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Robert, Sr., and Robert, Jr., Russel

Robert, Sr., and Robert, Jr., were Danville architects and builders. Robert, Sr., was born in Scotland and emigrated to America in 1781. He and his wife Janet first settled near Petersburg, Virginia, but moved to Danville soon after the birth of their son Robert, Jr., in 1792. Robert, Sr., came to Danville for the purpose of brick making, and turning his product into houses, but it was his son, Robert, Jr., who provided the architectural inspiration to design the many local landmarks that were Russel built. In 1819 the Centre College Board of Trustees awarded a contract to Richard D. Crutchfield and Robert Russel to erect the new college edifice (Old Centre). Probably both father and son worked on the building. The younger Russel also designed and constructed the original Presbyterian Church, Trinity Episcopal Church, the original house that is now Horkey House, and several private Danville homes. Robert, Jr., died in 1873.