Descendants of Capt. Arthur Fenner
Russel B. Fenner
[b 9 Feb. 1814 at Pompey, NY; d 27 Mar. 1896 at Plainwell, MI] Russel m Hannah V. Schenck [b 13 Aug. 1817; d 25 Apr. 1898], daughter of Rulef Schenck and Elsie Baird. on 28 Sept. 1837. In 1841, Russel bought and improved fifty acres of land, but in 1844 he traded it for one hundred forty acres of wild land in Martin, Allegan Co., MI that his father had purchased. “The appearance of the country was anything but inviting to the young couple who had left parents, brothers, sisters, and the friends of their youth in a well-settled neighborhood, to seek a home in the unbroken wilderness.” Russel built a log house within a couple of months and also built the first saw mill in the town, but he turned his attention to farming after about four years.
There were many indians in the country at that time, and they often came for him to take his dog and go with them to catch the deer which they had wounded. The Squaws sometimes came to the house with their baskets, trading them with Mrs. Fenner for salt pork, flour, or such eatables as he had. The indians often wanted to stay all night, and frequently they were allowed to roll up in their blankets and sleep beside the kitchen fire. [Lucinda Fenner, History of the Fenner Family, 132-135]
After they lived in Martin for nine years, they moved to North Gun Plains. Russel was an intelligent man and had a keen insight into human nature. Besides his interest in agriculture, he was also interested in medical science. He and Hannah helped to contribute to meetings held in the schoolhouse by aiding in the singing and encouraging others to help. Russel was also a loyal Democrat, a road commissioner for three years, and a justice of the peace for eleven.
“It was a delightful custom for many years before his death to have the children, grandchildren, and the other relatives gather [at his home] on his birth-day.” On 28 Sept. 1887, he and his wife celebrated 50 years of marriage with a golden wedding.
1. Byron Russell [b 4 Mar. 1839 at Lysander, NY; d 18 July 1904].
2. Eliza Eleanor [b 1 Apr. 1842 at Lysander, NY; d 30 Dec. 1919].
3. William Perry [b 22 Dec. 1844 at Lysander, NY; d 20 Mar. 1925].
4. Rulef James [b 17 Sept. 1850 at Martin, MI; d 21 Jan. 1945].
5. Franklin Monroe [b 11 Oct. 1854 at Martin, MI; d 11 Nov. 1934].