GEORGE A. RUSSELL, a native of the Prairie State, was born in Newark, Kendall County, on the 9th of September, 1858. He is now a resident of the city of Bloomington and successfully engaged as a contractor and builder. He is a fine representative of the skillful and industrious citizens who have contributed to the prosperity of Bloomington and assisted her in maintaining her position among the other prominent towns of a wealthy and populous State. The parents of our subject were, Henry E. and Sarah (Niblo) Russell, the father a native of New York, and the mother of Connecticut. They came to Illinois in 1853, and settled in Kendall County, where Henry E. Russell engaged as a contractor and builder until 1872. He then moved to DeKalb County, where he remained three years, and thence to Livingston County in 1875, which is still his home. He served as a soldier in the Union army during the late war and had charge of a commissary department. The parental family included three children: Elizabeth, Mrs. Enoch Davis of Aurora, Minnie E., living in Dwight, and George A, of our sketch.

George A. Russell remained at home with his parents until twenty-one years of age, in the meantime receiving a practical education. When a lad of thirteen years he commenced work with his father and assisted him in his building and business operations for five years, and was then made a partner. He came to Bloomington in 1880, and first engaged with the C. & A. R. R. in the construction of water tanks, and then on passenger coaches. Afterward he worked in a planing-mill for eighteen months, and since that time Mr. Russell has carried on business by himself and gives employment to several men. In 1884 he purchased the lots included in his present homestead and erected a comfortable and tasteful residence, which he has occupied with his wife and their only child—Edith M.

Mr. Russell was married in July, 1879, to Miss May, daughter of Martin and Amarilla (Rockwell) Wilks, natives respectively of New York and Ohio, Martin Wilks was occupied in farming pursuits, and there were only two children in the family—Lucius and the wife of our subject. Mr. and Mrs. Russell are connected with the First Congregational Church of Bloomington, and socially Mr. R. belongs to the Modern Woodmen. He is Republican in politics, a successful business man and in all respects a good citizen. His headquarters are at No. 910 Linden street and he has a pleasant family residence.

Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 460. Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards.


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