Dr. John Wesley Russell was born in Kerwood, Middlesex County on the 25th of August, 1876. He was the 4th of 6 children born to John Russell and the former Hester Ann Kerr. His father was a Methodist Minister. His siblings were; Mary, Elaine, Hattie, Jean and William. Dr. Russell’s family lived in a number of locations, including in the City of London, Usborne in Perth County and the small community of Springfield in Elgin County.
Dr. Russell graduated from high school at the age of 15 and he farmed for one year prior to attending university.
Dr. Russell graduated M.D. from the University of Western Ontario in 1901. While at university he enjoyed playing football. After completing his internship he opened his medical practice in Highgate.
Dr. Russell was living in Highgate when he married Mabel Ethel Millar on the 25th of December, 1906 in Saginaw, Michigan. Mrs. Russell was born in February of 1881 in Orford Twp, near Highgate. She was the 10th of 12 children born to Peter Millar and the former Calista Roseberry. Her father was a lumberman and her siblings were; Peter, Abel, Josephine, Francis, Rosie, Joseph, Louisa, Mason, Emma, Napoleon and Mason. The youngest child Mason died of a fever in Saginaw, Michigan in April of 1896 at the age of 5. After the Millar family moved to Saginaw, her father transitioned to working as a carpenter. The 1903 Saginaw City Directory in Michigan records that Mrs. Millar was widowed and she lived at 1211 S. Weadock Ave, with a number of her children, including Mrs. Russell who was single and a teacher at Emerson School, in Saginaw.
Dr. and Mrs. Russell had a daughter, Mabel Lois Russell born to them in Highgate on the 28th of September, 1907. In 1909, Dr. and Mrs. Russell moved to Toronto and resided at 1084 College Street. They had two more children, John Fletcher Russell was born on the 8th of June, 1910 and Beryl Russell was born in 1919.
Dr. Russell did post graduate work in gynaecology and obstetrics in New York. He served as a Toronto Alderman for one year and he sat as a school trustee for many years.
Dr. Russell died at his residence in Toronto on the 27th of August, 1949. Mrs. Russell died in 1965. Dr. and Mrs. Russell are buried at Park Lawn Cemetery in Toronto.
*Dr. Russell’s brother William became a physician/surgeon and he practiced in the Toronto area. Dr. Russell’s son John also became a physician.