Thursday, July 20, 2017

George Stubbs, Sr - Click Image to see full view

From the December 16, 1910, Oceana Herald.

Back to George Stubbs

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George Stubbs, Jr. was born April 18, 1855, in Fullarton, Ontario, into an English immigrant family. He was the second of eight children and seems to have lived an unremarkable life. We know he married Harriet Cole and that they had four children but little else. His father, George Sr., moved the family to Shelby, Michigan, in 1867. According to his obituary George Sr. was noted for his piety and studiousness:

No extended eulogy is deemed necessary of this good man that has lived so long in our midst – certainly no more than has often been said of him in life. Converted at an early age, his character appeared to become more beautiful as the years lengthened. A deep student of the Bible his delight was to expound the beauties therein which are hidden from the casual reader. Withal his christianity [sic] was a practical every day kind. ... This influence will live after him.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Unless ...

Unless important, new information shows up in my inbox, we think this is 'final' in rough draft; Thanks to Jerome and Bernhard for contributing data.




New Castle, Pennsylvania

            The New Castle congregation had its start in a book canvas by John Adamson. Writing to Russell in late June or early July 1887, he said:

I am having grand experiences every day. It seems impossible to get through New Castle. Yesterday took 46 names and left in afternoon train for home. In no other town have I got in so many books to the square, and I have excellent talks. Some careful thinkers are investigating, and awakened sleepers by the dozen. Of course there are bitter opposers, but as far as noted people are willing to investigate for themselves, and I have fruit already and expect much fruit. You may increase the order to here to 300 copies.[1]

            A small congregation formed by late 1889, the local newspaper reporting that “a comparatively new form of religious belief has recently obtained among certain people of this city.” They had, the newspaper claimed, “very decided and definite opinions as to the date of the millennium.” They met in the office of Andrew Lewis, [1834-1916] a dentist with offices at 2 Washington Street, “for the study of the Bible and for prayer, and the discussion of the millennium.” They claimed to have “Biblical authority” for believing the millennial reign of Christ near at hand.[2] Lewis came out of the Methodist Church, where he had been “a charter member.” His obituary does not mention his association with Watch Tower belief and implies that he died a Methodist.[3] This may not be true. We’ve encountered other obituaries prepared by relatives ashamed of Watch Tower adherence that omit or misrepresent. His last provable year of adherence was 1891. His father’s funeral was conducted by a “Rev. [William A.] Wallace” of the Millennial Dawn congregation.”[4]
            Wallace, a former phrenological lecturer, preached in areas near his Ohio residence. He was an effective colporteur and speaker. A letter from him to Russell shows him to be a determined evangelist who did not let obstacles stand in his way. He was “Church Leader” at East Liverpool, Ohio, in 1894.[5] Wallace enters the record through the 1889 Lord’s Memorial Annual Convention held at Allegheny where he was one of the speakers. Russell’s convention summary says:

Brother Wallace illustrated his method of presenting the outlines of the Plan of the Ages to the audiences he meets. Bro. W. was a traveling lecturer and professor of phrenology before the harvest truth reached him. When he received it, he began to mix with phrenology the good tidings of great joy for all people; and now as the truth has reached his mind and heart more fully, it has so quickened his zeal in the Master's service that the old profession is almost crowded out, except as it serves to pave the way for the glad tidings which now fills his heart and overflows at every opportunity. His talent is for public speaking, and after every lecture the DAWN is presented as a further elaboration of the great subject to which he has called attention. To illustrate his lectures, he has had the Chart of the Ages (from DAWN Vol. I.) enlarged and painted on canvas, and ornamented with pictorial illustrations of the various ages; and above all a beautiful symbolic sky representing the changing conditions of the various dispensations, from Eden to Paradise restored.[6]

