Ilion Alumni Pharmacist

Benjamin A Russell Sr - IHS Alumnus

November 2020

By Aileen Carney Sweeney

Benjamin A Russell Sr Pharmacist

Benjamin A Russell Sr. - IHS Alumnus - Pharmacist

Benjamin A. Russell Sr. was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin H. and Frances R. Russell. He was raised in Ilion and attended Ilion schools. The exact year of his high school graduation is unknown but is believed to have been around 1890. He later graduated from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. The B. A. Russell Pharmacy opened on First St., Ilion, in 1895.

Russells Celebrate 50th Anniversaries

Below is the text from the November 15, 1945 Ilion Sentinel newspaper. The article highlighted the career of Benjamin Russell while celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary. - Russells Celebrate 50th Anniversary - November 15, 1945- Illion NY Sentinel 1944-1946 (1) - 0724.pdf -

On November 12th. 1895, Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Russell were married and in the same month of that year. The B. A Russell Pharmacy was founded in First St., by Mr. Russell, and continued in that location until 1931 when the store was moved to its present location at 12 Otsego Street, Ilion, N. Y.

Known as the "Shop of Fine Drugs," it has always been the policy of the - founder and present owner, to dispense drugs, chemicals and prescription specialists of the highest quality. Equipment for compounding has been modernized and has kept pace with progress to assure accurate service. Only competent, registered pharmacists have been entrusted with the important duty of filling your doctors prescriptions. Every effort has been made to provide the finest in drugs and to cooperate with the profession.

The attainment of the Golden Anniversary, a milestone reached by only a few pharmacies, points to the soundness of this policy. The management takes this occasion to pledge a continuation of their efforts to provide capable, honest, courteous service, to work with the physicians, surgeons and dentists of the community in the important task of helping to maintain the health and happiness of friends and fellow citizens.

It is noteworthy that Mr. Russell "Dean" of Ilion's active business men and founder of the pharmacy is still working at the business of modern retail pharmacy every day and it is particularly memorable year for him, for in the same November the store was founded he was married to Miss Belle Clive at the bride's home on Montgomery Street in Ilion. Miss Lena Rivers served as bridesmaid and Robert Lindsay acted as best man for Mr. Russell. Rev. Rufus E. King, who in later years edited the Ilion Citizen, was the minister.

A wedding anniversary dinner for the couple was celebrated on Sunday. November 11th, at the home of their son and daughter-in-law, Mr and Mrs. Benjamin A Russell, Jr. Dinner guests were Mr. and Mrs. Edward M. Brown, daughter and son-in-law of Utica. Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Roberts of Utica and three grandchildren, Jane, Peggy and B. A. Russell, 3rd.

Many floral tributes and gifts have been received to commemorate the double anniversary.

Associated with Mr. Russell in the pharmacy are his son, who acts as manager and Mrs. Margaret Hecox, who for several years has been in charge of toiletries.


Benjamin A. Russell Sr. - Obituary

Below is the text from the October 23, 1947 Ilion Sentinel newspaper obituary for Benjamin Russell Sr..

B. A. Russell Sr. 74, dean of Ilion business men and a former chairman of the county Republican committee, died suddenly this morning at 5 at his home, 37 Morgan St. He had been in failing health for about a year.

Widely-known in the Mohawk Valley for his record of continuous service as an Ilion businessman, Mr. Russell opened the Russell Pharmacy In Ilion in 1895 and until recent months was actively associated in the conduct of the Pharmacy with his son, B. A Ruse11 Jr.

Born In Providence, Rhode Island, on Dec. 24, 1873, Mr. Russell first resided in Herkimer with his parents, the late Benjamin H. and Frances R. Russell, before moving to Ilion while still a boy. He was educated in Ilion schools and graduated from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. He was married to Miss Belle Clive in Ilion in November, 1895.

Mr. Russell was a charter member of the Ilion Elks and a member of Ilion Lodge 591, F&AM and the Episcopal Church. Surviving are his widow, his son [Benjamin], and a daughter, Mrs. David Rosendale. Utica, and three grandchildren. Funeral services will be conducted Saturday afternoon.

B. A. Russell Sr. Dies Suddenly - October 23, 1947 - Ilion NY Sentinel 1947-1948 - 0339.pdf -
Benjamin A. Russell Sr. - findagrave
IHS 1924 Benjamin A. Russell Jr. - his son - findagrave

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November 27, 2020 - Modified March 27, 2021