Goodspeed's History of Southeast Missouri
Biographies of Mississippi County, 1888


Basil M. Raidt

Basil M. Raidt, a  well-to-do
     farmer and stock raiser of Mississippi County, was born in New  Madrid
     County, Mo., in 1858, and is a son of Mathias  and  Maria  Ann  (Crow)
     Raidt. The former was born in Germany, and when about fifteen years of
     age, came to America with his  parents,  and  located  in  New  Madrid
     County, Mo., where the parents died. The mother  of  our  subject  was
     born in Kentucky, but wars brought by her parents  to  Monroe  County,
     Mo., in which county she grew to womanhood, after  which  she  removed
     with her parents to New Madrid County. She still resides in the latter
     county, at the age of sixty-one years (February 14, 1888). To her  and
     husband were born five children, three of whom are living:  Basil  M.,
     Lena A. Zilafro and Daniel W., who lives  at  home  with  his  mother.
     Those dead are Remigus and Henry C., the  latter  a  twin  brother  to
     Daniel W. The father was married twice before this union, and has  one
     child living by each wife, Joseph and Thomas  G.  Mathias  Raidt  died
     when he was forty years of age. Basil M. Raidt remained at the home of
     his parents until he was twenty-three years of  age,  that  being  one
     year after he married Alice Hancock. She is a daughter of John D.  and
     Mary E. Hancock, both deceased. Her father was killed during the  war,
     and her mother died shortly  afterward  leaving  her  and  her  sister
     orphans quite young, to be reared by her grandfather Pryor. Mrs. Raidt
     was born in 1865, and reared near the farm  upon  which  she  and  her
     husband now reside, by her grandfather, Blanton Pryor. Her parents had
     two children, the other one, Aslee, being deceased. To  Mr.  and  Mrs.
     Raidt four children have been  born:  Mattie  (deceased),  Armenia  G.
     (deceased), Correnia A. and Daniel W. (deceased). They also have under
     their care and protection two orphan children  -cousins  -  G.  Harvey
     Loomis, a boy sixteen years of age, and Lusinda Scott, a  girl  twelve
     years of age. Correnia was born in July 1885. Mr. Raidt and  wife  are
     adherents of the Catholic Church.

William N. Randolph

William   N.   Randolph,   a
     promising young attorney of Charleston, was born on January  1,  1853,
     in Henderson County, Ky. He is a son of Malachi F. and  Mary  (Slaton)
     Randolph, both natives of Henderson County,  Ky.  Their  parents  were
     from Virginia, and were connected with the old stock of Randolph's and
     Slaton's in the Old  Dominion.  The  paternal  grandfather,  Nathaniel
     Randolph, was a pioneer settler of Kentucky, in which state  he  died.
     At one time he carried the mail from Louisville west. Malachi Randolph
     is a farmer by vocation, and is still living in Henderson County,  Ky.
     He and wife have four children living: William N., Slaton, Eugene  and
     Lula (Mrs. George Robertson of Kentucky). William N. was reared on his
     father's  farm,  and  had  the  advantages  of  a  good  common-school
     education. He studied civil engineering and surveying under the  civil
     engineer at Henderson, Ky., about one year, after which he was engaged
     in farming until the spring of 1878, when he went  to  Charleston  and
     taught school for two years. He then began the study of law under Col.
     Messer Ward, now deceased. In 1880 he was admitted to the  bar,  since
     which time he has practiced his  profession.  He  is  also  agent  for
     several insurance companies. On April  14,  1885,  he  was  united  in
     marriage with Effie, daughter of  Dr.  A.E.  Simpson.  They  have  one
     child, Minnie. Mr. and Mrs. Randolph  are  members  of  the  Methodist
     Episcopal Church South. He is a member of the I.O.O.F. Politically  he
     is a Democrat, and has held the office of city attorney for one  term,
     justice of the peace  for  six  years,  and  notary  pubic  for  eight

