Saturday, May 7, 2016
Mary Russell Simms, granddaughter of Elias Russell, offers this eulogy from his funeral, penned by Elias's oldest child, Bertie Lee Russell.
Elias Russell, born April 14, 1873, at Cass in Franklin County, died at his home in Cass at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, January 19, 1960, of a heart attack. He was 86 years old. Mr. Russell was a member of one of Franklin County's pioneer families and spent his entire life there. His mother, Maria Tennessee Turner, was a descendant of the Turner's who arrived on the Mayflower in 1620. Mr. Russell was married on September 22, 1900, to Miss Addie Jane Mahaffey at the home of the bride's parents at St. Paul, Arkansas. There were 12 children born to this union and survivors consist of the widow and all 12 children, 29 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
His children are:
Miss Bertie L. Russell, Denver, Colorado
George W. Russell, Lawton, Colorado
Mrs. Robert Butner, Ripley, Tennessee
Doyle J. Russell, Wellington, Colorado
Mrs. Nannie E. Wilson, Detroit, Michigan
William A. Russell, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Samuel Carter Russell, Richland, Washington
Sidney R. Russell, Ozark, Arkansas
Charles E. Russell, Richland, Washington
Seldon Russell, Ozark, Arkansas.
Harold Russell, Ault, Colorado.
Brothers and sisters surviving are:
Fred H. Russell, Ozark, Arkansas
Sam H Russell, Ozark, Arkansas
Mrs. May Younger, Duncan Oklahoma
Mrs. Pearl Turner, Ozark, Arkansas
Mr. Russell attended an old-fashioned revival meeting conducted by a traveling evangelist, Brother Valines, at the New Enon School house, accepted Christ and was baptized in 1908 in Big Mulberry River. There were 19 converts. Mr. Russell lived on the farm and considered himself a farmer, but he will be remembered by many as the peace officer during prohibition days. He was deputy sheriff for years. He was an excellent blacksmith and wagon builder. His shop was always open to help others. He kept seasoned lumber on hand to build caskets when called upon. It was not unusual for a stranger to ask for his services, and he never charged for the material, use of his shop, nor his work in connection with making a casket. He took pride in his work and a homemade casket was often desired. Elias was also a horse and mule trader and trainer and enjoyed this very much.
Written by Bertie Lee Russell