Spencer Booth Russell


Spencer Booth Russell

Jerusalem, Yates County, New York, USA
Death 22 Nov 1913 (aged 66)
Mount Clemens, Macomb County, Michigan, USA
Burial Clinton Township, Macomb County, Michigan, USA
Plot middle of section A
Memorial ID 33561672 View Source
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Extract from the 1850 Census:
Name: Spencer S B Russell
Age in 1850: 3
Estimated birth year: 1847
Birthplace: New York
Race: white
Gender: male
Home in 1850: Jerusalem, Yates, New York
Parents: John and Hannah Russell, ages 40 and 40
Father's birthplace: Ireland
Mother's birthplace: Ireland
Father's occupation: farmer
Occupation: none
Siblings living at home: David (age 12), James (10), Mary A (8), George M D (5), and Henry E (2)
Census place: Jerusalem, Yates, New York; Roll M432_618; Page: 57B; Image: 118
Date: 20 Sep 1850

Extract from the 1860 Census:
Name: Spencer Russell
Age in 1860: 13
Estimated birth year: 1847
Birthplace: New York
Race: white
Sex: male
Relation to head-of-house: unknown
Living with: Abbot and Sarah Vanhorn, ages 32 and 28
Home in 1860: Chesterfield, Macomb, Michigan
Post office: New Baltimore
Abbot Vanhorn's occupation: farmer
Occupation: attending school
Siblings living at home: none
Census place: Chesterfield, Macomb, Michigan; Roll M653_553; Page: 492; Image: 66; Family History Library Film: 803553
Date: 14 Jun 1860

Extract from the 1870 Census:
Name: Spencer B Russell
Age in 1870: 23
Estimated birth year: 1847
Birthplace: New York
Race: white
Sex: male
Relation to head-of-house: head
Home in 1870: Fort Scott Ward 2, Bourbon, Kansas
Post office: Fort Scott
Value of personal property: $100
Occupation: lawyer
Census place: Fort Scott Ward 2, Bourbon, Kansas; Roll: M593_429; Page: 442; Image: 146
Date: 10 Jun 1870

Extract from the 1880 Census:
Name: Spencer B Russell
Age: 31
Estimated birth year: 1849
Birthplace: New York
Race: white
Sex: male
Relationship to head-of-household: head
Home in 1880: Mount Clemens, Macomb, Michigan
Address: 410 Shelby Street
Marital status: single
Father's birthplace: Ireland
Mother's birthplace: Ireland
Occupation: painter
Census place: Mount Clemens, Macomb, Michigan; Roll: T9_592; Family History Film: 1254592; Page: 383.2000; Enumeration District: 203; Image: 0771
Date: 8 Jun 1880

Extract from the 1900 Census:
Name: Spencer B Russell
Age at last birthday: 53
Date of birth: Nov 1846
Birthplace: New York
Race: white
Sex: male
Relationship to head-of-house: head
Home in 1900: Mount Clemens Ward 2, Macomb, Michigan
Address: 174 Case
Marital status: married
Number of years of marriage: 17
Able to read, write and speak English: yes
Father's birthplace: Ireland
Mother's birthplace: Rhode Island
Farm or home: home
Home owned or rented: owned
Mortgage: no
Occupation: none
Census place: Mount Clemens Ward 2, Macomb, Michigan; Roll: T623 727; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 61
Date: 8 Jun 1900

Extract from the 1910 Census:
Name: Spencer B Russell
Age in 1910: 63
Estimated birth year: 1847
Birthplace: New York
Race: white
Sex: male
Relationship to head of family: head
Home in 1910: Mount Clemens Ward 2, Macomb, Michigan
Address: 174 Cass Avenue
Marital status: married
Number of years of present marriage: 27
Able to speak English: yes
Able to read and write: yes
Father's birthplace: Ireland
Mother's birthplace: Rhode Island
Farm or house: house
Home owned or rented: owned
Occupation: own income
Census place: Mount Clemens Ward 2, Macomb, Michigan; Roll: T624_659; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 72; Image: 224
Date: 16 Apr 1910

