Elizabeth Henry was born in 1749 in Hanover County, Virginia, sister to the well-known Patrick Henry, Governor of Virginia. She married first to General William Campbell, for whom Campbell County, Virginia, was named. She married second in 1783 to General William Russell of Revolutionary War fame, for whom Russell County, Virginia, was named. The Russells moved to Saltville in 1788.
Madam Russell is probably more eminent in the Methodist pioneer history of America than any other woman. A Methodist Church, called Elizabeth Church, was dedicated in her name in Saltville in 1824. In 1898, construction was begun on a new Methodist church located a few feet from the Russell home. The beautiful stone church, Madam Russell Methodist Church, stands today as a monument to Mrs. Russell, the region's earliest religious leader, and to the pioneer Methodist Movement in the Holston Territory of Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee. The stone doorstep of the church is said to have been the hearth in the Russell home.