Source: Cockrell, Ewing. History of Johnson County, Missouri. Topeka: Historical Pub. Co., 1918, p. 867.
Harvey Russell, proprietor of the Willowdale Stock Farm" and one of Johnson County's most noble pioneers is at the age of 83, as active and alert physically and mentally as men 25 years his junior. He was born Oct 22, 1834 in Montgomery County, Kentucky son of Joseph and Elizabeth Penn Russell, the former, a native of Loudon County, VA and the latter, a native of Kentucky, a distance relative of the renowned William Penn, the founder of PA. In 1856, the Russell family moved from Ky to Missouri, where they settled near Pleasant Hill. Joseph Russell was a teacher by profession. To Joseph and Elizabeth Penn Russell were born 7 childen: Dr. Joseph Penn who for 40 years was engaged in the practice of medicine at Waveland, Indiana; Dr. John T, a professor in Eminence College, Eminence, Kentucky; Mrs. Charlotte Berry; Mrs. Katherine Penn; Mrs. Emily Gillespie; Harvey, the subject of this review and Mrs. eLizabeth Wherritt. Both father and mother have long since been deceased. In private schools in Kentucky, Harvey Russell received his early education. He was later a student for two years in Waveland Academy at Waveland, Indiana, Montgomery county. Mr. Russell's first business venture was at Pleasant Hill, where he and W.H.H. Gustin were in partnership in the mercantile business for 24 years, the partnership being dissolved in 1897, when Mr. Russell sold his interest in the establishment to Mr. Gustin. The store is still being conducted in Pleasant Hill, now under the firm name of Gustin & Son, their place of business today the same as when Harvey Russell and Gustin were partners more than a score of years ago. Leaving Pleasant Hill, Mr. Russell came to Warrensburg, where he purchased 509 acres of land located on Blackwater near Greendoor, Missouri. The tract of land has a splendid drainage ditch crossing it and on this farm, which is widely known as the Willowdale Stock Farm, Mr. Russell was for many years engaged in raising Hereford cattle. A tenant, Mr. Miller, has occupied the place for the past 13 years and he is engaged in general farming there. Each winter, for 8 years past, Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Russell have spent in Miami, Florida, where they own a beautiful home Mr. Russell enjoys fishing in the ocean at that place and in the winter of 1915 landed a 42-pound fish, rivaling the celerated Isaac Walton himself. Aug 29, 1907, Harvey Russell was united in marriage with Margaret Zoll, the daughter of William and Sarah Martha Alderson Zoll, both of whom were natives of Virginia. William Zoll came to Missouri in 1857 and located at Lexington, where he remained six months. From Lexington he moved to Warrensburg and the Zoll family resided on Gay Street which was not then a part of the city of Warrensburg. Mr. Zoll purchased the BW Grover farm and also 23 acres of land, the latter located ont he present streets of Broad & Zoll. A part of the 23 acres, 3 3/4 acres now comprise the present lovely woodland home, known as "The Pines," where Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Russell reside when at home in Warrensburg. The handsome and modern residence is surrounded by numerous, tall, stately pine trees, which were planted by William Zoll more than 40 years. This was the Zoll homestead. William Zoll was one of Warrensburg's most prominent citizens and a leading man in civic affairs. During the Civil War, he was public administrator. He and Sen. Francis M. Cockrell were very dear and intimate friends and in spite of the fact that in the civil War the two men were on opposing sides the friendship endured the test of the bitter strife of the 60s and lasted throughout the life of Wm .Zoll. The two friends were made Elers Emeritus of the Cumberland Presbyt. Church of Warrensburg at the same time, when the union of the Cumberland and Presbyterian Churches of Warrensburg occured. William Zoll and Edward Kelley established the Zoll & Kelley Nursery business in thisc ity more than 20 years. Later, Wm. Zoll purchased Mr. K's interest and the firm became known as Zoll & Son. William and Sarah Martha (Alderson) Zoll celebrated their golden wedding anniversary at the Pines in 1898 and 9 of the 10 chldren born to them were present. Their chilren were: Allen A., whose death occurred in 1876; Charles H, formerly county engineer and surveyor of Johnson Co at present residing inMiami; Margaret who is the wife of Harvey Russell of this review; Mrs. FLora Z. Briggs of Atchison, Ks; Mrs. Sallie Cllaway of waverly, Missouri; Mrs. Mary Z. Doyle of Albany, Missouri, William Jr. who was killed in 1899 in a wrecvk on the Missouri Pacific RR, being employed as engineer by the company; George a, who resides at Fayetteville, Ark; Dr. Frank C who is engaged in the practice of medicine at Reddick, Florida and Robert L. of Miami, Florida. At the time of Mr. Zoll's death in 1908 he was the oldest Mason in years of membership in Johnson County. His death occurred at age 93 caused by a stroke of apoplexy 3 years previous. Prior to that, Wm. Zoll was keenly alert mentally and physically very strong. He was well posted on all current events and exceptionally well informed on political subjets, in which he always took an active interst. Mrs. Zoll had preceded her husband in death many years, her death occurred at age 71. Both father and mother were laid to rest in the Cemetery at Warrensburg. Harvey Russell keeps abreast of the times and has read extensively on current topics. He is a very entertaining and gifted conversationalist. Possessing a remarkable physical constitution, he is the equal, if not the superior of men more than a score of years younger than hye. Since he was 82 he has mastered the intricate machinery of an 8-cylinder Scripps Both car, and he is his own chauffeur. Mr. and Mrs. Russell never speak of their "lost youth" or represnt the period of youth as the end of happiness. Mr. Russell states emphatically tha the is enjoying life more today than at any other period in his career. He believes that, as Joseph H. Choate once said in an after dinner speech when he was 78 , "The happiest years of life are those between 70 and 90, and I advise you to hurry up and get there as soon as you can." A visit at the Russell home, at the beautiful Pines will convince anyone that it is a fallacy to lament one's lost youth. Both Mr. and Mrs. Russell are giving johnson County a wonderful example of how to grow old - not gracefully but triumphantly.