This information is part of the Champaign County ILGenWeb Project. If you have reached this site by means other than The USGenWeb Project, The ILGenWeb Project, or directly, please visit the main Champaign Co, ILGenWeb site for more information regarding Champaign County, IL ancestors. Information contained here was transcribed by Judy Simpson. Please do not repost this information without the express written permission of Celia Snyder.

Champaign County, Illinois

Biography of H. M. Russell

SOURCE: "History of Champaign County, Illinois with Illustrations," 1878


H. M. RUSSELL was born Nov. 18, 1826, in Darien, Genesee Co., N.Y. Came west with his parents, and settled near Darwin, Clark Co., Ill., March 6, 1839. He assisted his father in farming, and attended a common country school, all the spare time, until in July, 1847, started for Champaign County, stopping at Wm. Rock's, three miles south of Sadorus. Came to Urbana election day, August, 1847; finally settled at Urbana, Oct. 6, 1847. He taught school during the winter of 1847-8, eleven miles east of Urbana, near Hiram Rankins. He engaged in staging with the Western Stage Co., July 4, 1848. His connection with this company continued, with the exception of two years, until 1859, when railroads took the place of stages. In April, 1849, he engaged in the grocery and provision trade, and continued the business until 1860.

He was married to Miss Anna M. WATERS, Nov. 24, 1853; has one son grown, and buried two children in infancy. At the breaking out of the war he went south, engaging in private pursuits at first, but most of the time he was in the employ of the government in the secret service. He became personally acquainted with Gens. Grant, Sherman, McPherson, and many other prominent officers.

After the war he visited the oil regions of Canada, and took an active part in assisting in the organizing and building the I. B. & W. R. R., and in securing the location of the shops at Urbana; also in getting the Illinois Industrial University located at Urbana. On the completion of the I. B. & W., accepted a commission in the revenue service, and was actively engaged for about four years, still holding his commission.

He has served as a city officer fourteen years. He has traveled over parts of sixteen states, visiting many of the large cities. In religion he is a Universalist; in politics, a Republican. He cast his first vote for Gen. Scott for President, and has been an active and earnest worker in the party since its organization. He is charitable; more ready to forgive than condemn; not extravagant in life; careful in forming opinions, but when his opinions are formed is hard to change. He is active in furthering the interests of his town, county, or people, and his position on questions of public interest is never doubtful. He has always been active in business, and successful in mastering whatever he engaged in.

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