Dumfermline, Parish of Fife, Scotland


Robert Russell was born October 1, 1848 in Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of William Edmiston Russell and Magdalene Law who married on the 11th of April 1846 in Parish of Kettle, Fife, Scotland.  Two sisters Magdalen Russell and Jane Russell were born in the Parish of Carnock, Fife, Scotland.

Robert Russell married Esther Smith September 7, 1870 in the parish of Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland.  They had four children born in Dumfermline, Fife, Scotland: Catherine Russell (1871), William Edmonston Russell, (1872), Magdalene Russell (1873), and Esther Russell (1875). A fifth child Jean Russell was born in 1878 in the Parish of Dollar, County of Clackmannan, Scotland.  

Robert Russell, learned the trade of stone masonry in Scotland.  He built the Church of Dumfermline, in Dumfermline, Fife,  Scotland.


Immigration 1886

Robert Russell, wife Esther Smith, and their children immigrated to the United States in 1886 and settled in Denver.  Son William Edmonston Russell arrived in Denver in 1889 after completing his studies in Edinburgh.  Upon arriving in Colorado Mr. Russell became a stone contractor and builder. His company provided the stone work for the Mack block, the Denver Athletic club, St. Elizabeth's Church, and the Colorado Telephone Company.




Mr. Russell owned a large granite quarry company
 in Sheridan, Wyoming and was in charge of
construction at Fort McKenzie

 Robert Russell. age 62, died in Sheridan, Wyoming
 June 24, 1911 of bronchial pneumonia.

The funeral was held at the home of son William E. Russell,
 766 Gaylord Street, Denver. 
Burial followed at Riverside Cemetery,
June 27, 1911.

 Survived by his four children:
William E. Russell,
Mrs. Robert H. Biegel,
Mrs. John A. Matheson,
Mrs. Murray M. Watson

Obituary Rocky Mountain News, June 26, 1911
Page 2, Section 1


October 1, 1848 - June 24, 1911



1.  Catherine Russell, b. May 2, 1871, Dumferline, Fife, Scotland
2.  William Edmonston Russell, b. November 13, 1872, Dumfermline, Fife, Scotland
3.   Magdalene Russell, b. November 23, 1873, Dumferline, Fife, Scotland
4.   Esther Russell, b. ca. 1875, Fife or Clackmannan
5.   Jean Russell, b. November 18, 1878, Parish of Dollar, Clackmannan, Scotland



WILLIAM EDMONSTON RUSSELL, born November 13, 1872, Dumfermline, Fife, Scotland, attended Stewart's College in Edinburgh, Scotland. He arrived in Denver in 1889, obtaining employment as a bookkeeper in a stone business company. William founded the "Citizens Coal & Coke Company" in Denver in 1893.  The company provided coal, coke & wood, with a business office at 1523 Welton Street, and a yard at 4th & Larimer, in Denver.  He married on the 5th of October 1897 in Denver, Helen Imrie Seerie,  daughter of Edward Seerie and Margaret Duff. Helen was born December 18, 1873 in Castleton, Parish of Eassie & Nevay, Angus, Scotland, and immigrated to the United States with her parents in 1890. 

William became president of his company the "William E. Russell Coal Company" in 1913. Mr. Russell was active in the Denver community, serving as president of the Rotary Club, and a member of the Denver Country Club, Lakewood County Club, Denver Athletic Club, and Motor Club.

Children of William and Helen included Robert John Russell, born July 30, 1898 and Helen M. Russell, born ca. 1900 in Denver.

  "The Russell Coal Company"  of which William E. Russell was president, owned the Emerson Mine, also known as the Russell Mine, from 1913-1947.  The mine which produced bituminous coal was located in Section 20, Township 2 North, Range 67 West, northeast of Firestone, in Weld County, Colorado.

William Russell died in 1956 and Helen died in 1949.  Both are buried at Fairmount Cemetery, in Denver, Colorado along with their son Robert John Russell and his wife Rosamond Spears.




MAGDALENE RUSSELL, born November 23, 1873, Dumfermline, Fife, Scotland. Magdalene arrived the 18 October 1892 at the Port of New York City from the Port of Glasgow on the ship S.S. Circassia. She listed her occupation on the ship manifest as a domestic servant - destination Denver, Colorado. Magdalene Russell married John A. Matheson, April 19, 1898 in Denver.  Mr. Matheson was a tailor, with his shop located at 1419 California Street, Denver.


ESTHER RUSSELL, born 1875, Dumfermline, Fife, Scotland, married Robert H. Biegel, July 20, 1893 in Denver. Mr. Biegel was an optician with an office located at 1520 California Street, Denver, Colorado. The son of Henry Biegel and Augusta Pretzer, immigrants from Germany.  Esther died in 1956 and is buried at Riverside. 

A daughter, Esther Biegel, born 1897, married first Guy Waldo Strohm; then secondly married Henry W. Katt. Esther Biegel Strohm Katt died in 1963, and is buried at Riverside Cemetery, Adams County, Colorado.  


