Blackwell and Russell families topic of upcoming program at Polk County Museum 

Published 11:07 am Wednesday, May 4, 2022

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On Tuesday, May 10, the Polk County Historical Association is pleased to offer a program on the history of the Blackwell and Russell families migration to Polk County. Both family groups settled in the Polk County area very early on. The Blackwells arrived in the early 1850s while the Russell family moved here in the 1860s.


The story of the two families is based on the research done for a manuscript titled “Pass It On — Russell and Blackwell” by Dexter O. McCarter. The manuscript is about the families of Charles Otis Russell and Mattie Sue Blackwell who wed in Polk County February 19, 1913. The story has several twists and turns. The writings follow two toddler-aged Blackwell brothers who migrated to Polk County with their mother in the 1850s so her parents, Grandma and Grandpa Turner, could help raise the boys after their father died in 1851.

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The Russell family line by marriage includes the Rowe, Huntsinger, Gault, Toney, Thompson and Price families. The Blackwell family line by marriage includes the Horton, Turner, Owens, Melton, McAbee and Whitesides families. In other words, they are related to many who reside in Polk County.


The May program will be held inside the Polk County Museum at 2 p.m. It is located on 60 Walker Street in downtown Columbus. The public is invited to attend and there is no fee to attend the presentation. 


Submitted by John Vining