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  • Writer's pictureLawrence Lore

Russellville Before 1875

The town of Russellville was named in honor of August, Andrew and Clement Russell, three brothers, from Kentucky who in 1835 built a saw-mill and manufactured the lumber for the first buildings in the town. Between those early beginnings, and 1883, the town had eight saw and grist-mills. A frame two-story flouring mill, erected by George W. Toreman in 1881, was rebuilt from the one originally built by T.J. Kyle in 1855 but burned in 1880. Ferdinand Vandeburg sold the first drygoods in a small frame storehouse built in 1834 or 1835. A.R. Slosson built the first blacksmith shop in 1837. About this time David Price established a ferry and built a boat sufficient to carry a team across the Wabash River. The first frame schoolhouse was built soon after the town was laid out and served its purpose until a two- room school house was built at a cost of about $1600 in the fall of 1861. The post office was established in 1835. A frame church was built by the Christian denomination about 1845. In 1873, it was rebuilt at a cost of $500. The town was incorporated in 1872.

Businesses in 1873:

• Physicians --T.J. Ford, J.J. McKibbon

• Druggists-- Anderson Brothers

• General stores --W.E. Fitch, J. Leonard & Co

• Grocer-- W.H. Thomas

• Blacksmith and Cabinet Maker-- W. A. Boring

• Carpenter and Wagon Maker-- Henry Dugan

• Shoemaker--T.A. Hall

• Postmaster-- J.B. Regan

• Hotel –Mrs. Diana Falls.


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