Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


Fred C. Russell, one of the more recent additions to the citizenship of Watsonville, has proven a valuable acquisition to the community and fills an important place in its industrial life, doing artistic work in marble and granite. He was born January 21, 1871, in McDonough county, Illinois, and from the age of eleven years has lived on the Pacific coast. He spent three years in Oregon and in 1885 arrived in Marysville, Yuba county, California, where he completed his schooling. He remained in Marysville until he reached his majority and in 1892 located in Raymond, Madera county, California, where he served an apprenticeship to the stone-cutter's trade, working for the Raymond Granite Company. In 1898 he went to San Francisco and continued in the employ of the Raymond Granite Company until 1902, when he embarked in business for himself in that city. He conducted the undertaking until 1911, when he discontinued the business and resumed work at his trade, which he followed in San Francisco for about ten years.

In 1921 Mr. Russell came to Watsonville and purchased his present plant from C. M. Neal. It is thoroughly modern and fully equipped for stone-cutting. The business is conducted under the name of the Watsonville Marble & Granite Works and since Mr. Russell assumed control of the industry it has developed rapidly. He carries a large stock of California and Vermont granite and the finest quality of marble. He has built four mausoleums in Watsonville and also did the marble work on the new front of the Rappe jewelry store on Main street, the finest mercantile establishment in the city. For lettering he uses the sand blast, the latest invention and a great improvement over the old method. Mr. Russell has an expert knowledge of the business, gained from years of experience and careful study, and is also the possessor of executive force and mature judgment.

On August 3, 1891, Mr. Russell married Miss Margaret Ann Coughran, a native of Mariposa county and a granddaughter of one of the '49ers who came to California in search of gold. To this union has been born a son, J. Marvin Russell, who is manager of the San Francisco office of the Veterans Welfare Bureau.

Mr. Russell is a Master Mason and is also identified with the Scioto, the Yeomen, the Elks and the Woodmen of the World. He manifests a deep interest in municipal advancement and to this end has become allied with the Chamber of Commerce and the Merchants Association. While working in San Francisco he made his home in San Bruno, San Mateo county, and aided in incorporating the town, also serving on its board of trustees. Mr. Russell has always dealt honorably with his fellowmen, and his career teaches the world the ever valuable lesson that true success comes only through tireless industry, guided and inspired by singleness of purpose.

Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California's history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925, 890 pgs.