RUSSELL WATKINS. The subject of this sketch is the son of McClane and Hannah E. Watkins. His father was born December 28, 1826, three miles southwest of Petersburg, Illinois, his parents being Thomas and Mary (Greene) Watkins, who came to this state from Greene county, Kentucky. When McClane Watkins was seven years of age he was attacked with fever and the attending physician gave him mercury in the form of calomel, which produced salivation that so effected him that his entire system was wrecked and he was a helpless cripple for life. He was never able to walk but his vital organs and brain were not affected. In many respects he was a man of wonderful gifts. He seemed, by intuition, to know all about horses and cattle. His business ability was of the very best and in spite of his crippled condition he amassed quite a fortune. He was never out of the state of Illinois; was never on a steamboat or the cars. In fact he never rode in any conveyance but a farm wagon or the little wagon that was made especially for him, and was never more than one hundred miles from the place where he was born. In 1859 he was united in marriage to Hannah Ellen Jones, who was born March 23, 1838, and died October 13, 1866. He died June 6, 1902, at the age of seventy-five years, five months and eight days.
Russell Watkins was born near Petersburg, July 29, 1860, and has one sister, Mary, who was born May 7, 1866, and is now the wife of Edward Miller, residing in Petersburg. Russell Watkins has never married. He owns a large farm three miles southwest of Petersburg and is engaged in farming and stock raising, in both of which he is very successful. He is a plain, unassuming man, attends strictly to his own affairs, and is a shrewd and successful man in all that he undertakes. He stands very high among his neighbors as a man of honesty and integrity.