William H. Reeves

William   H.   Reeves,    a
     successful farmer of Ohio Township, Mississippi Co., Mo., was born  in
     Ballard County, Ky., on October 28, 1844. He is a son  of  Curtis  and
     Eliza (Bryant) Reeves, both of whom  were  natives  of  Kentucky.  The
     family were originally from Virginia, but immigrated to Kentucky at an
     early day. Curtis Reeves was a farmer  by  vocation,  and  removed  to
     Mississippi County, Mo., about 1844 and owing to the overflow of  that
     year, became disgusted with the country and  returned  to  his  native
     State. He died in Wayne County  Mo.,  in  1845.  His  widow  is  still
     living. They were the parents of two children: Benjamin F.  (deceased)
     and William H. The latter  removed  to  Mississippi  County  with  his
     mother in 1850, and located at Bird's Point, where  they  resided  for
     several years. He is a farmer by vocation, and has been a resident  of
     Mississippi  County  most  of  his  life.  He  is  a  member  of   the

Frank B. Rice

Frank B. Rice,  a  prosperous
     young merchant of Charleston, Mo., was born in that city, December 15,
     1862, and is a son of William A. and Elizabeth (Lusk) Rice, natives of
     Hannibal and Elizabeth  town,  Ky.,  respectively.  The  great  great-
     grandparents on the father's side, came from England  and  settled  in
     Virginia, where the early generations passed  away.  The  grandfather,
     William Rice, removed to Kentucky, and lived there at the time of  his
     death. William A. Rice was a physician, and  a  graduate  of  the  old
     Louisville Medical College. Removing to Mississippi County, Mo., about
     1832, he began practicing  his  profession  in  Charleston.  Remaining
     there a few years, he went to Texas, and on account of failing health,
     was compelled  to  give  up  his  profession.  He  taught  school  the
     remainder of his life, dying on March 17, 1873. His wife died in 1864.
     They had eight children,  three  of  whom  are  living:  James  W.  (a
     resident of Texas), Lulu (Mrs. L. La  Montague)  and  Frank  B.  Those
     deceased are Edward, Mary, Margaret, William and Lizzie.  The  subject
     of this sketch was reared in his native city, in the schools of  which
     he received a good education. His  mother  dying  when  he  was  about
     eighteen months old, he was left to the  care  of  an  aunt  (Margaret
     Myrick) who is still a resident of Charleston.  At  an  early  age  he
     engaged into  the  mercantile  business  for  himself,  which  he  has
     continued. He also owns the livery stable, formerly  the  property  of
     Bridges & Wilkinson. Mr. Rice is considered a successful  business
     man and an enterprising citizen. He is a member of the I.O.O.F. and of
     the    Encampment:    also     a     member     of     the     Baptist

William T. Roberts

William T.  Roberts,  one  of
     the substantial farmers of Mississippi County, was born on the eastern
     shore of Maryland, in Wicomico County, January 28, 1852. He is  a  son
     of Joshua T. and Mary E. (Goddard) Roberts, both of whom were  natives
     of Maryland. The family immigrated  to  Mississippi  County,  Mo.,  in
     1868, and settled on a farm one-half mile  west  of  Charleston,  upon
     which the family has since resided. The father died in 1871,  but  the
     mother is still living, and resides in Charleston. They  were  parents
     of six children, four of  whom  are  living:  Ella,  Roxie,  Anna  and
     William T. The last named was reared to farm life in his native State,
     and has made farming his life vocation. He was but  sixteen  years  of
     age  when  his  parents  located  in  Mississippi  County,  which   is
     handsomely improved. In 1874 he was united in marriage  with  Mary,  a
     daughter of B. Harris. Seven children have been born to them,  six  of
     whom are living: Georgie, Mamie, Emma, William N., Mabel and Herschel.
     Mr.  and  Mrs.  Roberts  are  members  of  the   Methodist   Episcopal

