The Village of Russia is located in the township of Loramie, Shelby County, Ohio, United States. Pronounced as "ROO-she", the earliest settlers were French speaking Suisse who served under L. Napoleon Bonaparte during the war with Russia. According to tradition, the village's name commemorates a battle these veterans fought in Russia.
In the early part of the nineteenth century, a large number of emigrants from Alsace, Lorraine, and other regions of France settled in the southwestern part of Shelby County and the adjacent portions of northeastern Darke County. Besides Russia, these immigrants founded the communities of Frenchtown and Versailles, Ohio.
By the middle of the 1850s, the heavily Roman Catholic population had grown to the point that multiple parishes were established in the area. A log church was built and dedicated to Saint Remigius, the patron saint of France, and Mass was first celebrated there on June 15, 1854. The congregation soon outgrew its building and constructed a new brick church; and when it became too small, a larger brick church was constructed and completed in 1892. The village is one of many small communities in a heavily Catholic region of western Ohio known as the "Land of the Cross-Tipped Churches".
Russia was founded by Lewis Phillips, who purchased and plotted the land where the village now sits. Phillips' house, built in 1853, was the first house in Russia; other settlers followed by the late 1850s. Phillips was also the first businessman in the village, opening a grocery store in 1853. Other settlers soon founded a dry goods store and multiple sawmills. A variety of other businesses began to take shape as the village grew in size.
Throughout much of it's history, Russia has maintained a thriving economy and is currently home to a very well-regarded Russia Local School. Built on hard work, faith, and a close-knit, community-minded population, Russia continues to benefit from the dedication and perseverance of its residents.