THE county which
bears the name above given was established in 1832, and
named for Colonel Gilbert C. Russell, of Mobile.
This is one of the border counties of the State, being
separated from Georgia by the Chattahoochee River. It has many
valuable tracts of land and a thrifty population. The county
embraces an area of 670 square miles. Population in 1880,
24,837; population in 1890, 24,093. White, 5,814; colored,
Area planted in
cotton, 66,772 acres; in corn, 32,502 acres; in oats, 5,631
acres; in wheat, 47 acres; in rye, 63 acres; in tobacco, 1
surface of Russell county is undulating, and in some
sections broken. It abounds in capital agricultural lands,
many of which have been in cultivation for quite a number of
years. Its soils differ widely in their character, but are
generally quite productive.
survey with the lands in the eastern part of the
county, and those which lie along the
western bank of the historic Chattahoochee, we find them to be
excellent for farming purposes, the loamy soil having the
color of chocolate. These embrace a belt five or six miles
in width, when the more elevated table-lands begin. These
are covered with a red loam soil, and are considered even
more valuable than those which lie in close proximity to the
river. Beyond this, still westward, are the hill regions,
which have long sustained a reputation for productiveness.
Next this comes a range of gravelly hills, which penetrate
the county near the center. From this point to the extreme
western boundary there is quite a diversity of soil,
produced largely by the numerous streams which ramify this
portion of Russell. In this western half may be found rich
alluvial bottoms, as well as thin, sandy, ridge lands. These
lands are peculiarly adapted to the production of corn,
cotton, oats, potatoes and sugar-cane. The bottom lands are
usually preferred for cotton. The lands are generally tilled
with ease. Every variety of soil may be found in the county,
from that of sand to that of the most fertile black prairie
and blue marl. The county is highly favored in its dense
forests of excellent timber. Both the short-leaf and yellow
or long-leaf pine, the white, red, water and blackjack oaks,
hickory, gum, beech, dogwood, willow, maple, timbers,
prevail in different sections of Russell. The county has
ample supplies of water throughout the entire year. The
Chattahoochee River forms the entire
eastern boundary of the county, giving a river front of more
than fifty miles, while its territory is watered by such
streams as Hatchechubbee, Big and Little Uchee, North and
Middle Forks of Cowikee and Wetumpka Creeks. These bold
streams are fed by numerous tributaries that drain every
section of the county. The springs and wells afford abundant
supplies of superior water for domestic uses. These water
supplies, taken in connection with the readiness with which
grass and clover are produced, suggest the ease with which
stock may be raised. This will no doubt become, in the years
of the future, one of the leading industries of
The chief towns
are Seale, the county-seat, with a population of 300, Girard
300, Hurtsboro 600, Jernigan 250, and Hatchechubbee.
Pittsboro and Paradise, new and growing towns on the
Savannah, Americus &
Montgomery Railroad, and Crawford are inviting points.
Flourishing schools exist in these, as well as in every
hamlet and village in the county. Hurtsboro has long been
noted for its educational spirit.
The Mobile &
Girard and Savannah, Americus
& Montgomery Railroads and the packets upon the
transportation facilities to the people of the county.
Columbus, Georgia, a large
and nourishing city, on the opposite bank of the river to
Russell, affords a fine market to the inhabitants of the
The people of
Russell are alive to the importance of developing the wealth
of their highly-favored county, and they look for that
development to come mainly from the industry and energy of
those who will come in and occupy their valuable lands.
These can be purchased at prices ranging from $1.50 to
$10.00 per acre.
lands have been exhausted in the county.
Source: Alabama As It Is by
Benjamin Franklin Riley, D. D., The Brown Printing Co,
State Printers and Binders, 1893 , Transcribed