Russell served two terms, 1945 and 1947, in the Oklahoma Legislature. Russell represented Ottawa County before district lines had been established. Russell along with legislator Grace Mitchelson made history as the first two women to be elected to the from the same county for the same term.
Early Russell had one older brother who was a judge in Ottawa County District Court for many years.
Her brother had a considerable influence on her life, especially due to the fact that her father died when she was 17 years old. Russell"s father had been a backbone of the community, as he owned the ice plant in town, Russell Ice, as well as several other locations, which during the time was a necessary commodity in every household due to the absence of refrigeration.
Russell would have been an heiress to her father"s business, but he sold the seven plants when he was diagnosed with heart trouble. When he went to collect the money from the sales of the plants, the bank had closed.
Education and Russell graduated from Picher High School a year early and went to college when she was 17 years old.
She graduated with her law degree when she was 24 years old and set up a small practice. Russell was appointed to be Picher’s city attorney and also served as president of the Picher Board of Education. Russell was the first woman to be elected from Ottawa County in 1945.
Russell along with legislator Grace Mitchelson made history as the first two women to be elected to the from the same county for the same term.
House Aviation Committee
Committee for Mental Hygiene
House Democratic Caucus secretary
Instead of serving running for re-election to the House in 1948, Russell campaigned for a seat in the Oklahoma Senate and lost.