Friday, November 30, 2012

Special Election in Russell December 4th

On Tuesday December 4, a special election for the residents of Lucas County will be held throughout the County. 
The issue is as follows:
"Shall the Indian Hills Community College (Merged Area XV) Board of Trustees be authorized to certify, as per Iowa Code Section 260C.28 (2), for the tax year beginning July 1, 2013, continuation of a tax not exceeding six (6) cents per thousand dollars of assessed value in any one year and for a period not to exceed ten (10) years, for the purposes of program sharing between community colleges or for the purchase of instructional equipment?"  Just a YES or NO vote will be taken.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

History of the Curious Goods Building

The historical information in the following article appeared in the Chariton Leader on October 23, 2012 in the Russell News Section.

On September 25, 2012, residents watched as a large wrecking machine with its gigantic scoop pulled up to the old white building at the corner of Prairie and Shaw Streets (across from the Russell Museum and Library) and began knocking it down.  In less than an hour a pile of old lumber was all that remained of this old historical building in Russell.

In order for a town to grow and improve its appearance, this sort of thing must happen, but in Russell it happened twice in less than a month.  On October 15, 2012, residents waited with awe as another wrecking machine approached on the west side of the same block (east of the bank and the postoffice).  Spectators watched as the large machine touched the southwest corner of the building and it came down with a loud boom.  The entire building crumbled to the ground in a cloud of dust, throwing bricks in all directions almost hitting the by-standers and their vehicles.  (See the photos below).

The first building to fall was the old Chester Feed and Produce Store (owned and operated by Merle and Oneita for more than 30 years).  It was originally the two story Hasselquist Building which partially burned during the 1929 fire that wiped out most of the buildings on the south side of Shaw Street.  The building was rebuilt (without the second floor) and later was owned by the Hiles and the Behnkes, Sonnie's Beauty Shop and then by Hundley's Tire Shop.

H.W. Elliott originally built the building in 1875.  One well known owner was E. Dewey Hess where he had a soda fountain and a drug store from 1940 - 1961.   He purchased the store from A. J. Mettlin who had been at this location from 1901.  In 1962 Bob Long (Long's Sundries) purchased it.  In between these years, Bob and Vera Edwards (Bob and Vera's Varieties) operated their store for 13 years.  Then Bev and Jim Werts purchased it and opened an antique store, but kept the soda fountain (Bev's Corner Store).  They operated it from 1981 - 1994.  A toy train shop and the telephone office were once located on the second floor.  In October of 1998, Julie and Carl Moore owned and operated an art/craft store, but stopped using the store a few years ago.  As the bricks began bulging out and slowly falling to the ground, Carl tried patching the walls to no avail.  He then began knocking bricks out to remove the second floor.  This proved to be an immense and dangerous project, so the work stopped.  It was interesting to see the remains of an elevator at the rear of the building, which many people had forgotten was there.  No plans have been mentioned for this location.

The sadness at seeing these buildings disappear will dim as time goes by and we look forward to whatever the future might bring to the town of Russell.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Another Historical Building Comes Down in Russell

Residents watched as the Curious Goods Building in Russell came down with very little effort.  One push on the corner of the building and it completely fell to the ground in a cloud of red dust.  This building has slowly been falling during the past year and now it is completely down.  The pictures can't describe the feeling everyone was experiencing.  There were lots of memories associated with this building through the years.  At one time the telephone office in town was located on the second floor.  A pharmacy was located here over a hundred years ago, Bev and Jim Werts had a store here and most recently, Curious Goods displayed and sold there interesting wares.  There was even an elevator at the back of the store.  

Check out this site for more: 
(you'll need to have a login name and password to get on Facebook)
Pictures on Facebook by Carol Swigart
Comments by Charles Wright and Wanda Horn are very interesting and informative

Thursday, September 27, 2012

1962 Alumni Class

The 1962 Russell Alumni Class enjoyed their reunion at the Russell Fall Festival, Saturday, September 15.  The class of 16 enjoyed riding on Mike Beaty's horsedrawn wagon at the parade.  They also enjoyed touring the Russell Museum.
Saturday evening they met for dinner and a program at Carpenter's Hall in Chariton. 
Sunday morning, six of the class and their spouses met for breakfast at the Millerton Cafe in Millerton.

