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Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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RUSSELL, JOHN (1863-1936)

RUSSELL, JOHN, steamer captain, businessman, harbormaster, and consular agent; mayor of Newcastle, 1925-27; b. Newcastle, 30 Jun 1863, s/o Matthew Russell and Sarah Ann Ingram; m. 1894, Minnie A. McLellan, a native of Pictou, N.S., and d/o William Wilkinson McLellan, railroad trackmaster at Newcastle, and Elizabeth McIntosh; d. Newcastle, 5 Mar 1936.

John Russell entered into partnership with his father in 1882 and shared in the full range of his business activities. He was the first captain of the steam ferry Rustler, which was launched by M. Russell & Son in 1891. Because he did not have a master's license he found himself in trouble in 1893, after two of his passengers were accidentally killed. He was charged with negligence and manslaughter, but the charges were dropped when the grand jury in the case discovered no grounds for his indictment.

In 1903 the Russell family business was reorganized as John Russell & Co. This company acquired the coal agency previously owned by Robert R. Call and also continued to operate a ferry service on the river until 1910. That year the Russell vessels, the Rustler and the Dorothy N., were sold to the Newcastle Steamboat Co., of which Patrick Hennessy was president. Russell later operated a bus line and was agent for the Irving Oil Co.

Russell was appointed harbormaster at Newcastle in 1904, as successor to John Niven. He sat on the town council and was mayor for two years. In 1927 he was appointed honorary Norwegian vice-consul, as successor to Frederick E. Neale. He had been an athlete in his youth and was active in curling and other sports throughout his life. He was survived in 1936 by his wife, Minnie A. McLellan.

Sources

[b] church records [m] official records [d] Advocate 11 Mar 1936 / Advance 14 Sep 1893, 12 Oct 1893, 14 Jul 1904; Advocate 5 Apr 1927; Leader 2 Aug 1907, 6 Mar 1936, 29 Jul 1960, 26 Jun 1974


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