., our subject; and Cassie A., deceased.
The boyhood and youth of Robert C. Russell were spent amid the primitive environment characteristic of the rural
districts of that period, his education being acquired in a log schoolhouse, with an earthen floor and rough, unfinished
slabs for seats. At the age of nineteen years he relieved his father of the care and responsibility of the old
homestead, continuing to reside with his parents until their death. He subsequently purchased the farm, in the
cultivation of which he engaged until 1902, when he disposed of same and bought a farm in Elliott township, Louisa
county, Iowa. After operating this for three years he sold it and purchased a grocery store and meat market in
Oakville, which he conducted for a similar period. He withdrew from commercial activities at the expiration of
that time and now owns a sixty thousand dollar interest in the drainage and sewerage contract in district No. 1,
Des Moines county.
Mr. Russell has been twice married, his first wife being Miss Mary Rogers, who passed away on the 5th of December,
1887, and was laid to rest in the Creighton cemetery. Four children were born of this union: Vinnie, who became
the wife of A. Ferris, of Oakville; Frank G., who is in a drug store in Davenport; Bessie A., the wife of William
McFadden, of Lone Tree, Iowa; and Mary Lou, who was born on the 23d of November, 1887, and died on the 2d of February,
1896. On the 26th of October, 1889, Mr. Russell was married to Miss Alice E. Rogers, a sister of his former wife,
who was born in Des Moines county, Iowa, on the 2d of February, 1862. Mrs. Russell is a daughter of George D. and
Miranda (Topper) Rogers, the father a native of England and the mother of Pennsylvania. They are both living, the
father at the venerable age of eighty two and the mother at seventy four, and make their home in Mediapolis, Iowa.
Mrs. Russell, who is one of seven daughters, six still living, was a school teacher prior to her marriage. Two
children have been born unto Mr. Russell and his second wife: Robert E., whose birth occurred on the 5th of March,
1891, and who is now attending high school; and Elwood Paul, who was born on the 24th of January, 1901.
Mr. Russell is a member of the Masonic fraternity, being identified with Mediapolis Lodge, No. 226, A. F. &
A. M. Both he and his wife affiliate with the Presbyterian church of Oakville, in the work of which organization
they take much interest, and his political allegiance is given to the republican party. He takes an active part
in public affairs and has held a number of city and township offices. Mr. Russell is one of the substantial, citizens
of Oakville, where he owns a fine residence, the hospitality of which he and his wife graciously extend to their
History of Louisa County, Iowa
From Its Earliest Settlement to 1912
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Decatur County, IA
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