Monday, December 27, 2010

Beautiful Morning In Russell, Iowa

Woke up this morning to this beautiful sight outside my front door.  Didn't last very long so thought I better get a picture while I could.  I know most of you don't miss the winters in Southern Iowa, but maybe you can enjoy this picture.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Outside Christmas Decoration Awards

There weren't as many decorated homes in Russell this year or not everyone had their lights turned on when I was out doing the judging.  The ones I did see were very pretty and that made it hard to decide on a winner.  Blue lights and white lights seemed to be the most popular; although many used the old traditional multicolored lights.  

Congratulations, Duane and Cindy Bedford, you are the 2010 Russell Wayside Garden Club winners of the Best Outside Christmas Decorations.  Their home sits back off the main streets in Russell, but it is worth finding.  It is a block south of the Russell School building.

Be sure to drive through town and enjoy all the pretty decorations.  Marilyn and Butch Evans have a beautiful display all in blue lights.  Also take a look at the home at 515 W. Stanton; very pretty with all white lights.  And of course Ron Hoover's home on W. Ames St. is beautiful, as it always is every year. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

The History Book

We had hoped to have the Russell History Book ready for publication and sale in time for Christmas gifts.  Ever hear the phrase "bit off more than we could chew?"  That's not exactly the whole story but it is part of it. 
First, one of our volunteers has had to drop out due to family health issues.
Second, one of our contributors has also offered to contact a publisher and determine if the book could be published in hardback form and at what cost if possible.  He hasn't gotten back to us on that as yet. We'd really, really like to be able to offer it to you in hardback if we can do so at a reasonable price.  Copies of the book will also be sent to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah; to the Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne, Indiana; and to the Mid-Continent Public Library in Independence, Missouri, for inclusion in their genealogy collections. 
So, you have more time to get a story or stories in to us to include in the book.  Our new goal for publication and sale is going to be May 1, 2011.
Snail mail any stories and/or pictures to Russell Historical Society, P.O. Box 412, Russell, Iowa, 50238.  Or e-mail them to us at

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Lucas County Businesses Donate Toward Building Expansion

Wanda Liddell and Larry Davis
These pictures and the articles (by Bill Howes) appeared in the Chariton Leader on December 14, 2010

$1,000 check donation to the Russell Historical Society
Earlier this fall, the Chariton Arts and Recreation Board, which is the board for the Vision II Theater, made a $1,000 donation to the Russell Historical Society to go towards the building expansion of the Russell Historical Society Museum.  Presenting the check on the right is Chariton Arts and Recreation Board member, Larry Davis, and accepting on the left is Wanda Liddell, the president of the Russell Historical Society Board of Directors.
Bancorp Foundation Makes Donation 
to the Russell Historical Society 
The U.S. Bancorp Foundation made a $500 donation to the Russell Historical Society on December 10.  The money donated will be used towards the Russell Historical Society Museum's building expansion.
Wanda Liddell and Bob Stump

Chariton US Bank Branch Manager, Bob Stump, presented the check on behalf of U.S. Bancorp Foundation to Wanda Liddell, the President of the Russell Historical Society Board of Directors.

For the expansion, a new 30 ft. x 70 ft. building has been built, which will be the Russell Historical Museum.  The new building is attached to the existing building, which will house the Russell Library.  The existing building is 30 ft. x 50 ft.

Liddell said that so far $5,000 has been raised for the new museum building from fundraisers and grants.  The Russell Historical Society has held a lot of fundraisers to raise the money they have so far.  "We'll probably have a lot more fundraisers over the next year.  We'll also try to have a new membership drive," Liddell said. 

The outside portion of the new building is done.  The inside walls and ceiling still need to be sprayed and painted and Liddell said that they have close to 3,000 items that need to be displayed.  "We have a lot of display items, but we need mounts and cases to display them on and in," she said.

The new museum will house different sections including a school section, music section, and military section.  There will also be a quilting frame set up for a quilting display.

One item that will be displayed is a full-sized 1936 tractor.  Another item is the Russell Oil original horse drawn tank wagon.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Come and Dine - Spaghetti Supper December 9

 We're going to have a free-will offering spaghetti supper Thursday evening, December 9, 2010. It will be held at the Russell Community Center from 5:30-7:30 PM. The menu is spaghetti, relish plates (on the tables), garlic bread, ice tea, coffee, and desserts. Don't cook for yourselves that night-let us do it for you!