Those pictured are:
Front row - Virginia (Egbert) Spillman, Donna (Collins) Byers, Helen (Dolinsek) Thompson, Mary (Osenbaugh) Parks, Marilyn (McKay) Trenary, Delores (Wright) Bufford.
Back row - Melvin Egbert, Ed Sellers, Dennis Boldt, Leo Orwig, James Noble, Jerry Jeffries, Douglas Prather.
Not pictured - Shirley (Powers) Morr, Jack Christensen, Mike Miller.
Five of the class of 32 are deceased - Tony Sweeden, Bernard Thomas, Roger Hawkins, John VerSteeg and Harley Jones.

Fall Festival Entertainment

Al Butler and his sister Cindy provided entertainment at the Russell Fall Festival.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Piece of Russell History Taken Down


     The photograph above, shows the Hasselquist building (the building later occupied by Merle Chester, Chester's Grocery). This building suffered damage but was saved from destruction when the Chariton Company arrived and a hose was finally coupled on and the blaze was soon extinguished on that building, but not until the whole west side had been practically burned out. If you compare this picture to the one where Sonnie's Beauty Shop was, you will see that at one time the building was a two-story building. Because of a shortage of hose it was some time before the firemen could reach the building.
     At one time Lloyd LaFavre had his grocery store on the SW corner of the intersection of Prairie and Shaw, in the old Hasselquist building.

     Merle and Oneita operated the Chester Feed and Produce of Russell for approximately 30 years. Before Merle had the store, the Hiles and the Behnkes owned it. Merle bought the store from the Behnkes. Oneita said they were at someone’s funeral when the south side of Shaw Street burned back in 1929. The building where they later had their store lost the whole top floor to the fire, but the building was saved and repaired.
Today, September 25, 2012, around 5:00p.m. a large truck pulled up in front of the building and unloaded the heavy duty piece of equipment shown in the color picture above. In less than two hours the building was torn down in order to construct a new modern building. Many people drove up and down Prairie Street to see a piece of Russell History disappear.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fall Festival 2012

These pictures are from Carol Swigart

Parade prizes:
First Place - Lowell Sims and Bob Hensley for their float "Businesses, Past and Present"
Second Place - Southside Tavern for a congregation of hats "Hats Off to Russell"
Third Place - Whiskey Dick's for the giveaway ride

Thanks to the Last Chance for providing a wonderful display of food for the noon meal.  Al Butler and his sister Cindy for providing entertainment, the Chariton Middle School Band giving the parade a real touch of parade music and the community of Russell for making a success of the day.  It was great to see the 1962 and 1967 class members here to participate in their school reunions.

Activity at the Firemen's 2012 BBQ Contest in Russell

Russell BBQ Results


1st - Warren Co. Smokers (Bryce and Tim Mitchell - Lacona), 2nd - Wide Open BBQ, Ryan Atwell and Cory Swigart - Russell), 3rd - Outhouse Smokers (Alex, Kellie Drake & Jeff Swanson - Chariton).


1st - Poling Smokehouse (Steve Poling - Chariton), 2nd - Wide Open BBQ (Ryan Atwell and Cory Swigart - Russell), 3rd - Smoke Aholics (Rich Watson and Cecil Pruiett - Chariton)

Pork Butt

1st - Sadies BBQ (Mitch Philips - Milo), 2nd - Outhouse Smokers (Alex, Kellie Drake and Jeff Swanson - Chariton), 3rd - Poling Smokehouse (Steve Poling - Chariton).


1st - Warren Co. Smokers (Bryce and Tim Mitchell - Lacona), 2nd - Wide Open BBQ (Ryan Atwell and Cory Swigart - Russell), 3rd - Outhouse Smokers (Alex, Kellie Drake and Jeff Swanson - Chariton).


1st - Poling Smokehouse (Steve Poling - Chariton), 2nd - Wide Open BBQ (Ryan Atwell and Cory Swigart - Chariton), 3rd - Outhouse Smokers (Alex, Kellie Drake and Jeff Swanson - Chariton).

Dutch Oven Dessert

1st - D.O. Liars (Kinser Werts - Russell and Karen Jones - Corydon), 2nd - Smoke Aholics (Rich Watson and Cecil Pruiett - Chariton), 3rd - Outhouse Smokers (Alex, Kellie Drake and Jeff Swanson - Chariton).



