From the Annals of the Freethinkers – In 1877, Dr. Levi James Russell was whipped for being an infidel and free thinker. Originally from Georgia, Russell had mined for gold in California, later graduated from the medical school of Pennsylvania College, returned to gold mining in Colorado and eventually moved to Harrisville in 1868. There he farmed and practiced medicine while also serving for several years as the chairman of the committee on medical botany of the Texas State Medical Association (now the Texas Medical Association). He also helped found the Little River Academy and in a move that would lead to his whipping became a charter member and president of the Association of Freethinkers of Bell County a group of agnostics, atheists and non-theists. As a result, he was expelled from the Masons and Knights of Pythias and ultimately assaulted for being an infidel. Undeterred, Russell continued his medical practice and his natural-science collection until his death in 1908 at Temple.