Charles F. Russell, so well remembered at Mulberry and in the eastern part of the county, where his death occurred on October 13, 1902, was one of the honored and respected citizens of this county, and a man of sterling integrity and such honest worth as to commend him to all with whom he came in contact. His widow now lives at McCune, where she has hosts of friends, and she is esteemed for her own noble character as also for the fact that she was the wife of a truly representative Crawford county citizen.
The late Mr. Russell was one of the veterans of the Civil war, in which he served as a brave and gallant officer and soldier. He vas living in Illinois when the rebellion broke out, and he was in the first enlistment in response to the call for men to put down the rebellion. He enlisted at Pana, Christian county, Illinois, in 1861, in Company M, Third Illinois Cavalry, and became first-lieutenant of his company. He took part in numerous battles and skirmishes and hard campaigning. He fought at Pea Ridge and Vicksburg. While on a transport boat he was severely wounded, and until his death he suffered continually from this wound received in behalf of his country.
He was born at Amherst, Massachusetts, April 23, 1835, being a son of Alvin and Sarah Russell, both people of character, industry and integrity. Mr. Russell received a good education, and then entered upon his varied career in different parts of the country. He was a hotel clerk for years, for some time holding that position with the old Tremont Hotel in Chicago, at the time one of the leading hotels of that city.
March 26, 1865, he was married to Miss Amanda C. Van Dewater, the wedding taking place at Rosamond, Illinois. Mrs. Russell was born at Knightstown, New Jersey, December 1, 1840. Her father, Rev. A. C. Van Dewater, was a chaplain of the Thirty-second Illinois Infantry during the war, and his father had been a soldier in the war of the Revolution. The Van Dewaters were of an old Holland family, three brothers having come to this country some generations ago and settled in New Jersey or Long Island. Two of these brothers remained bachelors, but the other reared a family, and from him descended the subsequent generations. Mrs. Russell's mother was Margaret T. Sommers, also of Revolutionary stock. Mrs. Russell was one of four children, namely: Charles, who died at the age of sixteen; Lewis, who was a soldier in the One Hundred and Forty-fifth Illinois, and is now a resident of Walla Walla, Washington; Wesley, who died in 1890 at Pana, Illinois; and Mrs. Russell.
In 1873 Mr. Russell and wife went to California and lived in San Francisco, and from that time on traveled a great deal in hopes of bettering his health so impaired in the war. He went to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in 1875, and spent three years there, and thence to St. Louis, and five years at Minneapolis, after which he returned to Illinois. In 1898 he came to this county and bought a home at Mulberry, where he lived until his death. Politically he was a strong Republican, was a member of the Methodist church, and took much interest in G. A. R. matters. He measured up to a high standard of personal and business morality, and was respected and esteemed wherever he lived, so that his death meant a real loss to everyone who had ever known him.Pages 553-555 from A Twentieth century history and biographical record of Crawford County, Kansas, by Home Authors; Illustrated. Published by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL : 1905. 656 p. ill. Transcribed by Carolyn Ward, in November, 2003.
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