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Perrussel Genealogy Newsletter - Volume 1, Number 4

August 14, 2001
Vol. 1 No. 4

J. Russell Perrussel
Philena Shockey McFee

Greeting to all family members! Since our last newsletter we have added several family members to the list. As I stated in the first edition, this newsletter is done on a "time available" basis. That is, when I have time and the spirit moves me.

I've been sending along scanned photos that were from the collection of Marilyn Cass Osterberg. I'm still looking for more photos, obituaries; anything of general family interest. Look to the end of this edition for the e-mail and postal mail address.

Many of you have children that have e-mail...please forward their names and e-mail addresses and I will add them to the list. I always send a small greeting first, explaining who we are, etc.

Thanks again to our webmaster, David Perrussel, for updating and posting the photos and newsletters to the webpage.

Julius Russell Perrussel

This is where I get to crow about my grandfather. Known to all as Russell (He hated Julius...and I didn't know that was his first name until I was a teenager. I never heard anyone call him Julius...his gravemarker says: Russell Perrussel.)

"Granddad" as I called him, was very good to his six grandchildren. He was everything a grandson would want in a grandfather. As many of you know, he had the shoe repair shop in Onaga, KS for over 50 years. He operated the shop from 1926 to 1981. Granddad usually worked six days a week...but on Sundays he would take me fishing. First we had to take the trash to the dump...then to the water tower...we would put our faces against the pipe...to see if it was still cold. (It always was.) This started when I was very young..and continued until we moved to Washington State when I was 17. When I was older, we would go out in the summer evenings and hunt bullfrogs. Granddad always sold fireworks at the 4th of July...and each of his grandkids (except David) got at least one year to sell them...and keep the profits. I remember that I made about $240.00...and thought I was rich.

Russell was married to Margaret Marie (Shockey) Perrussel. They were married in 1926, until my grandmother passed away in April 1972.

In late 1973, Russell married Alice (Hammerly) Bonjour. Alice's husband has passed away several years earlier. As a twist, Alice was the daughter of one of my grandmother's older sisters. (Philena-see below) So she was my step-grandmother, and second cousin. Also a 4th cousin through the Bonjour line. Russell passed away in September 1987. Alice passed away in August 2000. Both are buried by their first spouse at the Neuchatel Cemetery.

Feature Story from the Onaga Herald February 19, 1976

Mr. Russell Perrussel, will this week complete 50 years as a shoe repairman in Onaga. His anniversary is Washington's birthday, February 22nd.

He bought the business form Lester Surdez, February 22, 1926, and an announcement in the Herald of February 25, 1926, gives this account: "The Electric Shoe Shop has again changed hands. Lester Surdez, who purchased it about two weeks ago from Earl Crumbaker, sold the shop to Russell Perrussel the first of the week." Mr. Perrussel's announcement in that same issue, read: " I have just purchased the Electric Harness and Shoe Shop and will be glad to serve you in any way in this line. Will strive to please."

At the time he purchased it, Mr. Perrussel's shoe shop was located in the Mrs. Brown building, north side of the present VFW building. He moved to the I.O.O.F. building where he is now located, in September 1964.

A long time ago, he recalls, there was a lot of work to his business, in addition to repairing shoes and boots. There were harnesses to repair, auto side curtains, binder and combine canvasses to patch and sew. But he isn't bitter about the changes that have come about. Asked about how long he would continue, he replied: "Not till the very day I'm unable to do my work."

Mr. Perrussel goes back a long way. He can recall when Onaga's streets were not paved, and merchants "sprinkled down" the areas in from of their businesses to help hold down dust.

He remember when a good pair of shoes sold for about $4.00 and lace top boots were only $5.00. He made a lot of repairs to shoes, boots, etc. for nickels and dimes. But that was a long time ago.

In lots of areas, the shoe cobbler is a man of the past, but not in Onaga. Mr. Perrussel plans to be around for a long time and the Herald joins his many friends and customers in wishing him a happy 50th anniversary.

Onaga Herald October 1, 1987

Service were 10:30am Tuesday at the Onaga Congregational Church for Russell J. Perrussel, 85. He died Friday evening, September 25, 1987 at his home. He was born April 21, 1902, at Neuchatel, the son of Julius and Pauline Bonjour Perrussel. Mr. Perrussel operated a shoe repair shop in Onaga from February 1926 until he retired in July 1981. He was a member of the Congregational Church at Onaga; a retired 30-year member of the Onaga Fire Department, a former member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows No. 234, and a former member of the Lone Mound Grange, all at Onaga. He married Margaret Shockey on April 8, 1926. She died April 3, 1972. He later married Alice Bonjour on September 27, 1973. She survives.
Other survivors include a son, Russell Earl Perrussel, Gibsonia, PA, two stepsons, Lawrence Bonjour and Merle Bonjour, both of Onaga. A daughter, Helen Pauline Thoman, Topeka; a stepdaughter, Lydia Larimore, Onaga; five sisters, Elsie Lewis, Waunita Cass. Tamar Perrussel and Florence Ratcliff, all of Onaga, and Grace Smith, Seattle, Washington; six grandchildren, a step-grandchild, ten great-grandchildren; and three step-great-grandchildren. Burial was in Neuchatel Cemetery north of Onaga.

