Robert R. Russ
Brother of Albert H. Russ
Married to Charlotte L. Brosius
The century run, made by four of the Columbia League Wheelmen a few days ago, was full of incidents. The four "100 mile per day runners of the wheel" were W. B. Wegener, M. D. Garratt, A. H. Russ and Robert Russ. Neither one brought the "laurels" home excepting the last named of the four, who was fortunate enough to reach Oakland on his wheel, though darkness overtook him. W. Wegener would have carried the laurels to the city also, but owing to a mishap to his wheel Menlo Park was, therefore, destined to be ample for that day. Garratt and A. Russ loitered too much on the road to cyclometer that distance in one day (San Jose), so had to be content in making it in two days, which they heroically claim to have done. The last which the twain saw of Bob Russ on their down trip was at Menlo Park, when he began to spurt, which lengthened the distance too much for the twain followers. San Jose was reached at 11:40 A. M. by the single individual, whereas, Garratt and A. Russ passed the electric mast at 1:10 P. M. After registering at the hotel, it now being 3 o'clock, the terrible return trip was begun by the Alameda side against a perfect gale. When San Lorenzo was reached total darkness reigned and stiff breeze was blowing, which so disheartened the twain enthusiastic 'cyclers that the sponge was thrown up, and they returned to San Francisco by train on the following day.
The North Pacific Coast Railroad Company's line was well patronized by the wheeling fraternity yesterday, as from thirty to forty merry 'cyclers took to their silent steel steeds and spurted to Camp Taylor. The Columbia-square Division of the Bay City Wheelmen, instead of swelling the ranks of the Grey Coats, Bay City Wheelmen, who had their club run to Belmont, represented the club at Lagunitas with a detachment of eight.
The merry division wheeled to their destination, arriving there short of 11 o'clock, with a mishap to one of the wheels, which unfortunately made the wrecked wheelman take the train.
After a general swim in the beautiful Lagunitas creek the return trip was called. Some incidents, such as headers, were the features until Tamalpais was reached.
The roads are quite favorable, but nothing very attractive. The cyclers on this trip were: E. C. Richter, Burt Morkenson, W. B. Wegener, H. Litzerson, M. Garratt, H. Hasslinger, A. H. Russ, Robert R. Russ, Bay City Wheelmen.
The Olympic Club Wheeling Annex in Tamalpais Redwoods.
The Olympic Cycling Annex wheeled from San Anselmo to Lagunitas and back to the Sausalito ferry yesterday.
Those in the party were H. A. Westphal, Frank Hunter, G. L. Blackwell, T. Kennedy, J. A. Johnson, W. H. Haley, A. Moulder, W. J. Roderick, J. Morris and Henry Clay, all of the Olympic Club; Albert Brown of Seattle, and G. B. Haywards, G. J. Strong, Charles Euler, C. A. Moller, and F. M. Giannini, unattached. Lieutenant Robert R. Russ was in command, and carried the party by easy stages up White's hill and over the slopes of Tamalpais ridge into the redwoods at Lagunitas, where a plunge into the creek and luncheon were enjoyed. Brown, from Seattle, was a novice at hill work and was with difficulty kept from going up all manner of paths, so much did his safety zigzag. The next run of the Annex will be to Lake Pilarcitos on May 28th. A meeting of the Annex will be held tonight at the Olympic Club.
