|In the early 1880s, Uriah Blackburn owned and operated a small grocery store on the
corner of main intersection in Fishertown, Bedford County, Pa.
In the mid 1880s, Allen C. Blackburn went to work for Uriah in the store
Seeing the potential for growth and the desire of Uriah to slow down, they formed a
|a partnership of U. and A.C. Blackburn,
and then in about 1888 Uriah did retire
and the business continued as
|A.C. Blackburn & Co.
Allen, seeing the need and potential in
supplying other retailers began to operate
both as a retail store and also a
|Some time in the early 1890s, needing more
room and also needing to be on a railroad
both for receiving goods and also shipping
goods, he moved his operation to the
village of Cessna,Bedford Co., Pa.
At this time, he decided that to grow he
needed a partner and joined with Scott
Hammer to form Blackburn, Hammer & Co. in
After a period of time, about the turn of
the century Mr. Hammer decided he wanted
|out of the partnership. (He later worked for a time as a salesman for Allen)
At that point, A.C. made arrangements to move to Bedford and purchased the
H.C. Heckerman wholesale warehouse as Mr. Heckerman wanted out of the wholesale
business to get into the making of candy and peanut products.
Needing another partner, Mr. Blackburn called his brother in law in Michigan and
together in 1904 they started Blackburn Russell Co.
In 1926, Mr. A.C. Blackburn died and several years later Mr.J. Frank Russell retired
and their two sons took over. J. Russell Blackburn and Arthur C. Russell.
The business continued to grow and the third generation of Blackburns and Russells
began to take an active part in the business.
|In 1957 four new successors took over. They were John Blackburn Jr., Robert B.
Blackburn, James K. Russell and John F. Russell.
|It was in the 1970's that John and James Russell decided to retire and their share of
the business was bought by the two remaining partners, John R. and Robert B. Blackburn.
|The business was expanding and in 1976 was incorporated. The fourth generation
started to help with the business operations. John R. Blackburn's' two children
William J. Blackburn and Carroll B. Deremer, and Robert B. Blackburn's' two sons,
Robert B. Blackburn Jr. and Jeffrey R. Blackburn.
|In 1985 the company purchased the former Howard Johnson Building on Mann Street and
expanded their business to include frozen foods.
|In 1992 John R. Blackburn Jr. retired, his brother Robert B. Blackburn followed in
1995. The family business is now owned and operated by four of their children.
|Blackburn-Russell Co., Inc employs approximately 50 employees. Covering the Tri State
Area as a full line distributor in the food service industry.
|Bedford Pa, 15522
|Thanks to the memory of Fred Ickes, we have an extensive recollection of this photo.
As memory allowed, he supplied the snippets of information to Dick Wolf, who
submitted the photo from his collection. This is a photo of Fishertown looking north on
Valley Road. The small white building was the headquarters of A.C. Blackburn
Wholesalers (later moving to Cessna as Blackburn Russell Co., and now located in
Bedford). The large building was the largest store of four in the village, built prior to
1877, probably by Uriah Blackburn, who operated a general store in it from 1870 until
1897. The Post Office was also in this building when it was established in Fishertown.
|In 1960 the company moved to its present location at 157 Railroad Street. The company
again bought an "Old Heckerman" warehouse, and added a new addition for offices and