Mother: Esther Russell Biegel


Daugher: Esther Biegel Strohm Katt



JEAN RUSSELL, born November 18, 1878, Parish of Dollar, County of Clackmannan, Scotland. Jean married Murray M. WATSON in about 1906 in Santa Monica, California.   Jean and Mary had five children: three girls and two boys.  Son Murray M. Watson Jr., drowned in City Park Lake, Denver, in November of 1932. 

Murray M. Watson and wife Jean Russell resided for a short time in Denver. Murray worked as a collector of accounts for the William E. Russell Coal Company.

Murray & Jean then moved to southern Colorado where for many years Murray was a mine superintendent for Colorado Fuel & Iron (CF&I). In 1914 Murray was the Pit Boss at Berwind-Tobasco, a coal mine which had 393 employees by 1901. Berwind-Tobasco was located about 17 miles northwest of Trinidad and a mile from Ludlow, a campsite of striking coal miners.   The Watson family heard the shots of the machine gun attack by National Guardsmen on the morning of April 20, 1914. The family walked to the Ludlow camp where they saw the bodies of those who died in the confrontation between the National Guard and coal miners.

Murray then  managed the Floresta mine, a large and isolated mine with high grade anthracite coal, located ten miles west of  Crested Butte. Colorado Fuel and Iron Company owned the Floresta mine, along with the Big Mine, Smith Hill, and Pershing mine in the Crested Butte area. 
From there, they moved to Huerfano County in southern Colorado, where he ran progressive coal mines at Ideal and Cameron, both owned by Colorado Fuel and Iron.   The Ideal Mine was located one mile south of Walsenburg on Bear Creek Road while the Ideal mine was located south of Walsenburg off Ideal Canyon Road.

During part of the Great Depression, Murray was in Pueblo and although there was little work the Colorado Fuel and Iron company maintained Murray on the payroll.

In 1930 Jean and Murray divorced in Denver. Murray subsequently married Ruth Albert in 1931 in Pueblo, and they moved to Valdez, Las Animas County, where he ran the coal mine and Ruth worked as a school teacher. Murray and Ruth later moved to Santa Monica, California.

Jean Russell died in Denver on February 26, 1960 and is buried in Fairmount Cemetery, Denver, Colorado.

The family history of Jean Russell and Murray Watson provided by David Erickson, Denver, Colorado.





Robert H. Biegel, was the son of HENRY BIEGEL and AUGUSTA PRETZER.   Henry Biegel, b. 1843, and wife Augusta Pretzer, b. ca. 1847, were natives of Germany.  They had the following children:

1.  LOUISE C. BIEGEL, b. March 15, 1867, Minnesota; d. March 09, 1909, Colorado; burial Wesley Methodist Chapel Cemetery,   Northglenn, Adams County, Colorado (Death date per gravestone, in Lot 8, Block 3).  Louise married Walter E. Tuck, October 14, 1896, Denver, Arapahoe (now Denver County), Colorado, USA; b. November 23, 1871, England; d. November 04, 1969, Los Angeles County, California. Walter E. Tuck first lived in Black Hawk, Gilpin County, Colorado in 1880.  By 1885 he had moved to Denver, Colorado. The California death index states that Walter's mothers maiden name is Wordingham.

2. ROBERT H. BIEGEL, b. ca. 1869, Minnesota. Married Esther Russell  July 20, 1893 in Denver, Colorado.  One daughter Esther Biegel, born 1897.

3.  HENRY BIEGEL, b. ca. 1870, Minnesota.

4. MOLLIE BIEGEL, b. ca. 1873, Minnesota.

5. WILLIAM HERMAN BIEGEL, b. September 10, 1874, Denver, Arapahoe (now Denver County), Colorado USA; d. May 14, 1953, Los Angeles, California; m. Maude Mae Taylor, August 20, 1902, Denver, Denver County, Colorado; b. ca. 1876, Missouri. The California death index lists William's mothers maiden name is Pretzel.

6. MARTHA L. BIEGEL, b. ca. 1882, Denver, Arapahoe (now Denver County), Colorado USA; m. Philip Wagner, August 26, 1903, Denver, Arapahoe (now Denver County), Colorado, USA; b. ca. 1864, Colorado. Philip Wagner is first found living in Park, Jefferson County, Colorado in 1880.

7. ALBERT G. BIEGEL, b. July 31, 1883, Denver, Arapahoe (now Denver County), Colorado USA; d. May 30, 1973, Orange County, California; Albert Biegel m. Gertrude M. Cisler,  April 29, 1913, Denver, Denver County, Colorado; b. August 06, 1892, Denver, Arapahoe (now Denver County), Colorado USA; d. September 30, 1983, Orange County, California.  Both Albert Biegel and wife Gertrude are buried at Fairhaven Memorial Park, Santa Anna, Orange County, California.

8. BABY BIEGEL, b. 1885, Denver, Arapahoe (now Denver County), Colorado USA. Age 3 days old in 1885 Denver, Arapahoe County, Colorado state census.


| Back to Riverside Index | or | Return to Edward R. Seerie family story |