The subject of this sketch, who was born in 1867 in San Francisco, is a Native Son, life member of the Society of California Pioneers and German Benevolent Society; also in the Olympic Club as a life member
of the League of American Wheelmen, and was until quite recently a member of the Bay City Wheelmen, which he joined in 1885, and from which he branched out and organized the so-called Columbia Square Wheelmen, of which he was elected captain. This organization disbanded shortly and formed the Olympic Cycling annex, comprising as its prime movers R. R. Russ, H. S. Russ and the Hunter brothers, the former (Bob Russ) being selected as first lieutenant, which office he retained for a few months, when N. Robinson resigned in Russ' favor. Russ never failed to attend a club run nor meeting of any kind in connection with this organization since its existence, and if all were enthused as much as he the Annex would be more than three times its present size. As captain he has instituted races, barbecues, century runs, which are at present on his road book, for his present term of office. He bas been riding since 1884, and as an all-around athlete he has competed for the Olympic Club in a tug-of-war, assisted by Kolb and a flew other prominent members, at their grounds. He is the son of A. G. Russ, the capitalist, Mexican War veteran and pioneer of 1846, one of the oldest families of San Francisco and in connection with the Russ House, and nephew of H. B. Russ, the present treasurer of the Olympic Club. R. Russ takes great pleasure in swimming, in fact every line of sport; has recently figured prominently in connection with some big fishing excursion to the Cordell Banks. He is also quite a sharpshooter with the rifle, and has to his credit but a few antlers from the "Four Pointers” bucks which he laid out. As an angler. he is also a good disciple of I. Walton. In conversation he is very openly spoken, modest and makes hosts of friends wherever he goes. He is known as "Railroad Russ," since bis name has three Rs. The boys still joke with him over that Tocaloma Club run, in which he figured so prominently. He is a prominent member and hearty supporter of the Olympic Club and is always to the front when assistance is wanted.
Foremost among those who are identified with cycling within the club is Robert R. Russ, the present captain of the wheelmen. He was born in this city about twenty-six years ago, and is the son of the well-known pioneer and capitalist, A. G. Russ. He has a lively appreciation of all kinds of sport, is an all-round athlete, and takes an active part in the exercises of the Olympic Club, ot which he is a life member.
J. E. Alexander, at one time a member of the Garden City Cyclers' racing team, and Miss Wanda Miller, will be married in San Jose on May 20. R. R. Russ, ex-captain of the Olympic Club Wheelmen, and Miss Charlotte L. Brosius, will also be married in the Garden City, the date set being June 14. Cycling and matrimony seem to go well together. Here we have had Ravlin, Foster, Argenti and Brunt and now Alexander and Russ.
Robert Russ, another pioneer who has preserved his steel steed of the older days, will be in the front of the procession. All the old boys have been practising so that their wheels will not run away from them when they get on a grade. When the bicyclists reach the Stadium track there will be races for every class of cycler from the youngest to the oldest. Judge Frank H. Kerrigan has called out all the old Bay City Wheelmen and James W. Mullen has notified all the members of the old Olympic Wheelmen to be on hand.
These honored bicyclists were Herman C. Eggers, who rode a wheel on which he won medals in 1878, and Herman wore the medals to prove it; Dr. Thomas L. Hill, an old Bay City Wheelmen stand-by, and Robert Russ, a pioneer of the Olympic Club Wheelmen. Behind them came others, old but on more modern wheels. Judge Frank H. Kerrigan, James W. Mullen, Wilbur Knapp, Tony Delmas, Walter Foster, Walter Fawcett, George Tantau, Emil Languetin, "Trilby" Fowler, A. D. Plughoff, Charlie Howard and others of that vintage too numerous to mention, plugged along as they did twenty years ago. Behind them came riders of all sizes, ages and mounts, ranging in age from little Frankie Carroll, son of the director general of the day, to "Pop" Hopkins, [Must be C. C. Hopkins. -MF] who wore false whiskers to hide the wrinkles in his face. Jack Leavitt, accompanied by Mrs. Leavitt and a troupe of little Leavitts, rode side by side and brought out a big burst of applause when the procession passed in front of the grandstand in the stadium. A swarm of present day clubmen formed the rear guard.
The high wheel race, 220 yards dash, was won by Jim Bradley, with Herman C. Eggers second: Dr. Tom Hill and Robert Russ tied for third place.
The quarter-mile on high wheels, though naturally not much a matter of speed, was highly interesting as a curiosity, and the riders were greeted with hearty applause. James Bradley finished ahead of Herman Eggers by a short distance, and H. Hill and Robert Russ came in together a little behind.