Russell Howell, who since 1877 has made his home in Sacramento county, where he is now extensively engaged in the raising of grapes, was born in Jackson county, Ohio, May 27, 1845, and when he was ten years of age accompanied his parents on their removal to Dakota county, Minnesota, where he was reared to manhood and acquired his education in the public schools. From his youth he was trained to the work of the home farm, assisting in its development through the summer months, while in the winter seasons he pursued his studies. All through his life he has continued in this branch of labor, the only interruption of any length being when he responded to his country's call for aid and became a soldier. He enlisted on the 15th of August, 1862, as a member of Company F, Eighth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, and the regiment to which he belonged did frontier duty, being principally engaged for some time in keeping the troublesome Sioux Indians in subjection. Two years were thus passed, and then, in October, 1864, Mr. Howell with his regiment went south and became a part of the Twenty-third Army Corps, operating in Tennessee and other states. Mr. howell participated in the battle of the Cedars, near Murfreesboro, Tennessee, which occurred in December, 1864, and while in the south he was in active duty all of the time. His regiment was assigned to General Sherman's command toward the close of the war and was stationed at Raleigh, North Carolina, when General Joseph Johnston surrendered at Durham Station, that state. Mr. Howell was soon afterward mustered out of service, by general order, July 11, 1865, after which he returned to Minnesota, where he made his home until his removal to California.

The year 1876 witnessed the arrival of Mr. Howell in Sacramento county, and in 1877 he settled at Florin, whee he has since spent the greater part of the time. He is now the owner of a ranch of thirty acres, of which thirteen acres is planted to grapes, his attention being mainly given to the cultivation of this fruit since 1890, and his specialty is the Tokay grape.

Mr. Howell was married January 10, 1895, to Miss Hattie E. Dilley, a native of Guernsey county, Ohio, and a daughter of Perry A. and Harriet (Burson) Dilley, the former a native of Ohio and the latter of Virginia, but both are now deceased. Politically Mr. Howell is a Republican and socially is connected with Florin Lodge No. 364, I. O. O. F., at Florin, California. In business he is meeting with well merited success and yet he finds time to faithfully perform his duties of citizenship, being as true and loyal to his country in days of peace as when he followed the stars and stripes on southern battlefields.

Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine

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