William Rodney

William Rodney,  one  of  the
     pioneer citizens of Mississippi County, was born in  Lawrence  County,
     Ark., October 7, 1825, and is  a  son  of  John  and  Rachel  (Ramsey)
     Rodney, of German and French-Irish descent, and natives of Bourbon and
     Henderson Counties, Ky., respectively. The grandfather, Martin Rodney,
     emigrated from Germany, and settled in  Cape  Girardeau  County  about
     1798. He was a farmer by vocation, and entered  in  that  county,  160
     acres of government land, upon which he lived a number of years,  when
     he removed to Arkansas, where he was killed in his eighty-fourth year,
     by a tree falling on him. Andrew Ramsey, the maternal grandfather, was
     born in England, of Irish parentage. He immigrated to  Missouri  about
     1797, and settled on the Mississippi River at a  place  now  known  as
     Norfolk. He received a grant for 640 arpents, or about  500  acres  of
     land, from the Spanish Government. Mississippi County, at  that  time,
     was a dense forest, there being no  roads,  except  Indian  paths.  He
     served in the War of 1812, and  was  wounded  in  a  battle  with  the
     Indians, from the effects of which he died in his sixty-sixth year. He
     had two sons, Andrew and Allen, killed in the same fight. John  Rodney
     immigrated to Mississippi County from Kentucky with his father,  about
     1811, after which he was a resident of Southeast  Missouri  until  his
     death, with the exception of five years that  he  lived  in  Arkansas.
     Surveying was his chief vocation, and he served  as  both,  State  and
     county  surveyor.  He  divided  New  Madrid,  Scott  and   Mississippi
     Counties, after the bill  was  passed  authorizing  the  formation  of
     Mississippi County. He owned fifty slaves at the time of his death  in
     1853. His wife died in 1843. They  were  parents  of  seven  children,
     Lucielle,  Eveline  (deceased),  Thomas  (deceased),   William,   Mary
     (deceased), Martin V. and Michael (deceased).  William  was  but  four
     years of age when he  removed  with  his  parents  to  Cape  Girardeau
     County. After remaining there two years, they removed to Scott County.
     He remained with his parents until he was fourteen years of age,  when
     he began working for himself. He traded in stock,  etc.,  until  1850,
     when he went to California, and remained about two and one-half years,
     engaged in mining and trading on pack mules.  Returning  to  Southeast
     Missouri in 1853, he located on a cane brake  in  Mississippi  County,
     and began improving the  farm  upon  which  he  now  resides.  It  has
     required many years of hard labor to get the place in its present fine
     condition.  He  owns  447  acres,  of  which  200  acres   are   under
     cultivation. In 1855 he wedded Martha V. Harris, a native of Missouri,
     by whom he has three children, Walter F., Ella and Althea, (Mrs.  W.A.
     Horton). Mr. Rodney was reared in the Catholic Church, and is still an
     adherent of that religion. Politically he was an ardent  Democrat.  He
     has held the office of magistrate for six years. The  name  of  Rodney
     has been  famous  in  Southeast  Missouri  for  three  quarters  of  a

George Rolwing

George Rolwing, a  prosperous
     young farmer of Mississippi County, Mo., was born in  that  county  on
     February 18, 1862. He is the son of Henry and Cenia Rolwing,  both  of
     whom were natives of Germany. They immigrated to the United States  in
     early life, and settled in Mississippi County, Mo., where they resided
     until their deaths. To them were  born  five  children,  of  whom  the
     subject of this sketch is the only survivor. He  was  reared  to  farm
     life, and since  arriving  at  maturity  has  followed  farming  as  a
     vocation. With the exception of a few years, he has always resided  in
     his native county. In August, 1885, he was  united  in  marriage  with
     Fannie Brinkman, a daughter of Joseph Brinkman.  Mr.  Rolwing  owns  a
     good farm of 380 acres, a large portion of which is under cultivation,
     with good improvements. To him and wife have been born one  child,  an
     infant.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Rolwing   are   members   of   the   Catholic

