My Childhood Memories of Uncle Sanders
I especially remember my Uncle Sanders at all of the
Family Christmas Eve Celebrations. As long as I can
remember, he always brought a special gift of a box
of Whitman Sampler Chocolate Candy to every family
member. To my grandmother, Miss Kitty, he always brought a box of Candied Dried Fruit. He loved Christmas, and paid special attention to the children of the family. Not realizing that,in those years,I was his ONLY niece, I felt very "Special" when he said,
"Now,how's my Favorite Niece?",as he took me on his knee.
Uncle Sanders' Childhood Family Circle|
My mother dictated these Memories of life at "The Cedars" to me in 1987, a few months before her death.
"SANDERS,four years older,was my only older brother, and I called him,'Bro'. Pickens,eleven years younger,was my only younger brother, and I called him, 'Little Pick'. Mama,Dad,'Bro', and I shared many years together before 'Little Pick's' birth, since he was fifteen years younger than 'Bro'."
Sanders' Early Animal Experiences:A Prelude To Fame
According to my mother,"'Bro'and I both owned pet calves, and a cow,'Princess',which we loved to lead down at the 'Big Barn'. We rode our ponies,'Pat'and
'Minny',on the harness horse jogging track at home. We
imagined ourselves behind a sulky,driving a Standard-
Bred Trotter or Pacer, just like Dad bred and trained at 'The Cedars', and drove in the Harness Races. We looked forward all year to riding the Ferris Wheels,
Merry-Go-Rounds, and Roller-Coasters at the Fairs. It was our greatest dream to win a Teddy Bear on the Glamourous Midways at'The Races' we attended each year.
The horses raced on the Grand Circuit at County and State Fairs from Georgia to Ohio and Indiana. Since Mama tutored us at home through the eighth grade,we continued our school work during our trips to 'The Races'. After that, we stayed with grandparents,aunts, and uncles, back in Alabama, to attend school,if Mama and Dad had a'winning season'and raced into the fall.
The whole family lived out of suit cases at boarding houses in each town hosting a 'Race Meeting',and went to the Races every summer afternoon. We became close personal friends of the families that we stayed with, and returned to their homes each season.
The horses traveled in railroad box cars, while our family traveled,at first,by horse and buggy,and later in one of the first automobiles in Jackson County. SANDERS actually drove his first Harness Race at the age of fifteen in South Georgia. He was up to the
challenge, since Dad believed in teaching children
'how to work'.We all learned how to saddle and ride a
horse correctly, at a very early age.
Sanders learned the secrets of using the hopples, blinders, and other specialized tricks of the harness horse trade from Dad. He attributed much of his success in developing a Promising Horse, "CHESTERTOWN" into a Great Horse, to his early lessons from Dad on the importance
of nutrition,grooming,conditioning,and fitting each
horse into the correct shoes. Individually designed shoes were forged in the blacksmith shop located behind
the Big Barn.
The ability to diagnose and successfully
treat problems with lame horses came as second nature to Sanders, as did his special talent for calming an anxious horse's nerves.
High ethical standards,gentlemanly manners,good sports-
manship, and an almost stoic refusal to compromise his
principles, earned Sanders a well-deserved nickname. Although fun-loving and witty; he was respectfully known in the Harness Horse World as 'The Preacher'.
To me, however, he always remained 'BRO'."
"RUSSELL-TALK":Three Generations of Russells talk "HARNESS HORSES"... HERE , as it
was chronicled in the sport of harness racing in the 20th Century!
SANDERS:IN HIS OWN WORDS
Sanders attended his first harness race at the tender age of three and advised his dad, who did not fare well in the first racing heat of the afternoon,"If you're going to keep finishing last, let's don't race any more." Twelve years later, he was in the sulky himself!
Quote from a Harness Horse book,"Care and Training of the Trotter and Pacer", of which he was author of the chapter:'Care of the Horse'. This book was published by The United States Trotting Association(USTA) of which Sanders Russell was a member of the Board of Directors for many years.
Sanders,born at Stevenson,AL on April 26,1900,won the 1962 Hambletonian at age 62 behind
A.C.'s VIKING .
ABOVE PHOTO: Courtesy of Mary Lou Dondarski, "THE HAMBLETONIAN SOCIETY".