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Russell Class of 1967 Reunion

Russell Community High School Class of 1967 - 45th Anniversary Reunion

MEET & GREET - Friday, September 14 @ 6p.m. - BYOB - appetizers, mixers, ice provided


CLASS DINNER - Saturday, September 15 @ 5 p.m. - BYOB - BBQ, mixers, ice provided

Both events held at the Russell Community Center

Chariton After Prom Committee host trap shoot

The Chariton After Prom Committee will host a benefit trap shoot on Sunday, September 16 at 6:00 p.m. at the Russell Sportsmen's Club range to raise funds for the After Prom Party.  No experience is required and everything needed will be supplied, including certified instructors and mentors.  To pre-register, call or text Dan at 641-203-5296.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Fall Festival Events

Saturday, September 15, parade 4 p.m. (no themes selected), prizes to be provided by the Community Club.  For parade registration contact Chris Feehan at 641-203-0851, garden tractor pull 6 p.m. on Shaw Street in front of the bandstand.  Volunteer Fire Department Best in Smoke BBQ Competition, also includes a dutch oven dessert competition.  Call Shawn 641-203-3164 for further information.  Judging for the Fire Department contests is at 3 p.m.  Cookout will be in the bandstand area, dinner at 5 p.m. at the fire station with a free-will offering.
Arrangements for a street dance to follow that evening are being made at the Southside Tavern.

Competition for the State Volunteer Fire Departments

In addition to preparing for the Fall Festival, Russell's dedicated firemen are preparing for the State Competition at Manchester the weekend following Labor Day.  We wish them good-luck.  Also a special thank you to all of our volunteers for helping our residents (and others as needed) who have an emergency.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Free Youth Trap Shoot

Sunday, September 2, at 2:00p.m., the Russell Sportsmen's Club will have a free youth trap shoot for middle school and high school students.  No experience is necessary.   Certified instructors will be on site for safety instruction and shooting fundamentals.  Firearms will be available for use.  For more information, call Dan at 641-203-5296.

Best in Smoke BBQ Competition

The Russell Volunteer Fire Department "Best in Smoke" BBQ competition will be held on September 15.  Call Shawn 641-203-3164 for further information.  More information will be available after their Monday, August 27 meeting.

Russell Museum/Library Fundraiser

Saturday, September 22, 7-10 a.m., The Russell Museum/Library is having a fundraiser at the Museum, providing a sausage gravy and biscuits breakfast with beverages.  Free-will offering.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Yard of the Month for August 2012

This charming home belonging to Peggy Morgan Fulks, with its well manicured yard, is the winner of the Russell Wayside Garden Club's August 2012 Yard of the Month.  The home is situated facing Shaw St. near the corner of Highland St. in Russell.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Story Time at the Museum/Library

The Museum/Library's Story Time for young children, continues on Tuesday and Friday until school starts.  The last day is Friday, August 17.  Thank you to Craig and Joan Gooder for bringing this delightful event to the children.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Local Option Sales and Service Tax Vote

August 7, noon to 8 p.m. Remember to vote. The voting location in Russell is the Russell Community Center. The incorporated citizens of Russell will be voting for the Local Option Sales and Service Tax change. The way the tax is used now is: The 1% tax goes 60 percent to road use and 40 percent towards maintaining the Chariton swimming pool. The Council is offering a change to 60 percent road use, 30 percent general purpose and 10 percent towards maintaining the Chariton swimming pool.
Be sure to vote and give your opinion. If it passes, the change would take place on January 1, 2013. It is a yes or no vote.

The citizens of Russell voted and passed the Local Option Sales and Service Tax change on August 7.  So on January 1, 2013, the 1% tax will go 60 percent to road use and 30 percent to general purpose and 10 percent towards maintaining the Chariton swimming pool.  This means more money will come into Russell for road use and general purpose use.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Simms' Barn Painting