 Well, the spaghetti dinner was a big hit.  People came and went all evening.  Some stayed longer than others because they were enjoying visiting with their neighbors.  The food was delicious and I saw lots of people going back for seconds.  Good job, RIHS volunteers!!  This is a great way to raise money to help pay off the mortgage on the new addition.

Russell Seniors Holiday Dinner

The Russell Community Club outdid themselves for another year here in Russell.  A wonderful Holiday meal was once again served to about 60 seniors of this community.

It was a very chilly evening, but nothing like last year.  There was no snow and ice on the ground this year.  We were all thankful for that.  As we entered the Community Center, the warmth from inside was very welcome.  

We gathered around beautifully decorated tables decorated for the Christmas Season.  Friends began seeing friends and enjoyed visiting and getting into the Holiday spirit.  The hum in the room began to get louder as more and more people arrived for this once a year gathering, which has been going on for many, many years.  Some of these friends have not seen each other since last year's dinner.  Once you have attended one of these dinners, you make sure never to miss another one.  

The food was absolutely delicious and there was plenty to go around and even enough for those who wanted seconds.  The cooks have to be complimented on their wonderful cooking.  Juicy turkey, green beans, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, very unique dressing, a delicious gravy, rolls and a strawberry gelatin salad.  For dessert they served us a huge piece of pumpkin pie.  There went the diets.

Tony Irving sang some very original Christmas songs and asked all of us to join in.  At times, while singing, the voices were louder as we remembered the words.  The Night Before Christmas words were very different, but very true.  In the song, he even had a visit from Santa as he was sliding down off his roof while putting up the Christmas lights.

After the singing was over a very special visit from Santa Claus was enjoyed by all.  Santa stopped to visit with each and everyone of us and gave us our Christmas gift.  This part of the evening was really lots of fun as Santa joked and kidded with us as he/she traveled through the room.

Many thanks to our wonderful Russell Community Club who make Russell such a great place to live.

Russell History Book

    A Russell History Book is in the making.  Volunteers have been working very hard to put this book into publication.

    Requests have been made to you for memories and stories about family, businesses, school memories in and surrounding Russell, including all of Washington Township.  Many pages have been put together already and the book is gradually beginning to come together.   These requests have appeared in newspapers, in the Copy Plus flyer and anywhere else we have been able to think of.  We are hoping this Blog will help reach out to residents that have left the Russell area.  If you have any other ideas where we can reach out to, please let us know.

    Our goal is to have the book ready by Christmas.  A few questions need to be answered by you, the ones who will read and cherish these memories.

1.    Would you like it to be a comb-bound book (which we can do right here in our building)?  This would be the least expensive way to go.

2.    Would you be willing to pay $25 more for a hard-bound book that we can do locally?

3.    A professionally printed book that would come with a pre-publication price that would be paid up front, is another suggestion.  Does this sound like what you would want?  With this kind of publication, the price would be higher if the book is purchased after publication.  A publisher has not been contacted yet, so a price is unknown, but it will be much higher than the other two suggestions.

    The submissions need not be confined to Russell - remember the working title includes "Our Neighbors."  That includes Washington Township and the country schools that ended up in the Russell School District. 

      How many pages should there be in the book?  Well, in order to let everyone that is interested be able to submit there story, we would appreciate it if you could limit it to one and a half pages, single-spaced typing.  We realize some stories can not be told in one and a half pages, so don't worry if yours runs a little longer.  An entire family history, of many pages, would not be feasible.  Summarize the all-the-way-back stuff or split it into separate stories about different ancestors.  Pictures with your stories are welcome.  It will make the book more personal for you and for the others who will be reading it.  3 pictures would be a suggested amount.  The story we're doing about the Russell School already has more than 3 in it and we can't insist you limit the number if we are not doing the same. 

      You can send your articles by regular mail or by e-mail.  Whichever is easiest for  you.  Our e-mail address is  (  The post office address is  P O Box 414  Russell, IA  50238.  E-mail helps prevent errors because the material is transferred to the book page with fewer errors.