An ever-determined SANDERS RUSSELL is shown in the sulky the week following his historic 1962 Hambletonian victory, his foot still in the cast!
In 1967,he set a World's Record,with Fresh Yankee's mile in 1:57 ,more than 50 years after he drove his first race. His father,a horse trainer,opened a public racing stable at 'The Cedars'in 1903.The stable has wintered there in Alabama under the same family management ever since. Among the many horses developed by Sanders and Pickens III; under the watchful eye and gentle, but firm, guidance of their father, I.P. Russell,II; were
"Tronita", "Johnny Brown", and "Dutch Boy", to name a few!
NOTE:Handwritten caption found on back of circa 1940s picture of 'Johnny Brown' by my grandmother, 'Miss Kitty'! In the background is the 'Old Cotton Gin' located in front of the Sanders Russell Training Barn, here, on the farm. Although 'The Gin' was torn down many years ago, my uncle, Pickens Russell,III,(1915-2011) when better than 90 years old,himself, told me that Uncle Sanders' and Aunt Evelyn's circa 1920s home; restored and lived-in by his great-nephew, Dr. H. Russell Phillips, DVM, his wife,Ann, and two young sons, Matthew Russell Phillips and Owen Phillips; stands on the site of a large cotton field near 'The Gin' and training barns. Interestingly, evidence of that cotton field remains in the "volunteer plants" sometimes growing through the carefully manicured bedded plants on the grounds of Russ and Ann's home. Funny how we never truly grow away from our 'Roots'!
ISRAEL PICKENS RUSSELL, III
"SPORTS ILLUSTRATED MAGAZINE" NAMES SANDERS RUSSELL
TO ALABAMA'S TOP 50 ATHLETES OF THE 20th CENTURY
Sanders Russell was named #24 from Alabama,in "Sports
Illustrated's" last issue of 1999, which honored the Top 50 Athletes from each state. In the company of top professional football and baseball players, Olympic medalists, and other team and individual sportmen and women; Sanders was the sole nominee from Harness Horse Racing. Born in 1900, Sanders is still at the top of his sport 100 years later.
"HOOF-BEATS MAGAZINE":November 2008
I recently had the pleasure of reading an article featured in the November 2008 issue
called, "Passing Time Sanders Russell: Hoof Beats remembers'The Preacher'"
by Benjamin Lammers.
The Russell family was honored to know that Uncle Sanders is still remembered in "Hoof-Beats", the foremost magazine devoted to the sport of Harness-Horse Racing, more than forty years after Uncle Sanders won the 1962 Hambletonian with A.C's Viking!
Walter Russell 86, Hall of Fame official dies
Harnesslink Admin 12:50 AM 24-Dec-2012 NZT
JUDGE WALTER S. RUSSELL 2011
Walter S. Russell was elected to "The 2011 Harness Horse Living Hall of Fame" in the category of 'JUDGE' by WSHWA, "The United States Harness Writers Association". Walter, son of the late Sanders & Evelyn Russell, nephew of Israel Pickens Russell,III and my mother, Helen Russell Phillips, was honored on February 27, 2011 at
Induction ceremonies held in Goshen, NY in July 2011.
Visit Obituary at www.harnesslink.com
Walter Sanders Russell, Jr.
THE DAILY SENTINEL
Visit "THE DAILY SENTINEL OBITUARIES"
Story submitted by The Family of Walter Sanders Russell, Jr.
"Goodbye My Friend"
Personal Friend, Deal W Hudson,
Offers Tribute at www.catholic.org
Thank you, Deal, from the Family of Walter S Russell
1962 TRIVIA(Courtesy Hambletonian History Website)
"Sanders won the 1962 Hambletonian behind A.C.'s Viking , 3-year-old Trotter of the Year. Viking was bred and owned by Mr.& Mrs. A.C.Petersen of Connecticut; trained and driven by Sanders Russell, who won two straight heats with his foot in a cast; since he felt the horse was too difficult for anyone else to drive. On the road to the coveted Triple Crown of Harness Racing, Viking won the second leg, the Yonkers Futurity, but lost the third and final leg to Safe Mission at the Kentucky Futurity."
