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Gateway to Yosemite
Exact Center of California
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Madera Biographies: RUSSELL


Harvey A. Russell is one of the largest operators of ranch property in Madera county, leasing the Adobe ranch of 22,000 acres on the slopes to the east of the county seat.

Mr. Russell was born March 9, 1881, on an immense ranch in Santa Barbara county, near the county seat of Santa Barbara, known as the Jesus Maria ranch, and is the son of Andrew D. and A. Maria (Fuller) Russell. His father had come to California in 1872 and leased this part of an old Spanish grant. He engaged in raising and marketing cattle, horses and hogs, and he passed away in 1928. Among the thrilling reminiscences of Mr. Russell’s early life in Santa Barbara is the fact that eleven men had been hanged for horse stealing in the room in which he was born.

Mr. Russell attended Ventura and Los Angeles schools, but at the age of 19 decided to strike out for himself. Becoming a live stockman, he operated in many parts of the state. He came to Madera in 1919 and located on the Adobe ranch. This is one of the largest ranches individually owned in the county. The ranch house was built in the early Fifties and was first used as a trading post. It is located about ten miles east of the county seat, at a point known as the ‘‘cross roads", because there the old stage road from Stockton to Millerton crosses the line from the gold fields running westward to the Coast.

Besides his Adobe ranch interests, Mr. Russell is interested in the retail meat trade in southern California and in ranching in the Imperial Valley and in Arizona.

Mr. Russell was married March 10, 1912, to Edith Lou Cunningham, at San Diego. They have one daughter, Camille Louise.

Mr. Russell is a member of the Jonathan Club of Los Angeles.

From the History of Fresno and Madera Counties, 1933, Joseph Barcroft, editor for Madera County.

Last update: February 4, 2000
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