Thanks to Irene Stillie and Russell E. Perrussel for providing copies from microfilm and their personal collections.


Those of you related to the Perrussel or Bonjour families know how important the settlement of Neuchatel is to all of us. During my family's trip in May of this year, it became apparent that all who where there considered it "sacred ground" for our families. Many family members are at rest in the cemetery. I'll be sending along with each newsletter a five-part history of Neuchatel and the surrounding area. This was published in the Onaga Herald in 1970.

You can find more history on Neuchatel, Kansas...and Neuchatel, Switzerland by going to Nicholas Junod's webpage Located at: www.junod.ch The page comes in both English and French versions. The section on "emergration" tells much of how our ancestors came to leave their homeland and travel to the New World. Nicholas has some great photographs of the church that used to be there. You will see over the series that more than one member of the extended family was involved with the building of the church in 1870...and its rebuilding in 1905.

Philena Shockey McFee

The Colorado Springs Gazette October 1973

(Ed Note: Philena was married five times during her lifetime. Her first husband, the Rev. Alfred Hammerly was the father of her four natural children. The others were adopted.)

Graveside services for Mrs. Philena McFee, 83, of 2009 W. Colorado Ave., will be conducted at 11am Monday (15 Oct 1973) in Ft. Logan National Cemetery with the Rev. Paul A. Clippinger officiating. Mrs. McFee died Thursday (11 Oct 1973) in a local hospital. She was born Nov. 23, 1889 in Wheaton, Kansas to Samuel and Jannie (Allen) Shockey, and had been a local resident since 1944 when she moved to Colorado Springs from Kansas. She was a Baptist. Survivors include four daughters, Mrs. Alice Perrussel, Onaga, KS; Mrs. Bessie Barker, Topeka, KS; Mrs. Delphia Reece, Pueblo; and Mrs. Peggy Finch, Colorado Springs; a son John S. Holmgren, Pueblo, three sister, Mrs. Elsie Shaw, Colorado Springs; Mrs. Winnie Baughman, Lompoc, CA; and Mrs. Hattie Cohig, Lompoc, CA; two brothers Allen and Sam Shockey both of California, as well as nine grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. Pallbearers for the service will be Spencer Lee Finch, Paul S. Finch and Harold Shaw.

Posted to the Internet by list member Linda Sanborn.

Brenda Coulter Carlson

(Ed Note: Brenda's grandmother was Waunita Perrussel Cass.

My full name is Brenda Joyce (Coulter) Carlson. I was born April 3, 1956 in Rifle, Colorado to Richard B. Coulter, Sr. and Marilyn Yvonne (Cass)Coulter. We moved to Moscow, Idaho when I was 12 years old and starting the 6th grade. I graduated from Moscow High School in the Spring of 1974.

On December 22, 1980 I had my first daughter, Devon Yvonne, here in Moscow. She is now a CNA and working in the area. She graduated from Moscow High in the Spring of 1999. She spent one year at Lewis Clark State College in Lewiston, ID.

September 1983 I married Glenn L. Carlson in Couer d'Alene, Idaho. We divorced March of 1987.

On May 28, 1987 I gave birth to my second daughter, Cassandra (Cassie) Jolene, here in Moscow. She will be starting at Moscow High School this fall. She is very involved with her church activities at the Nazarene Church.

I have had many jobs through the years. Started working in High School for the School District. then I was a Nurse's Aide for many years, then the Office Manager at a Body and Radiator Shop. In 1980, just before Devon was born, I started work at Washington State University, in the Controller's Office, in Student Accounts/Accounts Receivable. I am still at WSU in the Controller's Office to this day. I have had the opportunity of holding many positions in many departments of the Controller's Office. Today, in fact, I am working on an application for a new position in the Controller's Office. The position is a Grant and Contract Coordinator Lead. This position will be the Lead over the position I am currently holding of Grant and Contract Specialist. My duties now include reviewing and setting up all research and non-research awards that come into the University from federal and non-federal sources. Before anyyone can spend their monies it has to go through me for set up and approval.

Brenda Carlson

You may send any photos, obituaries, and personal biographies to:

Bruce Perrussel

Your comments and suggestions are appreciated.

(c) 2001 Bruce Perrussel All rights reserved. Permission is granted for genealogical research. Commercial use prohibited. Printouts and forward permitted so long as the copyright notice remains intact. Others may hold copyright to material included. Used under fair use doctrine for educational purposes.

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Site created July 2001
Last Update: June 2, 2006