Famed breeding farms from
the "Red-Clay of Georgia", the "Blue-Grass of Kentucky", and the "Romantic Shores of Nova Scotia"; distinguished and loyal harness-racing patrons; a knack for choosing and developing promising horses and life-long friendships, as well as chance meetings with the rich and famous; combine with the often playful hand of "LADY LUCK" and the ever-protective hand of a loving GOD; thereby, weaving a 'Tapestry' from the lives of a CENTURY & HERITAGE Andrew Jackson Land-Grant pioneer family from the "Hill-Country" of Northeastern Alabama....and a town called...STEVENSON!
WELCOME to "A RUSSELL FAMILY HISTORY"!
Includes "Eulogy of Israel Pickens Russell,III"
L-R:Emily,Ernestine & Pick Russell
NOTE: The picture BELOW is a LINK to my original Christmas Poem in Memory of..
"SOX",Ch Bet'R Bobby Sox at Gin-Tai,ROM, Tibetan Spaniel, shown posing at Christmas in the Parlor of 'My Home In Alabama'."
The original one-story Victorian-Cottage-Style home was built in 1897, mostly by workers on the Russell farm, under the careful supervision of my grandfather, I.P. Russell, Jr., for his bride-to-be, my grandmother, Katharine Rebecca Sanders, daughter of the Rev. C. B. Sanders and Anna Duanna White Sanders. The couple, wed November 16,1898 ,celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary in 1948. Their two sons, Sanders and Pickens, and only daughter, Helen, my mother, were born in this house.
The original Golden-Oak Mantelpiece and Pocket-Doors in the Parlor, Beveled-Glass Front Door, Golden-Oak Main Stairway, doors, windows, transoms, and detailed woodwork were shipped into nearby Stevenson, Alabama by rail. The present green-shuttered home with Hip Roof, has four downstairs rooms with 12-foot ceilings and picture-railings, a Country Kitchen, and Foyer. It features a Veranda Front Porch with Railing, Greek-Revival-Style columns, and a bead-board ceiling. The stone and brick foundation and retaining wall, as well as much of the Pine tongue-and-groove flooring, weather-boarding, Cedar shakes, and lattice-work, were hand-crafted from materials available on the Russell Farm.
Shortly after WWI, four upstairs bedrooms and a Screened-in Sleeping Porch were added after a chimney fire burned off the Cottage-Style roof. The upstairs served as a temporary home for the following family members: elder son, Sanders Russell, his wife, Evelyn Willis Russell, and son, Walter Sanders Russell, II, in the 1920's ;younger son, I. P. Russell, III, his wife, Ernestine Mann Russell, and infant daughter, Mary Lucille Russell, in the 1940's; only daughter, Helen, my mother, her husband, William Harold Phillips, and their children, Kathryn Elizabeth Phillips, Harold Russell Phillips, and Helen Frances Phillips, in the 1950's; and finally grandson, Harold Russell Phillips, his wife, Virginia Ann King Phillips, and infant daughter, Karen Frances Phillips, in the 1960's.
Several other extended family members, including my grandmother's nephews, Jim Kyle and Marion Wingfield, spent summers as house guests at "My Home in Alabama", while working in the family Harness Horse Training and Racing business known as "Russell Stables". Young Jimmy Wingfield became a prominent harness horse trainer/driver, himself. Before World War II, Jimmy was employed by noted horseman, Sep Palin, where he was deeply involved in the development and career of the world-famous, "Greyhound". The outbreak of World War II cut this highly successful relationship short, as Jimmy Wingfield; who began his military service working with horses in the United States Cavalry; saw battlefield action as a "TANKER" before VE-Day. My grandparents received 'Victory-Air-Mail' regularly from Jimmy posted from .."faraway places with strange-sounding names".. like "somewhere in Africa".. or similar exotic settings! After "The War", Jimmy married Norma Boardman, daughter of well-known horseman, Neil Boardman. They carried on the harness horse tradition, established their own stable, and finally settled, with their three children, on a horse farm in South Georgia.
Both Marion and Jimmy Wingfield married and raised their families not too far away from the red-clay of Georgia, where their descendants still reside today. In 2009, Marion's grandson, Kyle Wingfield, after several years in Belgium as a resident Foreign Correspondent for THE WALL-STREET JOURNAL, has returned to Atlanta with his wife and young son, where he has assumed a coveted post as the newest member of the Editorial Staff of THE ATLANTA-CONSTITUTION JOURNAL.
