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 Maria F. <I>Ackley</I> Russell

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Maria F. Ackley Russell

  • Birth 10 Apr 1850 Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Death 12 Mar 1938 Saint Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida, USA
  • Burial Saint Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida, USA
  • Plot
  • Memorial ID 12018813

Maria F. Russell was a director of the Watch Tower Society and served as its secretary and treasurer for some years. She also was a regular contributor to the columns of Zion's Watch Tower and for a time was an associate editor of the journal. Eventually, she sought a stronger voice in what should be published in the Watch Tower. In 1879, Charles Taze Russell married Maria Frances Ackley. They had a good relationship for 13 years. When she realized that nothing that she wrote would be published unless her husband, the editor of the magazine, agreed with its contents (on the basis of its consistency with the Scriptures), she became greatly disturbed. He put forth earnest effort to help her, but in November 1897 she left him. Years later, after court proceedings that had been initiated by her in 1903, she was awarded, in 1908, a judgment, not of absolute divorce, but of divorce from bed and board, with alimony. Maria Russell's own belated acknowledgment came at the time of Charles Russell's funeral at Carnegie Hall in Pittsburgh in 1916. Wearing a veil, she walked down the aisle to the casket and laid there a bunch of lilies of the valley. Attached to them was a ribbon bearing the words, "To My Beloved Husband."

I thought it may be of interest to some to note that Maria Frances Russell's (1850-1938) obituary in the St. Petersburg Times, Tuesday March 15, 1938 states, "MRS. MARIA F. RUSSELL Funeral services for Mrs. Maria F. Russell, well-known religious worker who died Saturday night, will be held this morning at 10:30 o'clock at the John S. Rhodes funeral chapel with the Rev. E.R. Barnard officiating. Burial will be in Royal Palm Cemetery." Upon researching the name "E.R. Barnard" at the St. Petersburg library it was also discovered that he was the Pastor of the "West Central Presb. Church, 2627 1st ave. N. Also discovered was the home in which Maria Russell lived, 516 14th ave. N. She did, in fact, live with her niece Mabel Packard (deceased 1961 or 1962) who kept the same residence till her death and evidently had no children or other relatives known in the area. Also sharing the home residence was Mabel's husband Richard Packard (deceased in 1950's) and Emma Russell (1855 - 1929) who was Maria's fleshly sister and the widow of Joseph L. Russell, C.T. Russells father. The four are buried on a "family" plot at the cemetery mentioned in the obit. The plot was purchased in 1923 by Maria and Emma indicating that they made their way to the St. Peterburg area in, at least, the early 1920's. A May 1888 Watchtower prints a letter from C.T. Russells father Joseph from "Manitee Co., Fla" which is the St. Petersburg area. Emma Russell, J.L. Russell's wife, would then naturally have been familiar with this very beautiful Florida area. The home at 516 14th ave. N. does presently value between 500-600,000 dollars and is less than 2000 sq. feet. It is in a beautifully maintained historic area in St. Pete literally within direct sight from the bay area. I hope this information is helpful.- This research was completed by Christopher Gross, 10/20/2007

The family of Maria F. (Ackley) Russell

Mahlon Foster ACKLEY was born about 1807 in New Jersey. He died on 13 Dec 1873. And was buried on 14 Dec 1873 in Union Dale Cemetery, Plot 3, Allegany, Pennsylvania. Mahlon Foster ACKLEY and Selena Ann HAMMOND were married. Selena Ann HAMMOND was born on 18 Dec 1815 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She died of pneumonia on 3 Oct 1901 in Allegheny, Pennsylvania at the residence of her daughter Mrs. Charles T. Russell, of Allegheny. She was buried on 5 Oct 1901 in Union Dale Cemetery, plot 4, Allegany, Pennsylvania. Mrs. Ackley was born in Philadelphia and spent her childhood in Baltimore, Md. She journeyed by stage and canal with her mother to Johnstown, Pa, where she was married to the late Mahlon F. Ackley of Allegheny, who was employed on the Pennsylvania railroad, which was then in process of construction. Early in the 1840's she came to Allegheny with her husband and had resided there ever since. She saw the city grow from a straggling village to a metropolis. Mrs. Ackley was for many years a member of the North Avenue Methodist Episcopal church, and before the formation of that church was, with her late husband, connected with the Arch Street church of the same denomination. She was the mother of seven children, of whom five are now living - Mrs. Laura J. Raynor, Mrs. Selena A. Barto, Mrs. Maria F. Russell and Mrs. Emma H. Russell of Allegheny and L. M. Ackley of Chicago. Emma H. (Ackley) Russell (1855 - 1929), and Maria F. (Ackley) Russell (1850 - 1938) were laid to rest in the in Royal Palm South Cemetery in Saint Petersburg, Florida.

Family Members

Gravesite Details





  • Maintained by: Sherlock(JW1983)
  • Originally Created by: LMV
  • Added: 15 Oct 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 12018813
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Maria F. Ackley Russell (10 Apr 1850–12 Mar 1938), Find A Grave Memorial no. 12018813, citing Royal Palm South Cemetery, Saint Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida, USA ; Maintained by Sherlock(JW1983) (contributor 47279431) .