William S. Russell was appointed Secretary-Treasurer. He conducted the insurance business from his shoe shop, serving the company for 42 years. In 1931, the company purchased the W.S. Russell building from his estate.
Russell was born in Quebec, one of 13 children. He came to this area at the age of six, and learned the shoemaking trade here. Later, he worked in towns across Ontario as well as in Detroit and Chicago, but returned to Tavistock in 1874. He made his home at 20 Jane Street and started the shoe business, later moving it next door to the corner property.
Russell had served as Secretary-Treasurer for the South Easthope Agricultural Society. In 1879, East Zorra and South Easthope Agricultural Societies began holding their fairs together. After the government prohibited, “union fairs” in 1906, they amalgamated to become the Tavistock Agricultural Society. Russell continued to serve as Secretary-Treasurer until 1917.
W.S. Russell also served as clerk of the 7th Division Court for the County of Oxford, on the Tavistock Board of Health and on the Tavistock Board of Education. He was one of three Tavistock directors appointed to the People’s Building and Loan Association of London, Ontario.
In 1992, South Easthope Mutual acquired the Russell home, which stood near the current south entrance to the parking lot.