James Barbour Russell


James Barbour Russell was born in 1866, the eldest of three sons of Milton Culbertson Russell and Elexene Porter Russell of Maysville, Kentucky.  He was educated in the Maysville city school system, and later married Lillian Armstrong, of Flemingsburg.  They were married in September, 1904 and had one child, named after his father.

Mr. Russell worked for his father in the wholesale grocery business known as the M. C. Russell Company.  It was housed in a multistory brick building on the corner of Third and Market Streets in Maysville.  He worked for the company for a number of years, and ultimately became its owner.

In 1919, he organized the Maysville Boys Cardinal Band, and although he was never its director, he enjoyed dressing in a white uniform and leading the band in processions.  Later in his life, he drove a large yellow convertible which had a horn that played a musical theme, and with his distinctive white hair and beard, and a prominent swagger, was easily recognized, and widely admired.

J. Barbour Russell was also responsible for the building of the Russell Theatre, which opened in December of 1930.  A 1937 stroke confined him to his Third Street home where he died, on April 10, 1939.


undated newspaper clipping