            While Adamson may have sewn the seeds, the congregation owed its existence to A. C. Wise, once a United Brethren minister. United Brethren were a German speaking church with doctrines similar to the Methodist Church. Their clergy were untrained, and Wise was uncomfortable with public speaking. When speaking briefly at a Bible Student convention in 1907, he remarked: “I have been placed on this program without any consultation, and I am not engaged much in addressing the public, but more from house to house on the great Plan.”[7] It was through his house to house ministry that the New Castle congregation was formed. The New Castle, Pennsylvania, Daily City News reported: “One Dr. A. C. Wise, of Neshannock, Mercer county, [sic] is a leader in the new doctrine, the theories of which he obtains from a book called ‘The Millennial Dawn,’ for which he is agent.”[8]
            Wise [1845-1932] was no sort of doctor. The Daily City News appears to have ‘played it safe’ by calling a clergyman “doctor.” Instead he was Aaron C. Wise, a farmer by trade and an itinerant Brethren preacher with no discernable education. Wise was one of the organizers of a United Brethren congregation in 1863. He left the Brethren about 1886 or 1887 to spread the Watch Tower message.[9] An obituary said: “He was born on a farm within less than two miles of where he spent his entire life. Mr. Wise was widely known throughout the United Brethren Churches in Sharon, Sharpsville, West Middlesex and other valley communities. For the past 45 years he was a member of the International Bible Students Association, and took an active part in the organizations work.”[10]
            He was new to the work. In a letter to Russell dated to May 1894 he says he had been in the work about five years.[11] That takes us to this period. He explained his view of ‘the work’ in that same letter: “The work, as I understand it, is to find the ‘wheat’ class, and with the present Truth intellectually seal them and thus separate them from Babylon. In doing this, many DAWNS are sold to others who may not now appreciate them, but who thus assist in bearing the expense of the laborers; and they will be read by and by.” He reported lecturing “some and quite acceptably, but have no ambition to make that a special work.”
            Wise loved humor, incorporating it into his evangelism. We cannot place as to time or place the one example he left, but that seems not to matter. This was his preaching method:

The Scriptures show us that having ... having thus consecrated our wills, we may be able to be of service to our fellow beings, neighbors and friends, and might by the Lord's grace, impress these precious things on their hearts and minds. How many of these incidents have come to our attention in our service of the truth! I remember working in a town where they said, “If you will see a man down there he will talk the Scriptures to you.” And towards evening I called on him, and this is what occurred. I am a little humorous in my way of approaching people and I said, “I understand you are quite a teacher of the Bible and understand it.”

“Yes.”

“I have come in to run you in a corner.”

“Every time you do you will get a five-dollar note.”

And I gave him a little talk on the divine plan of the ages from the chart, and when I got through he says, “Do you believe that?”

“I certainly do.” And he had not a word to say. Thus was I instrumental in impressing on his mind the great and glorious truth. I did not see him afterwards, but I learned he came into the truth.[12]

photos
A. C. Wise – 1911 and
 later in life

            The New Castle paper described Wise as “chuck full of the ideas of the book he is selling.” It reported that he “succeeded in inculcating the doctrines pretty deeply where he has been at work.” The paper said that a “J. C. McCombs” was “one of the most zealous ‘Millennial Dawn’ disciples. McCombs, a shoemaker, was, the paper said, “a deep thinking man and a member of the Methodist church” from which he had withdrawn over doctrinal difference. City directories suggest that this was Joseph A. McCombs who in addition to running a shoemaking business owned other business as well. Nothing is firm here. John C. McCombs was Joseph’s son, and the local paper consistently confused them. It appears that both were adherents.

illustration
New Castle News – June 19, 1915.

            The Daily City News said the “object of the millennium expectants is not to organize or to form any settle or distinct denomination, but the principles are to be maintained and supported by individual rather than collective belief.” The paper called the believers in New Castle “earnest and zealous in their convictions.” As did most Watch Tower adherent congregations, the first years’ growth was slight. The New Castle paper, with its customary inattention to detail and poor grammar, reported:

A little congregation of about 14 people in the Seventh ward firmly believe that the end of the world is near at hand and that according to their interpretation of the Holy Book the world is now passing through the period known to seers and wise men as “God’s Harvest.” ... The believers in the near approach of the Millennial morning claim that the harvest of the Lord commenced in the year 1874 and that the end of the world will come during the year 1914, 40 years being allowed for the preparation. Those following this faith believe that there is only one church – the church of the people of God – and that all who do not repent and become ... sanctified in the grace of the Master will be lost in the fire. There is no ordained ministers among the sect, the exhorters being known as pilgrims and travel among the faithful seeking no reward other than the blessing of the faithful.[13]

            Interestingly, the article reported as a visiting speaker from Youngstown, Ohio, a “Mrs. T. B. Hewitt.” T. B. Hewitt is Thomas Bolton Hewitt.[14] We have one short letter by him to Russell appearing in the May 1, 1901, Watch Tower. It says he was from Ohio, but it contains no biographical information. Since Hewitt did not marry until September 1906, the newspaper’s “Mrs.” appears to be a misprint for “Mr.” By 1915 there were about 28,000 people in New Castle and about 40 adherents, and by 1906 the congregation was called The Watch Tower Class.[15]