John M. Rowe

Dr. John M. Rowe was born  in
     Carroll County, Tenn., October 18, 1841, and is a son  of  Elisha  and
     Narcissus (Rogers) Rowe, the former a native of  North  Carolina,  and
     the latter of Wilson County, Tenn. The paternal great-grandfather came
     from England and settled in North Carolina. The great-grandmother Rowe
     came from France. The paternal grandfather, John  Rowe,  was  born  in
     North Carolina, and  was  a  farmer  by  vocation.  He  immigrated  to
     Tennessee at an early day, where he  died.  Elisha  Rowe  was  also  a
     farmer, and resided in  Tennessee  until  1883,  when  he  removed  to
     Charleston, Mo., where he died in 1886. His wife died in Tennessee  in
     1864. They were the parents of ten  children,  two  of  whom  died  in
     infancy. The others are John M., Mary S., Caroline, George P., Sallie,
     Fannie, Hilliard J. and Amanda. Dr. John M. remained on  the  farm  in
     Tennessee until 1862, when he enlisted in the  army,  joining  company
     B., Seventh  Tennessee  Cavalry,  under  Col.  I.R.  Hawkins.  He  was
     captured at the battle of Union City, and made his  escape  the  first
     night after,  without  either  hat  or  shoes,  his  whereabout  being
     concealed by his friends. He afterward went to Columbus, Ky.,  dressed
     in rebel uniform. In the second year of his service, he began  reading
     medicine, and was mustered out in 1865 as  brevet  assistant  surgeon.
     Returning home he attended  school  one  year,  after  which  he  read
     medicine one year. He then entered the Jefferson  Medical  College  at
     Philadelphia, and remained there one session, after which he practiced
     his profession a short time. In 1868 he entered the medical department
     of the University of Nashville, graduating in the spring of  1869.  He
     was then engaged in practicing his profession  in  his  native  county
     until 1874, when he  located  in  Charleston,  Mo.,  and  resumed  his
     practice, which he has very successfully continued. He is a member  of
     the American Medical Society, to which he was a delegate in  1886.  He
     is also a member of the tri-State, and the Southeast Missouri  Medical
     Societies, and an honorable member of  the  Western  Kentucky  Medical
     Society. He is a Mason, and a member of the Chapter  and  Council.  He
     was married in October, 1868, to Josephine  Jordon,  by  whom  he  has
     three children: Edgar M., Stella M. and Walter S.  His  wife  died  in
     1875, and he was again married in 1878 choosing for  his  second  wife
     Julia Russell. Five children have been born to this union,  viz:  Lela
     B., Lura D. (deceased), Carl R., Herbert  H.  and  John  M.,  Jr.  The
     Doctor and Mrs. Rowe are members of  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church
     South.         In          politics          he          is          a

John Rushing

John   Rushing,   a   highly
     respected farmer, residing near Bertrand, Mississippi  Co.,  Mo.,  was
     born in Camden, Benton Co., Tenn., in 1833, and is a son of  R.D.  and
     Olley (McGill) Rushing, both natives of the  above-named  county.  The
     paternal grandfather was born in  North  Carolina,  and  settled  near
     Camden, Tenn., at a very early date. He reared his family  there,  and
     died when about seventy years of  age.  R.D.  Rushing  died  in  1837,
     leaving a widow and two children, the subject of this sketch, who  was
     then but four years of age, and a younger brother. His  widow  married
     James K. Nance, but died soon after, being twenty-five years  of  age.
     John and Thomas were then taken by  their  maternal  grandparents,  at
     whose home they grew to maturity. However, the grandfather  died  when
     John was but eleven years of age, and the support of  his  grandmother
     and  younger  brother  devolved  upon  him.   He   worked   upon   his
     grandmother's farm until he was eighteen years of age, when he  worked
     for himself in summers, and  attended  school  in  winters,  until  he
     secured sufficient education to teach school. He was then  engaged  in
     teaching for several winters, working during the summers. Later he was
     elected justice of the peace  for  his  district,  and  in  1867,  was
     elected clerk of Benton County. In 1870  he  assisted  in  taking  the
     census, and was then appointed assistant assessor of internal  revenue
     of the Seventh District of Tennessee. After that office and  collector
     of  internal  revenue  were  consolidated,  he  was  appointed  deputy
     collector, under Dr. C.W. Hawkins. In February  1874,  he  removed  to
     Mississippi County, Mo., and located where he now resides. Mr. Rushing
     is an ardent Republican, and is very active in politics.  In  1878  he
     was again elected justice of the peace, and in 1880 took the census of
     Long Prairie Township. He was united in marriage with Marinda  Harris,
     of Arkansas, who was born in 1839. They have had seven  children,  two
     of whom are living: Thomas J. and Inez. Louisa Belle died at  the  age
     of seventeen. The other four died in infancy. Thomas J.  graduated  in
     the St. Louis common schools in 1886,  and  is  now  with  the  United
     States army at Fort Leavenworth,  Kas.  Mr.  Rushing  and  family  are
     active      members       of       the       Methodist       Episcopal

