Harry Luman Russell

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Harry Luman Russell
Born (1866-03-12)March 12, 1866[1]
Poynette, Wisconsin
Died April 11, 1954(1954-04-11) (aged 88)
Madison, Wisconsin
Cause of death stroke
Resting place Poynette, Wisconsin
Nationality United States of America
Education Ph.D.
Alma mater University of Wisconsin
Johns Hopkins University
Occupation Bacteriologist, educator
Notable credit(s) Pasteurization of milk, cold curing of cheese,
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Hannah May Delany, Suzanne Cocroft 1932 Washington D.C.
Children Gertrude Estelle 1895
Eldon Babcock 1900
Donald ?
Parent(s) E. Fred Russell
Lucinda E. Waldron

Harry Luman Russell (March 12, 1866 – April 11, 1954) was an American bacteriologist and educator.


Born in the village of Poynette, Wisconsin,[1] the son of country doctor[2] E. Fred Russell and his wife Lucinda E. Waldron,[3] he attended Poynette High School before matriculating to the University of Wisconsin in 1884.[2] Following his graduation with a B.S in 1888, he undertook graduate studies in Biology and received his M.S. in 1890. He went to Europe for further study under Robert Koch and Louis Pasteur; first at the University of Berlin, then at the Zoological Station in Naples, and finally at the Pasteur Institute in Paris.[4] Returning to the U.S., he attended Johns Hopkins University, where he was awarded a Ph.D. in 1892 with a thesis titled Bacteria in their Relation to Vegetable Tissue.[5]

He became a fellow at the University of Chicago in 1892, then joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin the following year as an assistant professor. On December 20, 1893, he was married to Hannah May Delany;[4] the couple would have four children; Gertude Estelle, Eldon Babcock, Donald died at age 9mo, and "baby" died close to birth, years unknown. He became full Professor in 1896.[3] In 1903, he was named director of the Wisconsin state hygienic laboratory[1] and became Dean of the University of Wisconsin College of Agriculture in 1907,[3] succeeding William Arnon Henry.[2] In 1931, he stepped down from his post as Dean when was named director of the University of Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.[5]

Russell was a charter member of the American Society for Microbiology and was named its president in 1908. He also served as the president of the Wisconsin tuberculosis sanitaria advisory board, chaired the American Banker's Association agriculture advisory committee, and president of the American Association of Land Grant Colleges and Universities. Among his scientific investigations was a method for more thorough pasteurization of milk, the cold curing of cheese, and tuberculin testing of cows. He demonstrated that canned vegetables could be preserved without harm by cooking them within the can.[2]



  • Outlines of dairy bacteriology[1] (1894) with E. G. Hastings
  • A bacterial rot of cabbage and allied plants (1898)
  • Agricultural bacteriology[4] (1898) with E. G. Hastings
  • Public water supplies (1901)[5] with F. E. Turncaure[3]
  • Experimental dairy bacteriology[3] (1914) with E. G. Hastings


  1. ^ a b c d Herringshaw, Thomas William, ed. (1907), Herringshaw's American Statesman and Public Official Yearbook, Chicago: American Publishers' Association, p. 472. 
  2. ^ a b c d Fred, E. B. (August 1954), "Harry Luman Russell 1866–1954", Journal of Bacteriology, 68 (2): 133–134, PMC 357354Freely accessible, PMID 13183917. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Bailey, Liberty Hyde, ed. (1918), Rural uplook service, 1, Ithaca, New York, p. 240. 
  4. ^ a b c Thwaites, Reuben Gold, ed. (1900), The University of Wisconsin: its history and its alumni, with historical and descriptive sketches of Madison, Madison, Wisconsin: J. N. Purcell, p. 333. 
  5. ^ a b c Winslow, C.-E. A. (June 1950), "Some Leaders and Landmarks in the History of Microbiology", Bacteriological Reviews, 14 (2): 99–114, PMC 440961Freely accessible, PMID 15426616. 

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