ROBERT COLUMBUS RUSS, editor and proprietor of the Shelbyville (Tenn.) Commercial, was born in Fayetteville, N. C., September 5, 1824, being one of twelve children — six boys and six girls — born to James and Eunice (Steeley) Russ, both natives of North Carolina; the former being born June 29, 1790, and the latter October 17, 1791, and both of whom died in Shelbyville, Tenn. Our subject’s paternal grandparents were William and Hannah Russ, the former being a native of Russia, and the latter of Scotland; and his maternal grandparents were William and Lexy Steeley. Only three of the twelve children born to our subject’s parents are living, viz.: our subject, his brother, A. J. Russ, and his sister, Mary Jane Fausett.
Our subject set in to learn the “art preservative” in 1840 with his brother James and William L. Berry, in Fayetteville, and began editing and publishing a paper in Shelbyville in 18–, find has continued in that capacity to the present, having published eight papers altogether. Our subject was married to Euphamie M., daughter of John Crawford, at Cedar Springs, Marshall Co., Tenn., December 14. 1848, and to them have been born twelve children — six boys and six girls — all of whom have died except four boys and one girl. The Commercial is the oldest newspaper in Shelbyville, is Democratic, and wields considerable influence as a local and party paper.
Transcribed by Kathryn Hopkins
Goodspeed Publishing Co. History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present: Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Maury, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson, Bedford & Marshall Counties, Besides a Valuable Fund of Notes, Reminescences [Sic], Observations, Etc., Etc. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1988.