Breeding, training, and racing fine horses began with my great-grandfather, Israel Pickens Russell, Sr., who bred fine Saddle and Carriage Horses.
My grandfather showed Ebony King to a Show Horse Grand Championship in New York City at the Madison Square Garden, in the early days of the Stables. My grandparents and their children traveled the County Fair Grand Circuit Harness Races from the early 1900's through the 1940's. The Circuit included races from South Georgia to Lexington, Kentucky, to Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana, and by the 1950's, into Pennsylvania and New York.
The horses wintered here on the Alabama Century and Heritage Andrew Jackson Land Grant Farm originally acquired by my great-great-grandfather, James Russell, in the 1820's and 1830's. "MY HOME IN ALABAMA" is also located on that farm in Jackson County, Alabama, near Stevenson, Alabama
Eldest son, Sanders Russell,won the 1962 Hambletonian, among other notable successes. He was inducted into the Alabama Sportsman Hall of Fame at Birmingham, AL . He was inducted into the US Harness Racing Living Hall of Fame in Goshen, New York in 1970.
Upon the deaths of my grandparents in the 1950's, the house was deeded to my mother, Helen Russell Phillips, who in turn deeded it to me upon her death. The house is celebrating more than 100 years owned and lived in by succeeding generations of the Russell and Phillips families.
As friends and family members drop by the Front Porch, sit in the original Front Porch Swing, which replaced my grandfather's beloved Hammock, and have a glass of Pink Lemonade; they escape the sounds of the city, share the gentle breeze, and listen to the untouched sounds of nature, as the Israel Pickens Russell, Jr. Home, "MY HOME IN ALABAMA", enters the 21st Century.
Submitted by Kathryn Elizabeth Phillips, Present Owner
This entire website design is Intellectual Property of Kathryn E Phillips and is not to be reproduced without her written permission.
WEB COMPETITION AWARDS
"SALEM'S WEB COMPETITION"
What makes a "HOUSE" a "HOME"?
Isn't it the LOVING MEMORIES that fill..the Hearts of ALL those who have played a part in its history?
May "MY HOME IN ALABAMA", our "HOME on the WEB", always leave its visitors with the warm glow of "SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY"!
At..."SALEM'S WEB COMPETITION...!
SALEM'S WEB COMPETITION!
We love these special gifts and awards, since they fit the theme of our site so perfectly! Salem, our friend, is such a talented graphic artist, and we deeply appreciate her generous sharing of her beautiful graphic art.
12:00 AM-10:00 PM (EST)
The MOST IMPORTANT Part of COMPETITION!
AWARDS BY:"Salem's Web Competition"
SALEM'S WEB COMPETITION SPIRIT SPOT
OFFICIAL APPROVAL GRAPHIC HERE
"A HISTORY OF THE RUSSELL FAMILY" UPDATED:December 2008 - Featuring "My Home In Alabama" & "The Cedars"
"A HISTORY OF THE WINGFIELD/SANDERS/RUSSELL FAMILY CONNECTION" UPDATED:January 2010 - Featuring
the WINGFIELD/BOARDMAN connection to "My Home in Alabama", another link to "THE HARNESS HORSE WORLD"
The 2014 Inaugural Jackson County Sports Hall of Fame
If you cannot use this as a clickable link due to privacy and security issues, try a search engine, instead.
TheRussellFrontPorch - Birthplace of Sanders,Helen,& Pickens Russell
ONE-STOP VOTE PAGE - VOTE for ALL of our Website Competitions HERE!-
MY BLOG & SLIDE SHOWS - MORE Website Links HERE!
THE TIBETAN SPANIEL CLUB OF AMERICA NATIONAL SPECIALTY-Link to Full-Screen Official SlideShow of TSCA National Specialty Winners, MEMBERS ONLY
For:Doctor Bill and 'The SHS Class of 1971'-In Memory of Dr. William P. Bryant and "The Old Stevenson High School Class of 1971"
For Doctor Bill SPIRIT SPOT for SALEM'S WEBSITE COMPETITION - VOTE for DOCTOR BILL at SWC HERE!