      Deadline?  It appears the word is just starting to get around and we want to give it plenty of time.  The original deadline of November 1, 2010 has passed, but you can contact us through the addresses listed at the bottom of this page to see if a late entry would be accepted.

      Let us know what questions or concerns you have.  Please!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Update on Craft Show

Because we are still working on finishing the interior of the new wing, the craft show has been moved to the Community Center. The hours are still 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Just Notes

Progress is being made on the new wing. Heaters are in, dry wall is going up, insulation will soon be in. There is light at the end of the tunnel!!

Membership letters will be coming out this month--probably around the end of the month. Your dues make it possible for us to keep the building open, keep the library and museum current, and allow us to serve you. In case we don't say it often enough: YOU ALL ARE THE GREATEST ! ! !

We received our renewal notice from our web-host and have cancelled their service as of December 4, 2010. Go Daddy has been a good host and we have no complaints about the service they have provided. We just made the decision that using a blog would save us money we need elsewhere.

Our first-ever craft show will be held on Saturday, November 13 from 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM. at the museum. We actually still have space at this point for additional crafters or vendors. If you are interested in selling your crafts, Tupperware, Avon, Watkins, Mia Bella, etc., call Mary at 641-535-4253 or 641-203-4079 to reserve your space. A 12x12' space is being rented for $20 ($25 if you want electricity). We have scrapbookers, jewelry, crafts, art by Meg Prange, chocolates, and cookies, cookies, and more cookies available. Hope to see you here.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Dance, Dance, Dance

There is still time for you to join the dance lessons Ed Sellers and Mary Ann Wells are teaching. Their first class was last Sunday, the 24th. There are seven more classes. They will be reviewing last Sundays two-step class this coming Sunday and then will finish out the classes with swing, waltz, and polka lessons. Classes are held on Sunday evenings at the Russell Community Center from 7:00-9:00 p.m. The cost is $50.00 per couple and you need to bring your own partner. Call Ed Sellers at 641-535-4013 if you would like to take the classes.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

SHARE sign-up's November 2 and November 30

Bring home a SHARE package for a complete holiday meal.
Sign up on November 2 (which also happens to be Election Day) for the Thanksgiving Dinner package: 10-12 lb. turkey; potatoes and gravy; brown & serve rolls; sweet potatoes; cherry gelatin; stuffing; green beans; home made style egg noodles and pumpkin pie.
Sign up on November 30 for Christmas Dinner: a 6-lb. boneless, honey ham; potatoes; green beans; brown and serve rolls; crisp apples; pears; oranges; celery; carrots and a dessert not yet determined. The produce selection may vary.
Both Dinner packages come with all the fixings to cook a meal for six. These two Holiday Dinner packages are $25.00 each.
Regular SHARE packages will also be available on the sign-up days.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Just Notes

We're still learning how to set up this blog. It is, quite obviously, a work in progress. We have added the calendar on the left which is supposed to automatically update as the months change. Size of the calendar is limited by the blog program. It obviously doesn't have room for what's going on to be put on the actual calendar. We've always posted the events below the calendar and are continuing to do so.
As you can see from the events, the museum board did decide to hold another dance. It will be on Monday night, October 18, from 7:00-10:00 again and will feature Pat Meade and the Cowboy Country Band. There is a $10.00 per couple cover charge for the dance. Food concessions will be available beginning at 6:00 P.M.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Just Notes

We'd like to thank everyone who came out Friday night (the 17th) for the dance and concessions.  And we'd especially like to thank Pat Meade and the Cowboy Country Band for the music.  We think we can safely say a good time was had by all.

The museum addition is up.  At the moment we're waiting on heat and air installation.  Although we were under the impression that our existing heating/air conditioning system was enough to handle the new additon, we have been informed that impression was wrong!  So we are currently using the unfinished area for fund-raising.  We had the dance last Friday and are talking about having another one, perhaps in October?  No decisions on that yet.  We are inviting crafters and vendors to set up a Christmas Bazaar on Saturday, November 13th and hope you will consider coming to sell your items.  And we definitely want you to come to the Bazaar to browse and to buy!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Just Notes

We're switching from the old web site to this new blogspot this month.  We'll leave the old site up until the first of the year with a link to get from it to here.  We think this will allow us to update more often and keep the site current and fresh.  It's new to all of us so wish us luck.