Have you seen the Simms' barn lately.  New drawings have been added.  Drive down West Ames St. and take a look.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Mark McCurdy Travels to East Africa

by Bob McCurdy 
Russell resident Mark McCurdy has spent two weeks in Zambia,  an East Africa Country,  with 13 million people and about the same size as our state of Texas.
He was part of an eleven person group made up of six firemen/emergency medical personnel, one nurse, one physical therapist, one dietitian, one doctor, and one medical student.
Their mission was to show a small community how to use their current fire truck and a newer truck that had been in use in Alaska. The new truck did not arrive and is still in a port near Houston, Texas. The community has a 1946 model fire truck from Great Britain.
The group also taught the local citizens emergency medical procedures. Mark found his students to be very interested in learning and developing skills that would help them help themselves.
The next task was to develop a fire plan for the area hospital (Saint Francis). They found a very willing medical staff, which had a serious lack of equipment and supplies to serve so many people. The hospital has four to six deaths per day because of poor health conditions in the country. 37% of the African population is infected with the HIV virus. They want to improve their health conditions but a vast amount of education is needed for the treatment and prevention of diseases.
The group did get to visit a large animal reserve that required a four hour trip . The roads a lot of the time  were like the roads we would see, only a little better than Lucas County level B roads.
Look for information to follow on this trip.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Wayside Garden Club Yard of the Month for July

I am sure many of you have seen Randy Halteman riding around town with his gardening supplies and his mower going to someone's house to make it look beautiful, but how many of you have gone by his home and seen how beautiful he keeps his own yard?  July's winner of the Yard of the Month in Russell, is the Halteman's.  Congratulations Cindy and Randy.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ball Park Blowout a Success

Deb Mason, President of the Russell Community Club told us the Ball Park Blowout, held June 30 at the new Trojan Field Campground, was a huge success.  Had the weather not been so hot there would have been more people in attendance.  It was a good opportunity to learn how the facitilities can be made more adaptable for such functions.
The 2012-2013 officers are:  President - Deb Mason; Vice President - Don Sellers; Treasurer - Mike Beaty and Secretary - Joann Harris.

WHO Great Iowa Tractor Ride

On June 24th, 2012, Ron Christensen and Raymond "Bud" Moody met in Russell to ride their tractors to Centerville, IA to take part in and register for the Great Iowa Tractor Ride, sponsored by WHO radio and other sponsors.
Some 550 tractors made application in late January to go on ride number 16.  This was their 10th or 12th time participating.
The host city for this ride was Centerville, IA.  They rode a different route each of the three days and returned to the Fairgrounds each evening.  Departure  time was staggered as 50 tractors at a time left the area.
Monday they went to Corydon, IA., leaving at 8:15 a.m. and returning by 5 p.m., traveling 89 miles that first day.  Tuesday they went around Lake Rathbun and traveled 48 miles.  On Wednesday, they went east on Highway 2 through Unionville, IA., to Moravia and then back to Centerville.
Ron and Bud rode about 200 miles by the time they returned home on Wednesday, the 27th of June.
The heat did not seem to bother them, they considered it nice weather to ride in.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the activities.
Bud is a member of the Lucas County Antique Tractor Club.

Fall Festival

The possibility for there being a Fall Festival is still in the discussion stage.  Prospective date is the third Saturday of September, which falls on the 15th this year.  We will let you know as soon as something is definite.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Judy Pierce, long time resident, Leaves Russell

Judy will be so missed in our little town of Russell.  She has served as the leader from the Horizon's group since its beginning in February 2009.  She will be taking up residency in West Des Moines this summer.  We wish her well in the next chapter of her life and thank her for her faithful work in all aspects of our town.

Horizon Group Provides Plants to Seniors

The Horizon group has again sponsored 8-10 tomato plants distributed for the elderly in Russell.  You might remember they brought this activity to the seniors last year, which provided something for them to take care of through the summer with happy results.

Museum Military Board Update

Preparations are being made to add new and omitted names to the Veterans Memorial Board at the Museum.  The following names will be added:  Donald Argo, Devon Carroll, Robert Fuller, Joe Gookin, Leo Kline, Marvin Neer Jr., Jason A. Noble, Brent Paige, Keith Ray Thompson, Whaley boys, Dean Jr., Matthew, and Andrew.  Vernon Wilson and Dale Downard.  If you know of other missing names on the board, please call Betty Cross at 641-535-2704.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Wayside Garden Club Yard of the Month for June 2012

