WILLIAM STONEWALL RUSSELL, sheriff of Grayson county, was born in Oktibbeha county, Mississippi, March 5, 1866, a son of William G. and Louisa (Gibbons) Russell, the former a native of Alabama and the latter of North Carolina. They were married, however, in Mississippi and after residing for some years in that state removed to Grayson county, Texas, in the fall of 1869, and here spent their remaining days, the mother passed away at the age of fifty-seven years, while the father died in his seventy-fourth year. He was captain of Company C in the Thirty-third Mississippi Regiment in the Confederate service and remained with that command throughout the entire period of hostilities. In the family were seven sons and three daughters and of this number are named the following: Fernando W., a farmer residing near the old homestead in Mississippi; William, who was drowned in 1865 and was serving as a soldier in the Confederate army at the time of his death; John C., an agriculturist of Grayson county, Texas; Mary V., who became the wife of Frank Johnson but both are deceased; Henry G., a farmer of Grayson county; Minnie, now the wife of Rabb Smith, a merchant at Whitewright, Texas; James, a farmer of Hood county, this state; and William S., the subject of this sketch.
Mr. Russell of this review is the youngest and his education was acquired in Grayson county and in the public schools and through private study. He was reared upon the home farm near Whitewright but left the parental roof when twenty-one years of age. About that time he met with a serious accident, having his hand and arm disabled in a cotton gin. He therefore became a clerk in a dry-goods store in Whitewright, where he was employed for a number of years and was then elected city marshal, tax collector and assessor of that town. In 1898 he accepted the position of deputy sheriff under A. D. Shrewsbury, with whom he served for two years, when he resigned the office and spent two years as a member of the Sherman police force. In 1902 he was elected to the office of sheriff and in 1904 was again chosen for that position, so that his incumbency will continue until 1906.
Mr. Russell was married in 1887 to Miss Katie Barrett, a native of Grayson county and a daughter of J. H. and Emeline Barrett of Pilot Grove, Texas. Mr. and Mrs. Russell now have four children: Juanita, Neva, Roscoe and Marguerite. One son, Harris, the fifth child, died at the age of two years. Mr. Russell is a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, in which he has attained the Knight Templar degree. He also affiliates with the Knights of Pythias, the Woodmen of the World and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. The family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. In his political views Mr. Russell is an active working Democrat and he is a member of the sheriff’s association for the state of Texas, acting on its legislative committee at the present time. He was assistant sergeant-at-arms at the Democratic state convention in 1904 and in the office which he is filling he discharges his duties without fear or favor and in a most prompt and capable manner, as is evidenced by his re-election.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. I, p. 638.