November 2008 Tibetan Spaniel Litter: - Sired by Ch Gin-Tai Chatawa Peter Punkin,RN,CGC,TT x Ch Kofuku Windom Sweet Shorty Too:Litter bred by Lynn Miller, Kofuku Akitas & Tibbies,Dawsonville, GA:SlideShows, Pedigree, Photos, and Show Records
Lacy Britches Chinese Lantern - History of 'The Gin-Chows'and Chow Pedigree Base
RUSSELL-TALK - History of Harness Horse Racing, with LINKS to everything...HARNESS HORSE
GONE TO THE DOGS - Story of my Involvement In The Dog Show World!
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! - Mother's Day Tibetan Spaniel Site
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! - Features:TibbieTalk Forum & Site Search Engine by Bravenet
THANKSGIVING INDEX-Thanksgiving Index:featuring Tibbie Video Clips & Greeting Cards-
A GIN-TAI CHRISTMAS CARD - Christmas Homepage for Gin-Tai
A GIN-TAI HAPPY HALLOWEEN - Halloween Greetings From Gin-Tai Tibetan Spaniels
We're a "Year-Round Holiday Website"! - Send a FREE Tibbie Greeting Card
HAPPY NEW YEAR -Featuring:Ch Gin-Tai's Bud-Z-Boi,"BUD", and The Gin-Tai Tibetan Spaniels
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY-Featuring:NEW AKC GrCh Ch Wassong's Fresh Yankee,CGC, "RUSSELL",and The Gin-Tai Tibetan Spaniels
HAPPY ST.PAT'S DAY! - Featuring:Ch Gin-Tai Chatawa Peter Punkin,RN,CGC,TT,"PETE", and The Gin-Tai Tibetan Spaniels
WHAT'S IN A TITLE? - VOTE for "The Gin-Tai Tibetan Spaniels" at 'SALEM'S WEB COMPETITION'!
Spring Index Page - Hosted by 'The Gin-Tai Tibetan Spaniels'
Salem's Web Competition Spirit Spot! - We'd appreciate your support of 'MY HOME IN ALABAMA' & 'WHAT'S IN A TITLE?' at this Website Competition!
Winter Index Page - Hosted by 'The Gin-Tai Tibetan Spaniels'
GIN-TAI FAQ - Gin-Tai's Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)Data Base
HISTORY OF THE GIN-TAI TIBETAN SPANIELS - Story of "Five Little Tibbies" born on Halloween 1998 and their mother,"SOX"!",
TIBETAN SPANIEL POETRY - My Original, "What's In That Christmas Box?", Poem for "SOX"
Visit "HISTORIC DOWNTOWN STEVENSON" - During "The Stevenson Depot Days Festival" the first week in June! NEW:Christmas Tour of The Stevenson Public Library and Stevenson Railroad Depot Museum featured HERE!
Stevenson Depot Days Spirit Spot - Our Website Design Awards and MORE about "Historic Stevenson, Alabama"
Autumn Leaves Index Page - FALL SEASONAL INDEX
Christmas Index Page - CHRISTMAS SEASONAL INDEX
'MY HOME IN STEVENSON, ALABAMA'
- Features A 'Christmas Tour' of 'My Home In Alabama'and other special links -
WALKIN' THE DOG,"RUSSELL":CHAMPION-STYLE -Home of generations of Champion Tibetan Spaniels, Chow Chows, and Harness Horses near Stevenson, Alabama!
Gin-Chow FAQ - Chow Chow Frequently Asked Questions
Tibetan Spaniel Links and Information - Links TibbieWebMag,Breed Information,& History
Main IndexGraphics & Design:Courtesy 'Anita's Art Designs'!
Russell Family Photo Album - MORE Vintage,Depot Days, & Tibetan Spaniel Photos
Russell Family Hosts Harness-Racing Matinee in 1951 -Includes pictures and links to USTA Hall of Fame and other wonderful harness-horse memorabilia-
A 'Don't MISS IT Treat' for harness-horse fans!
Visit our Photo Albums at BRAVENET.COM
The First United Methodist Church of Stevenson, Alabama.- Design is a personal gift to the community of Stevenson, AL. Pages are undated on a weekly basis with announcements of activities and other opportunities for interaction with a friendly group to which we belong. Donations of pictures, slideshows, etc., of interest to other members of this group, should be addressed to Kathryn E Phillips, Webmaster, Frances P. Crownover, Assistant Webmaster, or The Rev. Bill Stone, Pastor at the church email addy.