Russell Museum and Library Open House

On June 2nd, the Russell Museum and Library held it's open house to show off the new museum area addition to their building.  The entire building had been expanded and restyled.  The original section of the building had become very crowded with Russell memorabilia and expansion was very necessary. 
The Museum's task is to exhibit, document, and preserve the vast assemblage of objects that tell Russell's history, past and present.  Volunteers register, catalog conserve, research and display in style exhibits that memoralize the thriving hub that Russell once was.
With the extra space, the library was able to expand to meet its potential.  A wide range of books in all gneres, movies, computers, and a meeting area are available to the public.
Six foundations had a part in contributing funding toward this project:  The Coons Foundation, Vredenburg Foundation, Alliant Energy, South Central Iowa Community Foundation, U.S. Bank and the Chariton Arts & Recreataion Foundation (Vision II).
The Russell (Iowa) Historical Society Board members whose vision, commitment, and hard work made the endeavor possible were Wanda Liddell, President; Jim Werts, Vice President; Jacque Chester, Treasurer; Terry Newcombe; Joe Gookin; Ed Sellers, Duane Bedford and Betty Cross.  Honorable mention also goes to Marilyn Yoakum, Raymond Moody, Mary Louise Reeves and Justine Abrahamson.

Friday, April 20, 2012

2012 Russell History Book

Well, here it is at last!  This is the front and the back cover of the history book we have all been waiting so long to see.   Click on the picture to enlarge it.  Hope you like it.  50 of the one hundred copies are at the museum/library.  The rest will be printed this week.  If you have ordered one, please come pick it up.  They are selling for $30 each and they are going fast.  If you need one mailed to you, postage will be extra.  They will be mailed in a US Post office priority envelope which costs $5.15.  The majority of the content is from the 1950's to the present.  The pages are printed on both sides of an 8½ x 11 sheet of paper; 132 sheets.  All the printing inside is in black and white. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Trojan Field Campground

May 1, 2012 the Trojan Campground will open in Russell, Iowa.  It is located at 625 E. Northumberland (street behind the old school and then east), where the Russell football field was previously located.  The camping fee is $10.00 per night with water and electric hook-ups available.  Camp fires are allowed.  At this time, the campground does not have bathroom or shower facilities.

There will be a registration stand located at the entrance to the campground with sign-in forms available.  For additional information please contact Deb Mason at 641-203-0681 or Mike Beaty at 641-535-2585.

Open House June 2nd

Saturday, June 2, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. the Russell Historical Society will have an Open House to show off their wonderful museum.  They are pleased to present the results of the communities great endeavors in the displays, help with genealogy backgrounds, many interesting objects, library books and media offerings in the old and the new addition to the building.  Please come and see for yourself, enjoy snacks and meet old friends.

Russell Garage Sale

Russell will have an all-city garage sale on Saturday, May 12th.  The Russell Museum will be holding a garage sale/bake sale fundraiser that day (8-12 noon).  If you don't want to have your own sale and are willing to donate items to the Museum, see Roberta or a volunteer.  Call Roberta at 535-4161 to get on the map.
The Wayside Garden Club will have their annual plant sale at the same time on the corner by the Museum.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Russell Clean-Up Day

Clean-up day will be on Saturday April 28 from 8am-noon.  Charges will be as follows:  $ 10 per car or pickup load, regular car or truck tires $5 each, TV's, monitors, fax machines, scanners and printers $10 each.  Computer towers are considered scrap metal and there is no charge for them.  For large console TV's or flat screen TV's $15 each.  No charge for appliances.  There will be a dumpster there for scrap metal at no charge.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Trojan Campground

The community club is starting a campground at the former football field east of the Russell school building.  This campground will be called the Trojan Campground.

Work day at the Trojan Campground will be April 12, at 5 p.m.  Please bring shovels, rakes, etc. to clean up the field.  Hot dogs, buns and drink will be provided and we are asking for you to please bring other food items to share for our picnic.  Everyone who is in our community is invited. 

More information and rules of the Trojan Campground will be following in the coming weeks.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Russell Sportsmen's Club

Sunday April 1, at 2pm, the Russell Sportsmen's Club will hold a Trap Shoot at the range located at 41570 280th Avenue southwest of Russell.  This is the first trap shoot of the season.   The public is invited and youth are welcome.   Any shotgun, any gauge, any choke is allowed.  Any shot size or shell length is legal. Call Dan for information at 641-203-5296. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

City of Russell Weather Warning

City of Russell Severe Weather Plan for Severe Thunder/Tornado Watch or Warning!

After receiving a watch or warning from the National Weather Service the Lucas County Dispatcher does the following:

Notify the following persons:
1.  All on duty Deputies and City Officers.
2.  All Lucas County Fire Departments on Fire Channel.
3.  Sheriff (WARNINGS ONLY)
4.  Chariton Police Chief (WARNINGS ONLY)

The Russell Fire Department will determine when the siren is to be sounded.

