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Below is a family biography included in The History of Dade County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Cyrenus Z. Russell, county clerk of Dade County, Mo., was born in Peoria County, Ill., in 1840, and is the son of Abner and Samantha (Seward) Russell, and grandson of Abner Russell, who was a native of Massachusetts. Abner Russell, Sr., moved to Peoria, Ill., in 1836, and there died in 1857. Abner Russell, Jr., was a native of Erie County, N. Y., born in 1815, and was a minister in the Christian Church. He was engaged in his ministerial duties for many years. He moved with his parents to Peoria, Ill., in 1836, and was married in that State to Miss Seward. He is yet living, and resides in Kirksville, where he has resided since 1875. His wife was born in Broome County, N. Y., in 1820, and she too is living. The family consisted of nine children, five of whom are living. Of these children, Cyrenus Z. Russell was the eldest. He received a liberal education in the district schools of Illinois and Missouri, and was reared on a farm. During the late war he was a strong Union man, and, June 18, 1861, he enlisted in Company I, Twenty-first Regiment Missouri Infantry; fought at Athens, Shiloh, siege of Corinth, Battle of Corinth, Tupelo, and was in many skirmishes. He entered as a private, and was promoted to the rank of second lieutenant. After being commissioned he was on staff duty, and was mustered out and discharged at St. Louis in February, 1865. After the war, or in 1866, he located in Marshall County, Ill., at Henry, and began a hardware and implement business, which he continued for some time. Previous to this, in 1865, he attended commercial college (Bryant and Stratton’s) in St. Louis, and, in January, 1870, he went to Fort Scott, Kan., where he resumed the same line of business commenced in 1866. The firm of which he was a member was J. Russell & Co., J. Russell being our subject’s uncle. He was first a clerk for his uncle, and afterward became partner. He remained at Fort Scott until January, 1874, when he became a citizen of Dade County, Mo., locating on a farm in Grant Township. In the fall of 1886 he was elected clerk of the county court of Dade County, by a good majority, and held this position for a period of four years. In December, 1886, he removed to Greenfield, where he has since resided. In 1867 he married Miss Ala Ann Teagarden, who was born in Kentucky, and who bore him five children: Charles E., who was named after Col. Ellsworth, of Chicago, Ill.; John A., William O., and Leulah and Beulah, twins. In politics Mr. Russell is a Republican, casting his first presidential vote for Lincoln in 1864. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., Lockwood Lodge, and is also a member of Post No. 75, G. A. R., at Greenfield. He and wife are members of the Christian Church.

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This family biography is one of 68 biographies included in The History of Dade County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Dade County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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