Born in Greenfield, Massachusetts, Russell was instructed by private tutors. He returned to Massachusetts and became interested in mail transportation west of the Mississippi River and in steamship lines on the Pacific coast. He engaged in agricultural pursuits.
Russell was elected secretary of the Massachusetts State Board of Agriculture in 1880. He was reelected five times.
Russell was elected as a Democrat to the Fiftieth (March 4, 1887 – March 3, 1889). He served as delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1892. He was an unsuccessful candidate for Governor of Massachusetts in 1893 and 1894. He served as member of the Deep Waterways Commission. He died in Leicester, Massachusetts, October 28, 1903. He was interred in .
- United States Congress. "John E. Russell (id: R000530)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.
|Party political offices|
| Democratic nominee for Governor of Massachusetts
George F. Williams
|U.S. House of Representatives|
William W. Rice
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 10th congressional district
March 4, 1887 – March 3, 1889
Joseph H. Walker