Biographical and Historical
Memoirs of Western Arkansas
Goodspeed Publishers, 1891

page 100
John M. Russell, who is well known as one of the leading farmers of Union Township, owes his nativity to Greene County, East Tennessee, where he was born in 1844. His parents, John and Elizabeth (Howell) Russell, were natives of Tennessee. Mr. Russell was born in 1814, and his wife twelve or thirteen years later. They removed to Conway County in 1857, spending the first year at what is known as Mallett Town, and from 1858 to 1865 near Greenbrier in Faulkner County. They then lived near Lewisburg till 1872, when they removed to Caney Creek, and in 1882 to Cedar Creek, where Mr. Russell died in November of 1884; Mrs. Russell died in 1867; both were members of the M. E. Church, South, many years. The grandfather, Robert Russell, was probably a native of Scotland, but was a very early settler in East Tennessee, dying in Greene County of that State. He was a soldier with Gen. Jackson in one of the early wars. Grandfather John Howell was probably born in North Carolina, but died in Greene County, Tennessee, in an early day. John M. Russell is the fourth of six sons and six daughters-seven living: John M., Thomas, of Van Buren County; Sallie, widow of Robert Wood (deceased); Mary, wife of Cyrus McCullough; Margaret; Merilla, wife of P. J. Stacks; Melissa, now Mrs. James Payne. The three eldest sons, Robert, Lafayette and William (all deceased) participated in the Southern army. John M. served about ten months in Company I, of Col. Glenn's Regiment, but after the evacuation of Little Rock he left that army, and in 1863 enlisted in the Federal army in Company G, Third Arkansas Cavalry, and was captured at Arkadelphia in the spring of 1864, but was paroled after two weeks' imprisonment at Camden, and rejoined his command. In 1869 he married Nancy E., a daughter of Dennie and Sarah Stell, who were natives of Georgia, but very early settlers of this county, where Mrs. Stell died in 1874. Mr. Stell's body was found in the cypress during the war. It is supposed he was murdered. Mrs. Russell was born in Conway County, and is the mother of eight children, three living. Mr. Russell is the owner of a farm of 160 acres, with about 65 acres cleared. He and wife are Methodists.