SAMUEL MATHER RUSSELL, one of the large growers of vegetables for the Boston market was born in Hadley, Massachusetts, December 27, 1866. He is a descendant of the pioneers of the family which in scholarship, attainment and leadership, ranks among the first in the United States. The name ever has been distinguished in Massachusetts, and it occurs frequently in all the New England States.
As early as 1826 forty-seven members of the family had been graduated from the various New England colleges. In England, likewise, the family is numerous and noteworthy. Lord John Russell, third son of the sixth Duke of Bedford, was Prime Minister in 1846-1852 and in 1865-1866. Lord William Russell, the famous martyr, beheaded in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, July 21, 1683, in the reign of Charles II, was a son of the first Duke of Bedford. His younger brother, George Russell, was in Boston in 1679; and was admitted a freeman in 1680, but probably returned to London before the execution of his brother. The Rev. John Russell, of Wethersfield was graduated at Harvard College in 1645 and was installed pastor of the church at Hadley, Massachusetts, in 1659. It was in his house in Hadley that Whalley and Goffe, two of the regicides who sentenced Charles I to death were concealed for a long time and where they were supposed to have died. James Russell of Charlestown, Massachusetts, born in 1640, was a judge and treasurer of Massachusetts. Judge Chambers Russell of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, who was graduated from Harvard in 1731, belongs to this branch of the family. There are many other notable Russells in the early history of the colonies. Almost twenty persons of the name are found among the seventeenth century immigrants to New England.
Elijah Russell, of Wethersfield, Connecticut, thought to be a descendant of the martyr, Lord William Russell was the father of Hezekiah Russell, born in Wethersfield in 1739; died in Northampton Massachusetts, August 2, 1816, aged seventy-seven years. He was an officer in the War of the Revolution. He married January 8, 1767, Abigail Clark, who died December 12, 1819, at seventy-eight. They were the parents of Hezekiah, Jr., and Seth (twins), born October 11, 1767; Ashbel, born in 1769; Seth, born in 1771; Thaddeus, born in 1774; John and Martha (twins) born in 1776; Abigail, born in 1779; Nancy, born in 1782. Hezekiah, Jr., died June 24, 1856. He was married, December 29, 1791, to Eunice Mather. Their children were Samuel M. and John.
Samuel M. Russell, son of Hezekiah, Jr., and Eunice (Mather) Russell, was born in 1793; died November 26, 1870. He was a pump manufacturer in Boston. He came to Hadley and occupied the farm owned by his grandson, Samuel M. Russell Here he made pumps and farmed the land. He married Alice Burt, who died February 25, 1873. Their children were Samuel; and Eunice, who married Henry Lyman. Samuel Russell was born in Hadley in 1822, and died April 7, 1882 He was a farmer, cultivating the farm of his father before him and growing tobacco. He married (first) Jennette Diantha Chapin, who was born in Hartland, Vermont, in 1832, and died on February 12, 1878, daughter of Harvey and Sarah Chapin. He married (second) Aurelia Forsythe. One child of the first marriage died in infancy. of the second: 1. Eunice Maria, married Eli Bryant, and died February 7, 1925. 2. Hattie, since dead, married Justin A. Wright 3. Alice S., married (first) Lewis E. Richardson, since dead; married (second) Fred Oscar Mack. 4. Samuel M., of whom further.
Samuel Mather Russell, the youngest son of Samuel and Aurelia (Forsythe) Russell, was educated in the town schools and Hopkins Academy. He always farmed on the home acres, following his father and grandfather. The original farm contained about seventy-five acres; but land has been added by purchase until it now consists of some hundred and fifty acres. Mr. Russell has specialized in asparagus, of which he has some twenty acres and which he crates and ships to the Boston market by truck.
Mr. Russell married, September 25, 1893, Sarah Etta McQuestion, daughter of John and Rose (McClure) McQuestion. They are the parents of: 1. Ernest Samuel, born September 1, 1894. He was educated in the public schools, Hopkins Academy and the Massachusetts Agricultural College at Amherst. He taught for one year at the Smith Agricultural School, in Northampton; and later became a member of the A. W. Higgins Company of South Deerfield, Massachusetts, dealers in commercial fertilizer. He is treasurer of the company. He was married in June, 1917, to Dorris Manson, of South Hadley, and they are the parents of:
- Jeannette Elizabeth, born December 2, 1919; and Stuart Manson, born July 27, 1924.
- Grace Etta, born January 4, 1898. She married Lawrence Randall, and they are the parents of Winthrop Adams, born September 16, 1920, and Russell Chapin, born June 26, 1923.