The siren will be blown for 3 minutes on and let rest for 3 minutes.  The siren shall be sounded until the Russell Fire Department determines it is all clear.  No all clear will be sounded.

The siren can be activated by the following ways.

1.  Lucas County Dispatcher on Lucas County Fire Channel.
2.  Russell Fire Department Kenwood portable radios.
3.  Zetron located at the Russell Fire Station.

If severe weather is present all residents are encouraged to stay tuned to local news and weather radios for updates.

The City of Russell Outdoor Warning System will be sounded for immediate threats to the Russell Community.  If the Outdoor Warning Sysem is activated take cover immediately.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Celebration

Saturday, March 17, St. Patrick's Day Celebration, Southside Bar.  Parade is at noon.  Everyone is invited to join us as a participant or at least a spectator.  The parade will line up west of the bank and proceed east down Shaw street, then return.  An Irish breakfast will be served in the Southside dining room starting at 9am.  The corned beef and cabbage will be ready at 6pm at Southside.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Russell Museum/Library Update

Great progress has been made on the completion of our new addition to the Museum/Library building.  This addition will house the museum and the present building will be the library.  This will create more room for both of them. 
Many thanks goes to Ed Sellers who has spent many hours finishing the interior.  Lights and ceiling fans have been installed; a small utility/storage closet has been built; trim was sanded, stained and installed; display stands have been built and painted.
All interior items were purchased with grants from South Central Iowa Community Foundation and Alliant Foundation.
We also want to thank the many other volunteers who have made this project something to be appreciated in the years to come.
An open house is being planned for this spring when everything is moved in. 
Thank you to Robin Thompson and Betty Cross who have taken on the task of designing display areas and supervising the move.
Our current loan balance is a little over $10,000 and fundraising will continue to be an ongoing project. 
We also want to thank the community for supporting recent chicken/beef noodle dinners.
We recently lost our valuable volunteer, Mary Reeves.  She was involved in so many aspects in keeping the Museum vibrant on a daily basis.  Please be patient while we work out the details of filling the void.
Lynne Wilson and Betty Cross have completed the Russell History Book that Mary started.  If stories have been left out, we apologize.  Mary was working very hard on completing the book and had taken stories and notes home with her and some stories were still in email.  We did the best we could to find all of them and get them into the book.  The deadline was March 1st and no more stories will be accepted after that date.  Publication will be completed after all research is completed on how is the best way to do it.  Soft-cover, hard-cover, glued spine, spiral-spine, etc., etc.  Please be patient and we will get it out to you soon.  There are 244 pages, plus a table of contents and an index, bringing the total number of pages up to 274.  The pages will be printed on both sides.  We hope you will enjoy it.
One of the stories from the book appears on page 3 - Russell Historical Items - and can be selected from the right column of this page.
Thank you again for your support.  We look forward to seeing you at the Museum/Library so you can enjoy all the effort that has been put forth.

Faith United Methodist Church Lenten Bible Study

On March 7, 14, 21, and 28th, the Faith United Methodist Church will have a Lenten Bible study at 7pm.  Pastor Linda Reida will be using the book Final Words from the Cross by Adam Hamilton.  This study explores the seven statements that Jesus spoke from the cross and the meaning of Jesus' dying words for our lives today.  March 8th Night Owls will meet at 6:30pm.  April 6th, Good Friday, services will be at 7pm.  April 8th, Easter - Worship service will be at 10:30am.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Your Help is Needed

The end of February marks two years since the Russell News has been written by a committee.  Your input as to if and how this has served the needs of the community is important to the committee.  Is there something else, more of something, less of something that you would like included?  More city council decisions, area resident news, etc??  Out-of-town people might have some interesting ideas on this.  Please talk to any of the following who serve on the committee, Bob/Sharon McCurdy, Karen Werts, June Davis, Annie Davis Kint, Judy Pierce or Marilyn Yoakum.  Or email to email at the bottom of this article.  Thank you for any input you can give us. or

Welcome to Pastor Linda Reida

Faith United Methodist Church welcomes Pastor Linda Reida and her husband Dennis to our church family and Russell community.  Everyone is welcome to worship with us each Sunday.  Lenten services at Faith Methodist will begin on Ash Wednesday, February 22, with a potluck at 6p.m. and service to follow.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fundraiser Dinner and Bingo

