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by Ralph E. Bruce
Establishment of a New England Town and early historical notes
This new title is a compilation of research which Ralph E. Cortis has been doing over the last 25+ years on the town of Russell, Massachusetts. This book focuses on the information he has researched and gathered from a wide variety of local and regional resources over that time.
The book begins with the establishment of Russell in 1792, continuing to the early 1900’s. Areas of focus include how the town was established from a section of land originally granted to Westfield in 1737, town boundaries and topology, early roads and turnpikes, early industry and later the paper mills which were so important to Russell’s growth.
The text also has sections on town history relating to early schools, churches, railroads, bridges, cemeteries and early military service.
This is the first known publication to draw together this information in a single document.
Ralph E. Cortis was born in 1928 on Route 23 in the Woronoco part of Russell. He is a descendant of Isaac Palmer, one of the original settlers of Woronoco. In addition to the many generations of the Palmer and Cortis families, he has multiple other branches who resided in Russell over the last 200+ years. In conjunction with his research on Russell families and early town history, he previously completed a compilation of Russell’s Civil War veterans in 2007 (included in this book).
Bruce W. Cortis joined his father in 2008 with researching Russell’s history and supplemented his father’s efforts with additional on-line research, compilation of the information and composition of this book.