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2d Lt. Cyrenus Z. Russell
Co. I, 21st Regiment, Missouri Volunteer Infantry

CYRENUS ZADOK RUSSELL was born in Peoria County, Illinois January 9, 1840. He married Ala Ann Teagarden in Peoria County, Illinois, December 10, 1867. Annie was the daughter of John McGuire Teagarden and Minerva Brown and was born in Greenup County, Kentucky on May 11, 1849. Annie died January 12, 1931 in Greenfield, Missouri, at 81 years of age.

Cyrenus moved to Scotland County, Missouri, with his parents in 1856. He volunteered for the Union Army in 1861 after the outbreak of the Civil War in Missouri, enlisting in Company I, 21st Regiment, Missouri Infantry. He served in the Battles of Athens, Shiloh, Corinth, and Tupelo, and in Sherman's Expedition to Meridian, Miss. (Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman was Cyrenus' sixth cousin, though he probably was unaware of the relationship.) He enlisted as a private, rose through the ranks to sergeant major, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. According to Army records, he was 5'9", had dark hair and complexion, and grey eyes. His uniform, sword, sash, and diary are still in the possession of the Russell family.

After the War, Cyrenus graduated from Bryant & Stratton Commercial College in St. Louis, Mo., and removed to Henry, Marshall County, Ill., where he became a partner in the hardware and implement founded some years previously by his uncle, Joshua Russell. In 1870, Cyrenus removed to Fort Scott, Bourbon County, Kansas, where he was listed in the federal census of that year. The next year saw the relocation of the hardware and implements business, known as J. Russell & Co., to Fort Scott. Soon after, Joshua retired from the business to farm in Bourbon County, and died there in early 1874. Retailing, it seemed, was not Cyrenus' calling, as the business began to fail. Later that year, Cyrenus was persuaded by his father-in-law to settle in Dade County, Missouri, and was given 40 acres as a start. In time, Cyrenus became a successful farmer, lawyer, businessman, and politician. He was a member of the local G. A. R. post in Greenfield, and one of its commanders. He was a member of the Christian church, an elder at the time of his death, and a charter member of the local lodge of Odd Fellows, having in turn filled all the official chairs.Cyrenus Z. died April 21, 1906 in Greenfield, Missouri, at 66 years of age.


Biographical information was generously provided by Al Streit.


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