Sunday, February 19, 11:30-1:30pm the Museum will hold a fundraiser, chicken/noodles or beef/noodles dinner, with Bingo following.  Be sure to put this on your calendar.  Come join the fun.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Russell Historical Society Needs Your Help

The Russell Historical Society has immediate needs due to the death of one of our treasured volunteers.  Mary L. Reeves was a Board member, secretary of the Board, was writing the recent edition of the Russell History, had recently agreed to be the curator for the museum, was the Friday volunteer.  All of those positions (two Board positions are available) need to be filled, subject to the Boards approval.  If you have an interest in any of the positions, even on a temporary basis, please call Wanda at 535-4631.

A memorial fund for Mary has been started at the Museum.  Efforts are being made to finish the Russell History Book.

Frank Myers attended Mary's funeral and has a moving and entertaining tribute to her in the following blog.

Gasoline at Last Chance

The Russell community welcomes the addition of unleaded gasoline for sale at the Last Chance Convenience Store, available now.  Let us show our appreciation.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Wayne Manufacturing Company in Chariton

Most of the people in Chariton don't even realize they have a Christmas Decoration manufacturing plant on Albia Road near the Chariton School District with all its yellow buses. This is a 10,000 square foot factory and this time of the year it is silent. No hum of machinery, no voices, nor trees or Santas waiting to be shipped. Their work for year 2011 is done. The company is owned and operated by Ken Burger of Russell and it has over 7,000 customers.

Wayne Manufacturing began its business in a basement in 1974 by Ken's father. Ken has operated the business for 22 years. It has grown from a small distributing company to a $1.5 million dollar business.

Each year, starting in January, Ken and his father, now 80 years old, call every city in virtually every state to find out if they are in the market or not for Christmas displays and decorations, whether they want to replace or add to what they have, and whether they would like one of their catalogs that describes the multitude of colorful products to enhance the community's holiday season. The company also has a well maintained Website. There is no middle man to eat up the profits. No showroom is necessary because they are not open for individuals to come by and pick out light strings or other decorations. Ken does all the traveling, usually during February and March and sometimes in the fall. Summer time is no time to be thinking about Christmas. He carries samples of the items available for the coming year. Their sale time is in January and February. Shipping on orders can be delayed until November.

April will be the month to start production again. At the height of production, he employs as many as 15. Some employees come back year after year. Four or five have worked as many as 12 years and are multitrained so they can run the specialty machines that can cost $100,000 and up. A lot of the work is done by hand.

Some customers have been buying from Wayne Mfg. for over ten years and have purchased every park display the company has to offer.    New designs are needed to keep the products up to date for these customers.  Ken's daughter, Heather, a commercial artist, design's the merchandise.  She also provides the scaled computer drawings for the steel frames for custom work.  One of the largest custom displays made by the company was a 35 foot modular tree for Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  It was made for the judges tower where the Olympic team trained for the ski jump.  The company also built a big arch for Carroll, Iowa, as part of the park display that was large enough for tour buses to drive under.

The next time you see a city park decorated with very unique Christmas Decorations, they may have been created and manufactured at our very own Wayne Manufacturing.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Mary Reeves Memorial Service

There will be a memorial service for Mary Reeves, 66, of Russell, who died, Friday December 30, 2011 at the Greater Regional Hospice Home in Creston. There will be no public visitation. Memorials may be made to the Chariton Christian Church furnace and air conditioning fund. Online condolences may be left under the obituary category of

Memorial Service
Saturday, January 07
11:00 AM Chariton Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
1100 Ilion Avenue Chariton, IA 50049

Mary Louise Reeves, daughter of Mary Ellen (Ansley) Reeves and William Clinton Reeves was born April 4, 1945 in Chariton, Iowa. She graduated from Chariton High School in 1963. She moved to Des Moines and began to work for the Internal Revenue Service. Later in 1965, she began her career with the Social Security Administration holding many different positions with her favorite being a Data Review Technician, serving 42 years before retiring in 2007. After retiring, she moved to Russell, Iowa to be near family. Mary was a member of the Chariton Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) where she held the position of Deaconess; she was an active Russell museum volunteer, active in the local genealogical society, local cemetery board and active in her favorite scrapbooking groups.