Joseph P. Russell, who cultivates his father's old homestead property, which comprises three hundred and twenty acres of good land, and who also owns one hundred and sixty acres of farm land on section 26, Lyman township, is a native son of Ford county, his birth having occurred on the 19th of March, 1865, a son of Patrick and Mary Russell, natives of Ireland. They emigrated to America in 1852, settling first in Chicago, Illinois, where the father worked as porter in a hotel for four years. He then came to Ford county in the spring of 1859, and has since resided within its borders, now making his home with his daughter, Mrs. Patrick Gallahue, his wife having passed away in 1893. Their family numbered seven children, namely: James, deceased; Maggie, who has also passed away; Ella, the wife of Patrick Gallahue; John, a farmer of Lyman township; Joseph P., of this review; and William and Katie, who are deceased.
Joseph Russell was reared under the parental roof and acquired his education in the common schools. He assisted his father in the operation of the home farm until he had attained the age of twenty-four years, when he rented land from his father and started out upon an independent business career. After he had cultivated that land for four years he established a home of his own by his marriage to Miss Nora Riordan. Mrs. Russell was born in Livingston county, Illinois, in 1872, a daughter of Michael and Katherine Riordan, and one of a family of six children. She is a well educated lady, having graduated from State Normal at Bloomington, Illinois, after which she engaged in teaching for two years prior to her marriage. Her mother passed away in 1901 but the father still survives, now making his home in Minnesota, where the other members of the family reside.
Following his marriage, Mr. Russell purchased eighty acres of land in Lyman township, to which he removed. After cultivating this for two years he returned to the old homestead farm of three hundred and twenty acres and has since cultivated this property, in which he is meeting with gratifying success. He also owns one hundred and sixty acres of land situated on section 26, Lyman township, which is a valuable property. In his farm work he follows the most progressive ideas and each year adds to his financial income.
The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Russell has been blessed with nine children, John P., Mary E., Francis M., Katherine M., Joseph W., Lucy N., Ellen L., Richard Leo and Eugene. The latter, however, is deceased. In politics Mr. Russell is a democrat and for the past ten years has served as highway commissioner, while for a similar period he has filled the office of school director. Both he and his wife are communicants of the Catholic church. Having spent his entire life in Ford county, Mr. Russell has a wide and favorable acquaintance. He is energetic and enterprising in his work, and as a result of his labors he has met with a gratifying measure of prosperity, thus being classed with the substantial agriculturists of Ford county.

Extracted 17 Oct 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Ford County, Illinois, From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, author E. A. Gardner, Volume 2, pages 843-844.

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