Alfred J. Rushing

Alfred   J.   Rushing,    a
     prominent  farmer  and  stock  raiser  of   Long   Prairie   Township,
     Mississippi Co., Mo., was born in Benton County, Tenn.,  on  July  28,
     1854 and is a son of Richard and Mehala (Ashcroft) Rushing, natives of
     Tennessee and North Carolina, respectively. The  former  was  born  in
     1812, and while young removed  with  his  parents  to  Benton  County,
     Tenn., they being  among  the  first  settlers  of  that  county.  The
     grandfather, Willis Rushing, died there. Richard Rushing and wife were
     prominent members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, in  which  he
     was an elder. He was an enterprising farmer  and  a  highly  respected
     citizen of Benton County, in which he died in 1881. His wife  died  in
     1883, while visiting in Mississippi County, Mo. To them were born nine
     children, six of whom are living: Thomas, Alfred J., Green H., Mary T.
     (Mrs. John T. Heggie), Melvina (Mrs. Dr. W.Z.  Heggie)  and  Sophronia
     (Mrs. John W. Butts). Those deceased are  Willis,  Richard  and  Ellen
     (Mrs. William Love). Alfred J. lived with his  parents  until  he  was
     twenty-four years of age, assisting on the farm and attending  school.
     In November 1878, he went to Mississippi County, Mo., and was  engaged
     with William Love in the mercantile  business  for  two  years,  after
     which he was with H.L. Finley for three years. In the fall of 1883, he
     removed to the farm on which he now resides. On October 25,  1882,  he
     was united in marriage with Minnie Lee  Langston,  who  was  born  (in
     1863) and reared on the farm that is now her home. She is the daughter
     of Leonard and Minerva (Barnes) Langston, natives  of  North  Carolina
     and Tennessee, respectively. The former  came  to  Southeast  Missouri
     when about seventeen years of age, and the latter, with  her  parents,
     when two years of age. Leonared Langston died at the age of  fifty-six
     years (in 1880) and his  widow  now  lives  with  her  daughter,  Mrs.
     Rushing. They were the parents of five children, three of whom died in
     childhood. Charles married Mary E. Grayson,  and  to  them  were  born
     three children: Willie, Arthur and Birdie. Charles died  on  September
     1, 1881, and his widow and children now live on his farm. Mr. and Mrs.
     Rushing have been members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South  for
     seven years, in which he is a steward. He was formerly a member of the
     Cumberland Presbyterian Church, in which he was  a  ruling  elder  for
     seven years. He is also a member of the A.O.U.W. He and wife have  two
     children, Albert and Willie.

