Biography of Cyrenus Z. Russell of Greenfield

Cyrenus Z. Russell, born in 1840 in Peoria County, Illinois, served as county clerk of Dade County, Missouri. He was the eldest son of Abner and Samantha (Seward) Russell. Raised on a farm, he received a liberal education in Illinois and Missouri. During the Civil War, he served in the Union Army, rising to second lieutenant. Post-war, he engaged in business in Illinois and Kansas before settling in Dade County in 1874. Elected county clerk in 1886, he moved to Greenfield. In 1867, he married Ala Ann Teagarden, with whom he had five children. Russell was a Republican, an I.O.O.F. member, and a G.A.R. Post No. 75 member.

Cyrenus Z. Russell, county clerk of Dade County, Mo., was born in Peoria County, Ill., in 1840, and is the son of Abner and Samantha (Seward) Russell, and grandson of Abner Russell, who was a native of Massachusetts. Abner Russell, Sr., moved to Peoria, Ill., in 1836, and there died in 1857. Abner Russell, Jr., was a native of Erie County, N.Y., born in 1815, and was a minister in the Christian Church. He was engaged in his ministerial duties for many years. He moved with his parents to Peoria, Ill., in 1836, and was married in that State to Miss Seward. He is yet living, and resides in Kirksville, where he has resided since 1875. His wife was born in Broome County, N.Y., in 1820, and she too is living. The family consisted of nine children, five of whom are living. Of these children, Cyrenus Z. Russell was the eldest. He received a liberal education in the district schools of Illinois and Missouri, and was reared on a farm. During the late war he was a strong Union man, and, on June 18, 1861, he enlisted in Company I, Twenty-first Regiment Missouri Infantry; fought at Athens, Shiloh, siege of Corinth, Battle of Corinth, Tupelo, and was in many skirmishes. He entered as a private, and was promoted to the rank of second lieutenant. After being commissioned he was on staff duty, and was mustered out and discharged at St. Louis in February, 1865. After the war, or in 1866, he located in Marshall County, Ill., at Henry, and began a hardware and implement business, which he continued for some time. Previous to this, in 1865, he attended commercial college (Bryant and Stratton’s) in St. Louis, and, in January, 1870, he went to Fort Scott, Kan., where he resumed the same line of business commenced in 1866. The firm of which he was a member was J. Russell & Co., J. Russell being our subject’s uncle. He was first a clerk for his uncle, and afterward became a partner. He remained at Fort Scott until January, 1874, when he became a citizen of Dade County, Mo., locating on a farm in Grant Township. In the fall of 1886 he was elected clerk of the county court of Dade County, by a good majority, and held this position for a period of four years. In December, 1886, he removed to Greenfield, where he has since resided. In 1867 he married Miss Ala Ann Teagarden, who was born in Kentucky, and who bore him five children: Charles E., who was named after Col. Ellsworth, of Chicago, Ill.; John A., William O., and Leulah and Beulah, twins. In politics Mr. Russell is a Republican, casting his first presidential vote for Lincoln in 1864. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., Lockwood Lodge, and is also a member of Post No. 75, G. A. R., at Greenfield. He and his wife are members of the Christian Church.


Goodspeed, History of Hickory, Polk, Cedar, Dade and Barton Counties, Missouri; Chicago, The Goodspeed publishing co., 1889.

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