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LRL Home - Legislators and Leaders - Texas Legislators: Past & Present - Member profileprinter friendly versionreturn to screen view

William H. Russell William H. Russell
Full Name: William H. Russell
Date of birth: 1838
Date of death: November 20, 1882

Terms of Service top
Chamber District Dates of Service Legislatures Party City/County Note Counties in District
S 30 Jan 15, 1874 - Apr 18, 1876 14th (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)   Democrat Brownsville / Cameron   Bexar, Cameron, Dimmit, Duval, El Paso, Frio, Hidalgo, Kinney, La Salle, McMullen, Maverick, Medina, Nueces, Pecos, Presidio, Starr, Uvalde, Webb, Zapata, Zavala, Encinal
(1) Entire Senate went up for reelection due to Senatorial redistricting. Ordinance adopted by Constitutional Convention of the State of Texas, 1875. Remained in effect from its passage until first reapportionment after 1880 Census. University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History. Apportionment Laws of Texas, 1836-1950, 1950.
(2) "News' telegrams, from Austin: organization of both houses . . . " Wednesday, 1/14/1874, p. 1, description of opening day of 14th Legislature, Regular Session: "W.B. Russell remained out, because, as he states, that in event the Fourteenth Legislature should not be recognized, his position of District Judge should not be filled by some carpet-bagger . . . " Galveston Daily News.
(3) Democrat. "From Brownsville, Special to the News," 10/22/1873. "The Democratic District convention of the thirtieth district, met at Laredo, on the 15th inst. and nominated Judge Wm. H. Russell, of Cameron for senator; Col. Santos Benavides, of Webb, Louis Cardis, of El Paso, and P.F. Murphy, of Nueces, for representatives." Galveston Daily News.
(4) 14th Legislature, Regular Session - 1/15/1874, Afternoon Session, p. 13. "W.H. Russell, Senator elect from the Thirtieth Senatorial district, came forward and was sworn in." Senate Journal.
(5) "Because of the adoption of the new constitution [of 1876], any member of the 14th Legislature who wished to continue to serve had to run for reelection," p. 220. The Texas Senate: Volume II, Civil War to the Eve of Reform, 1861-1889, 1999.
Biographical Notes and Resources top
Resolutions and Journal entries
  • Report - Judge Russell impeachment, House Committee on Judiciary, Mar. 6, 1871. Investigation and report on charges against William H. Russell, Judge of the fifteenth judicial district. Includes recommendation for impeachment. House Journal.
  • High Court of Impeachment: the state of Texas vs. William H. Russell, Apr. 11, 1871. Senate sat as High Court of Impeachment from Apr. 11, 1871-May 4, 1871 in the case of William H. Russell, Judge, 15th judicial district. Includes Senate consideration of House message of impeachment and Select Committee to draft rules for the Senate sitting as a high court of impeachment. Senate Journal.
  • Biographical Sketches
  • Biographical sketch, Volume IV, p. 2051. Relatives: William Jarvis Russell of La Grange - father; William H. Russell of Brownsville - son. Relatives: William H. Russell of Brownsville - father; William Jarvis Russell of Brownsville - son. Relatives: William Jarvis Russell of La Grange - grandfather; William Jarvis Russell of Brownsville - grandson. A History of Texas and Texans, 1914.
  • Other Resources
  • W.H. Russell, postoffice Brownsville, Cameron county, lawyer, born in Texas, married, age 35 (born ca. 1839), Democrat. Directory of the Members and Officers of the Fourteenth Legislature of the State of Texas . . ., 1874.
  • Census of 1860, Rutersville, Fayette County, listing William J. Russell (age 58, born in NC) and William H. Russell (age 21). Donated Material.
  • Obituary, Galveston Daily News, Laredo, 11/20/1882, published 11/23/1882, p. 6. Donated Material.
  • Judge William H. Russell, death date 11/20/1882, photo of historical marker at Russell-Cocke House shows year of birth 1838. Interment in Laredo City Cemetery, Webb County. Find a Grave.
  • "Ex-Judge W.H. Russell . . . took offense at some ruling of Judge Morrill, presiding, and, in order to avenge himself, took occasion to strike the Judge in the face while he was passing from his hotel to the courtroom." "A Judge Assaulted: He is Struck in the Face by a Texas Lawyer — His Account of the Affair." November 30, 1877. New York Times.
  • Background and account of impeachment attempt, William H. Russell, p. 195. The Texas Senate: Volume II, Civil War to the Eve of Reform, 1861-1889, 1999.
  • Photographs
  • Photograph. William H. Russell, 14th Legislature, State Preservation Board
  • Composite Photographs on Display in the Capitol
  • 14th session composite photo of Senate and House members (Ground floor elevator vestibule, east wall. GW.V3). State Preservation Board.
  • Committee Informationtop
    14th R.S. - 1874
    Indian Affairs and Frontier Protection  
    Internal Improvements  
    Judicial Districts  
    Mexican Border Troubles (Co-Chair) 
    Public Debt (Chair) 
    Removal of Judge J.J. Thornton, 24th Judicial District  
    Removal of Judge S.B. Newcomb, 25th Judicial District  
    Travis County Jail, Select (Co-Chair) 

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