Extract from "Past and Present of Macomb County, Michigan" by Robert F Eldredge, 1905:
Spencer B. Russell was born in Jerusalem, Yates county, New York, on the 24th of November, 1846. His father, John Russell, was a native of Ireland and was about eighteen years of age when he came to America, settling in New York state, where he died in 1851. He married Mrs. Ruth Ann (Andrus) Burton, her ancestors being among the Puritans that came to America on the Mayflower. After his marriage John Russell made his home in Jerusalem, New York, for some years, but when our subject was quite small he took his family to Ontario county, that state, where he soon afterward died, leaving his widow with six children to support. In the fall of 1853 she decided to come to the west and took up her abode in New Baltimore, Macomb county, Michigan, but she passed away in the spring of 1855.
Spencer B. Russell was only eight years of age at the time of his mother's death. However, he soon found a good home with Abbott Van Horn, who had recently settled in the woods in the northeastern part of Chesterfield township and who agreed to give Mr. Russell a home and what advantages the district school afforded until he was eighteen years of age. In return for this our subject promised to stay the required term of years and to assist in the labors of the farm during the summer and out of school hours during the remainder of the year. There was no contract signed, but their agreement was never violated on either side.
For a few years after leaving Mr. Van Horn Mr. Russell devoted his time principally to acquiring a better education, receiving private instructions at Mount Clemens. In the spring of 1866 he began the study of law under the direction of Hubbard & Crocker and remained with that firm until his admission to the bar of Macomb county in August, 1868, although in the meantime he had taught in the district schools during the winter months in order to earn the money to defray his expenses. His examination for the bar was pronounced to be one of the best in the history of the circuit.
Like so many others, Mr. Russell became imbued with the desire to go west and accordingly, on the 9th of May, 1869, took up his abode in Omaha, Nebraska, but he did not remain long in that city, however, and the following January began the practice of law at Fort Scott, Kansas. In the fall of 1870 he came to western Michigan. Two years later he returned to Mount Clemens, where he has since made his home.
In the spring of 1873 he was elected county superintendent of schools and entered upon the duties of that position on the 1st of May, also assuming the editorial management of The Press. After two years of this dual occupation the superintendency law was repealed and he then devoted his entire attention to newspaper work, his brother becoming associated with him in the business in 1878. The Mount Clemens Press was established under the name of the Macomb Conservative Press in 1864 by William Longstaff and James B. Eldredge, who continued its publication until 1868, when they were succeeded by John Trevidick. He conducted the paper until 1872, when it was temporarily suspended, the office being closed from December, 1872, until May 1, 1873, at which time Mr. Russell resumed its publication under its present title, which was adopted by his predecessor. He sold out in 1890 to J. A. Keith. He has been interested in a number of business enterprises which have proved of great benefit to the city; was secretary of the Mount Clemens Bath Company, and one of the originators of the Medea Hotel and Bath House, the former being publicly opened by him June 6, 1904.
Mr. Russell has always taken an active and prominent part in local politics and besides holding several minor offices in the village and city was elected mayor of the city in the spring of 1881 over a formidable opponent. The story of his subsequent removal by the governor on purely technical grounds, his renomination and re-election as given elsewhere in this volume, is a fair and impartial recital of the facts. The legal technicality upon which the governor based the removal was the alleged interest of Mayor Russell in a contract for printing between the city and the firm of S. B. & H. E. Russell, which, as shown in the testimony, amounted to less than forty-five dollars per year, and was entered into for the sole benefit of H. E. Russell. The case attracted the attention of the press throughout the state and never was the official act of any executive more severely criticised and impartially condemned. Public sympathy was all in favor of Mr. Russell and his re-accession to the mayoralty was a subject of congratulation for months afterward. Instead of the stain which a few political enemies had confidently hoped to bring upon his public record, it proved one of the happiest triumphs of his whole life. Among the many handsome tributes paid to Mr. Russell by the press at this time we quote the following written by George F. Lewis, then managing editor of the Bay City Morning Call: “Mr. Russell is a man of no small individuality, a clever man of some means, decidedly good financial ability, undemonstrative even to reticence, but square and conscientious, if we know what is what in this direction. He is far from that morbid sensibility which magnifies every trifling trouble into a threatened disaster, and satisfied in his conscience that he meant to be fair and honorable, he paid very little attention to the proceedings which were taken for his removal.'”
For several years Mr. Russell has served as director of the Mount Clemens school board, which position he still holds. But the part which he has taken in the development of educational interests is specially noteworthy in his long and faithful service as commissioner of schools for Macomb county, and which has impressed his name indelibly upon its records. His genial, pleasant manner has made him quite popular in both business and social circles, and as a public-spirited, enterprising man he ever stands ready to discharge any duty devolving upon him.
Mr. Russell was married January 23, 1883, to Miss Marie H. Van Eps, a daughter of George B. and Matilda (Fitch) Van Eps, of Mount Clemens.

Obituary from the "Free Press" of Detroit, Michigan dated 23 Nov 1913:
Grief Kills Aged
Mt. Clemens Man
- - - - - -
Spencer B. Russell, Former
Mayor, Mourns Self Into Grave
After Wife's Death
Mt. Clemens, Mich., November 22. - Spencer B. Russell, 68 years old, died at his home on Cass avenue tonight after short illness.
He was born in Jerusalem, N.Y., in 1845 [sic] and came to this city with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Russell. In 1873 he was appointed county school commissioner. In the same year he purchased the Mt. Clemens Press and in 1881 he was elected mayor of Mt. Clemens, which office he held two terms. At the time of his death he was secretary of the Mt. Clemens board of education.
His health is said to have been impaired by grief over the death of his wife a year ago.

Obituary from the "Democrat and Chronicle" dated 27 Nov 1913:
Spencer Booth Russell.
Penn Yan. Nov. 26. - Spencer Booth Russell who was born In Branchport, Yates county, died in Mount Clemens, Mich., on Monday evening. He was about 73 years old. He had many relatives in Yates county with some of whom he kept up a correspondence. He was a newspaper man for many years and held several political positions in Michigan. Mrs. H. H. Hardman, of Jerusalem, is a cousin.

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Spencer B.
1846 - 1913

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  • Created by: Richard Rhode
  • Added: 5 Feb 2009
  • Find a Grave Memorial 33561672
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Spencer Booth Russell (24 Nov 1846–22 Nov 1913), Find a Grave Memorial ID 33561672, citing Clinton Grove Cemetery, Clinton Township, Macomb County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by Richard Rhode (contributor 46552979) .