Russell, Kentucky

Not to be confused with the Russell neighborhood of Louisville, the similarly-named cities of Russell Springs in Russell Co. and Russellville in Logan Co, or Russell County.
City of Russell

Location of Russell, Kentucky
Coordinates: 38°31′5″N 82°41′52″W / 38.51806°N 82.69778°W / 38.51806; -82.69778Coordinates: 38°31′5″N 82°41′52″W / 38.51806°N 82.69778°W / 38.51806; -82.69778
Country United States
State Kentucky
County Greenup
Incorporated February 23, 1874
Named for a local landowner
  Type Mayor-Council
  Mayor William C. Hopkins
  Total 4.0 sq mi (10.4 km2)
  Land 4.0 sq mi (10.4 km2)
  Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 646 ft (197 m)
Population (2000)
  Total 3,645
  Density 910.5/sq mi (351.5/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
  Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 41169 (part in 41101)
Area code(s) 606
FIPS code 21-67458
GNIS feature ID 0502497

Russell is a home rule-class city[1] on the south bank of the Ohio River in Greenup County, Kentucky, in the United States. The population was 3,645 during the year 2000 U.S. Census. Russell is a suburb of Ashland and part of the Huntington-Ashland-Ironton metropolitan area. It has close economic affiliations with its neighbors, Ashland and Flatwoods in Kentucky and Ironton in Ohio.


The hilly site near the confluence of White Oak Creek and the Ohio was chosen by pioneer Jeff Moore in 1823 in order to provide protection for his camp against attacks by local American Indian tribes.[2] In 1829, James E. McDowell, William Lindsay Poage, and his brother erected an iron furnace; they named the foundry and the community that grew up around it Amanda Furnace after William's infant daughter. The furnace ceased operation in 1861.[3]

John Russell and his Means and Russell Iron Company purchased the land of the present city beside Amanda Hill from the Poage brothers.[4] They laid out and established the town of Riverview in 1869[5] in expectation of an expansion of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad westward from Huntington, West Virginia, to Cincinnati, Ohio. Ferry service to Ohio began in 1870,[6] local landowners agreed to rename the community after its founder in 1873,[4] and the city was formally incorporated under the name Russell in 1874.[5] The expected C&O spur did not arrive until 1889 but, when it did, it constructed a railyard, roundhouse, and shops and the city grew quickly. The city celebrates this influence with annual "Russell Railroad Days" each August.[6]

Numerous disasters limited its growth. The Ohio River flooded the city in 1884, smallpox struck in 1901, and a fire consumed downtown and the city hall in 1903. In 1905, it was still the largest city in Greenup County, but the Ohio flooded again in 1913 and 1937. The 1937 flood affected all but 30 homes and over 500 people were forced to shelter in C&O boxcars and cabooses until the waters receded. Despite the completion of a bridge to Ironton in 1922 and a floodwall in 1950, Russell was no longer the county's largest municipality by the mid-1950s.[6]

The Fortune 500 company Ashland Oil relocated its headquarters to Russell in 1974,[6] but moved to the Cincinnati suburb of Covington in 1999.


Russell is located at 38°31′5″N 82°41′52″W / 38.51806°N 82.69778°W / 38.51806; -82.69778 (38.518176, -82.697680),[7] beside Ashland and directly across the Ohio River from Ironton, Ohio.[4] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.0 square miles (10 km2), all land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20153,260[8]−3.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 3,645 people, 1,428 households, and 1,106 families residing in the city. The population density was 910.5 people per square mile (351.8/km²). There were 1,584 housing units at an average density of 395.7 per square mile (152.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.49% White, 0.71% African American, 0.03% Native American, 2.14% Asian, 0.22% from other races, and 0.41% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.82% of the population.

There were 1,428 households out of which 30.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.6% were married couples living together, 7.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.5% were non-families. 20.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the city the population was spread out with 21.7% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 25.1% from 25 to 44, 29.7% from 45 to 64, and 16.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 94.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $53,869, and the median income for a family was $62,018. Males had a median income of $50,306 versus $30,494 for females. The per capita income for the city was $29,453. About 4.1% of families and 6.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.1% of those under age 18 and 2.1% of those age 65 or over.



Part of AK Steel's Ashland Works is located in Russell. Russell was also once home to the headquarters of Ashland Inc., a diversified chemical company. The two-building headquarters was located on KY 1725 (Ashland Drive), with another facility on KY 693 (Diederich Boulevard). The company has since relocated to Covington, although the Diedrich Boulevard facility remains open. The Ashland Drive facility is now owned by Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital and is used as physician, clinic and hospital business offices.


The city has a large railroad classification yard, built by the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad and now operated by CSX Transportation. The C&O Rail Yard was formerly the largest individually-owned rail yard in the world.

Vehicles may cross the Ohio River via the Ironton–Russell Bridge or the Ben Williamson Memorial Bridge in Ashland. A new Ironton-Russell Bridge, opened in 2016, connects downtown Ironton with U.S. 23 and KY 244 just south of downtown Russell. The original Ironton-Russell Bridge, which connected downtown Ironton directly with Willow Street in downtown Russell, opened in 1922, closed when the new bridge opened in 2016 and is scheduled to be demolished in 2016-2017.


Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital is a 214-bed not-for-profit acute care hospital located in Russell. The hospital is part of the Catholic-based Bon Secours Health System Inc. Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital employs approximately 1,200 healthcare professionals, making the hospital the largest employer in Greenup County.[11]


Russell's students are served by Russell Independent Schools, which it shares with its neighbors, Flatwoods and Bellefonte. The main campus, which includes Russell High School, Russell Middle School, Russell Primary School and the Russell Area Technology Center, sit on the Russell/Flatwoods city line (all of the school's mailing addresses are Russell, but they receive primary police and fire protection from Flatwoods). In addition, the district's central office is located in downtown Russell. The Russell High School football field is home to a fire-breathing Red Devil, the school's mascot Rudy, who sits atop the scoreboard. Russell High School was the 1978 Kentucky State 3A football champion, as well as the 2005 Kentucky State 2A football champion.[12]

Notable people

See also


  1. "Summary and Reference Guide to House Bill 331 City Classification Reform" (PDF). Kentucky League of Cities. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
  2. City of Russell. Official site. Accessed 21 April 2010.
  3. Rennick, p. 6. Accessed 29 September 2013.
  4. 1 2 3 Rennick, Robert. Kentucky Place Names, pp. 258–259. University Press of Kentucky (Lexington), 1987. Accessed 29 September 2013.
  5. 1 2 Commonwealth of Kentucky. Office of the Secretary of State. Land Office. "Russell, Kentucky". Accessed 26 Aug 2013.
  6. 1 2 3 4 The Kentucky Encyclopedia, p. 789. "Russell". University Press of Kentucky (Lexington), 1992. Accessed 29 September 2013.
  7. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  8. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  9. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  10. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  11. Top employers in Tri-State Retrieved on 2010-04-21
  12. "OWENSBORO CATHOLIC vs RUSSELL (Dec 03, 2005)". Kentucky High School Athletic Association.

External links

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