David Rusk

David  Rusk,  a  jeweler  at
     Charleston, was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, in 1848, and is a  son  of
     John and Johanna (Jones) Rusk, natives of Scotland. The former  was  a
     cabinet-maker, which trade he followed the most of his life. His  wife
     died in Scotland, and he afterward immigrated to America in  1851.  He
     located in Maryland, and remained a few  years,  when  he  removed  to
     Sparta, Ill., where he died. He was the father of six children.  David
     was but three years of age when his mother died, and he was left  with
     his relatives in  Scotland,  when  his  father  came  to  America.  He
     received a liberal education in Ayrshire, and in 1864 took passage  on
     a steamer at Liverpool, for New York, where he landed  after  a  seven
     day's voyage. He went from there to St.  Louis,  and  from  thence  to
     Sparta, Ill, where he finished learning the watchmaker's trade,  which
     he had previously undertaken. He remained in Sparta until  1875,  when
     he came to Charleston and engaged in  business  on  his  own  account.
     Although he began on a small scale, he has built up a good trade,  and
     now has a large stock of jewelry,  etc.  In  1874  he  was  united  in
     marriage with Nora Knox, a native of Illinois, of German descent. Four
     children have been born to them: Eddie, Minnie, Maggie and  an  infant
     daughter. Mr. and Mrs. Rusk are members  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal
     Church South. He is a member of the I.O.O.F. and of the K.  of  P.  In
     politics he is a Democrat, and  has  served  as  city  councilman  two

Joseph G. Russell

Joseph G. Russell  (deceased)
     was born on April 20, 1842, in Scott County, Mo., and  was  a  son  of
     William Russell, a  native  of  Maryland,  who  removed  to  Southeast
     Missouri, and settled in Scott  County,  where  the  subject  of  this
     sketch was born and where he (William Russell) died on  May  7,  1861.
     Joseph G. remained in his native county until 1870 when he brought his
     family to Mississippi County, and located near Bertrand.  In  1882  he
     purchased the farm upon which his family now reside. On  February  18,
     1866, he was united in marriage with  Hannah  M.  Mansfield,  born  on
     November 8, 1845, in Scott County, Mo. She is the daughter of  William
     A. and Martha J. (Joyce) Mansfield, natives of Kentucky and Louisiana,
     respectively. The former came to Southeast  Missouri  when  he  was  a
     small boy. The latter  removed  with  her  mother  to  Cape  Girardeau
     County, when she  was  six  years  old,  her  father  having  died  in
     Louisiana. They were the parents of eleven children, five of whom  are
     living: William A., Simeon T., Hannah M., Sarah (Mrs. James  Donover),
     and Louisa E. (widow of B. Gillolley, who resides with her  mother  in
     Bertrand). Those dead are Thomas, Robert  E.,  Terresa  J.,  John  H.,
     William T. and an infant unnamed. Mrs. Mansfield resides on  the  home
     place in Bertrand, her husband having died in 1883. To  Mr.  and  Mrs.
     Russell were born eleven children, viz: Robert P.  (died  on  November
     30, 1884), William C., Joseph T. (died on August 8,  1884),  John  G.,
     Franklin F., Thomas T., Marvin W. (died on May 18, 1880),  Albert  G.,
     Oliver G. (deceased) and Claudus  and  Cora,  both  of  whom  died  in
     February, 1884. Mr. Russell died on November 4, 1885. He was a  member
     of the A.F. & A.M. and of the A.O.U.W. He was also a member of the
     Farmers' and Mechanics' Mutual Aid Association, and he and  wife  were
     members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. In politics he was  a
     Democrat. His widow and children reside on the  home  farm,  south  of
     Bertrand, and enjoy the comforts of a good home, which he  secured  by
     industry and enterprise. Mr. Russell was a highly  respected  citizen,
     and     let     a     host     of     friends     to     mourn     his

James W. Russell

James W. Russell, real estate
     agent and stock dealer, was born in Cape  Girardeau  County,  Mo.,  on
     July 7, 1851, and is a son of Joseph W. and  Mary  (Frizell)  Russell,
     the former a native  of  Georgetown,  Ky.,  and  the  latter  of  Cape
     Girardeau County, Mo.  The  subject  of  this  sketch  was  reared  in
     Jackson, Mo., where he secured a good education. He afterward lived in
     St. Louis several years, and  practiced  medicine,  having  previously
     graduated at the  Missouri  Medical  College.  He,  however,  was  not
     satisfied  with  the  profession  he  had  chosen,  and  sought  other
     business. Being a man of strong physical ability, he  decided  to  try
     farming, abandoning his profession entirely. In 1882 he removed to his
     present farm in Mississippi County, where he has since ben engaged  in
     the real estate and stock business. His  large  farming  interests  in
     Mississippi County and vicinity require a great deal of his attention.
     He deals extensively in stock, buying and selling, and at times making
     large shipments. In 1879 he was united in marriage with Anna  Edwards,
     which union has been blessed by the birth of two children, Lizzie  and
     Anna. Mr. Russell is a member of the  Masonic  fraternity.  He  is  an
     enterprising citizen and one of the most successful  business  men  of
     Mississippi County.

Joseph J. Russell

Hon.  Joseph   J.   Russell,
     attorney-at-law, was born near Charleston, Mo., on  August  23,  1854,
     and is one of eleven children  born  to  the  marriage  of  Joseph  T.
     Russell and Patience A. Langford. His paternal grandfather,  James  A.
     Russell came to Mississippi County from Maryland about 1836  and  died
     in the county about 1852 or 1853. Joseph T. Russell  left  his  native
     State in 1853 in company with Judge Noah Handy, and came to  Missouri,
     making  the  entire  journey  by  wagon.  He  first  located  in  West
     Philadelphia, a little town then recently laid out on the banks of the
     Mississippi river, in Scott County, where unaware of  the  treacherous
     character of the river, he invested all his money in town property.  A
     year or two later his lots were destroyed by the encroachments of  the
     river, and he removed to Mathews' Prairie, where he entered 160  acres
     of land, and made a home for himself and family. He was  a  carpenter,
     and up to 1856 worked at his trade in Charleston and  the  surrounding
     county. His last contract was for the building  of  the  court  house,
     which, with many other buildings erected by him, is still standing. In
     1856 he retired to his farm where he spent the remainder of  his  life
     in ease and comfort. He died  on  December  27,  1874.  He  was  twice
     marred, his first wife having died on April 14, 1869. Of his  children
     by the first marriage five are living: Eliza, Abraham O.,  Joseph  J.,
     Julia (Mrs. Dr. John M. Rowe)  and  John  c.  Those  dead  are  Ellen,
     Martha, Laura, Hettie, Sarah and  George  D.  Joseph  J.  Russell  was
     reared on his father's farm, receiving such education was the district
     school afforded. At the age of nineteen he exchanged his  position  as
     pupil for that of teacher, of  the  home  school,  but  between  terms
     attended the Charleston Academy. In 1875 he entered the law office  of
     Moore &  Hatcher,  at  Charleston,  and  the  following  year  was
     admitted to the bar. Subsequently he entered the law department of the
     State University, and in 1880 graduated from that institution  as  the
     valedictorian of his class. Since his admission to the bar,  with  the
     exception of the time spent in college, he has  been  engaged  in  the
     practice of his profession at Charleston. Close attention to business,
     a thorough knowledge of law and native shrewdness have secured for him
     a large and lucrative  practice  and  although  a  young  man,  he  is
     generally recognized as one of the ablest and most successful  lawyers
     of Southeast Missouri. He has also attained considerable prominence in
     politics, and has filled several official  positions.  He  was  school
     commissioner of Mississippi county  for  two  years,  and  prosecuting
     attorney for four years,  1880-84.  In  1884  he  was  a  presidential
     elector on the Democratic ticket, and made  an  able  canvass  of  his
     district. In 1886 he was elected to represent  Mississippi  County  in
     the  Legislature,  and  was  unanimously  nominated  Speaker   pro
     tem by the  Democratic  caucus,  and,  of  course,  elected.  Mr.
     Russell was married at the Southern Hotel, at St. Louis, on  July  26,
     1884, to Belle Groath, of Cape Girardeau. He owns one  of  the  finest
     residences in Charleston, and is a director in  the  Charleston  Bank,
     which       he        was        largely        instrumental        in

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