[1]               Extracts from Interesting Letters, Zion’s Watch Tower, July 1887, page 2.
[2]               Wiggins New Castle City Directory: 1879-1880, page 37. Census records give Lewis a birth date of November 1834. Other records vary but fall near that date.
[3]               Dr. Andrew Lewis Called by Death, New Castle, Pennsylvania, Herald, December 5, 1916.
[4]               A Long Fast End, The New Castle, Pennsylvania, News, August 5, 1891. Wallace was a chronological lecturer turned Millennial Dawn canvasser prominent in the work in the 1890s. He was “church leader” in an Ohio congregation. Later in life he was a news agent, a seller of newspapers and magazines.
[5]               Extracts from Interesting Letters, Zion’s Watch Tower, June 1889, pages 2, 8; Voice of the Church, Zion’s Watch Tower – Special Issue, June 11, 1894, page 178.
[6]               C. T. Russell: View from the Tower, Zion’s Watch Tower, June 1889, page 1. Wallace maintained his interest in phrenology into later years. See The Phrenological Era, April 1913, front matter unnumbered page.
[7]               Souvenir Notes from the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society’s Conventions of Believers in the Atoning Blood of Jesus Christ: 1907, part two, page 81.
[8]               Not so Very Far, The New Castle, Pennsylvania, Daily City News, December 5, 1889.
[9]               History of Mercer County, Pennsylvania: Its Past and Present, Brown, Runk & Co., Chicago, 1888, page 593. Date of Watch Tower adherence: Undated obituary in descendents’ possession. Wise was born July 29, 1843, and died March 30, 1932. [Death Certificate] He remained Watch Tower adherent until his death.          
[10]             The Sharon, Pennsylvania, Herald, March 31, 1932.
[11]             Letter from Wise to Russell found in Voice of the Church, Zion’s Watch Tower, Special issue, June 11, 1894.
[12]             A. C. Wise: Temperance, 1911 Convention Report.
[13]             The Millennial Dawn, The New Castle, Pennsylvania, News, May 19, 1905.
[14]             Thomas Hewitt was born September 20, 1873, in Ohio. He married Ellen Grace Cooksey September 4, 1906. There was a Bible Student adherent named E. Cooksey whose death in 1950 is noted in the May 1950 issue of Herald of Christ’s Kingdom. His Ohio death record shows him to be a resident of Youngstown and thus ‘our man.’
[15]             Life of 76 Years in County Ended, New Castle, Pennsylvania, Herald, September 7, 1906.

Monday, July 17, 2017

We need to identify

We need to identity T. B. Hewitt, an Ohio resident in 1901. He signed a memorial attendance report and is mentioned just the one time in The Watch Tower.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Revisions to current work

Comments are helpful; additional research would be stellar:



New Castle, Pennsylvania

            The New Castle congregation had its start in a book canvas by John Adamson. Writing to Russell in late June or early July 1887, he said:

I am having grand experiences every day. It seems impossible to get through New Castle. Yesterday took 46 names and left in afternoon train for home. In no other town have I got in so many books to the square, and I have excellent talks. Some careful thinkers are investigating, and awakened sleepers by the dozen. Of course there are bitter opposers, but as far as noted people are willing to investigate for themselves, and I have fruit already and expect much fruit. You may increase the order to here to 300 copies.

            By late 1889, a small congregation formed, the local newspaper reporting that “a comparatively new form of religious belief has recently obtained among certain people of this city.” They had, the newspaper claimed, “very decided and definite opinions as to the date of the millennium.” They met in the office of Andrew Lewis, [1834-1916] a dentist with offices at 2 Washington Street, “for the study of the Bible and for prayer, and the discussion of the millennium.” They claimed to have “Biblical authority” for believing the millennial reign of Christ near at hand. Lewis came out of the Methodist Church, where he had been “a charter member.” His obituary does not mention his association with Watch Tower belief and implies that he died a Methodist. This may not be true. We’ve encountered other obituaries prepared by relatives ashamed of Watch Tower adherence that omit or misrepresent. His last provable year of adherence was 1891. His father’s funeral was conducted by a “Rev. [William A.] Wallace” of the Millennial Dawn congregation.”
            While Adamson may have sewn the seeds, the congregation owed its existence to A. C. Wise, once a United Brethren minister. United Brethren were a German speaking church with doctrines similar to the Methodist Church. Their clergy were untrained, and Wise was uncomfortable with public speaking. When speaking briefly at a Bible Student convention in 1907, he remarked: “I have been placed on this program without any consultation, and I am not engaged much in addressing the public, but more from house to house on the great Plan." It was through his house to house ministry that the New Castle congregation was formed. The New Castle, Pennsylvania, Daily City News reported: “One Dr. A. C. Wise, of Neshannock, Mercer county, [sic] is a leader in the new doctrine, the theories of which he obtains from a book called ‘The Millennial Dawn,’ for which he is agent.”
            Wise was no sort of doctor. The Daily City News appears to have ‘played it safe’ by calling a clergyman doctor. Instead he was Aaron C. Wise, a farmer by trade and an itinerant Brethren preacher with no discernable education. Wise was on of the organizers of a United Brethren congregation in 1863. He left the Brethren about 1886 or 1887 to spread the Watch Tower message.
            He was new to the work. In a letter to Russell dated to May 1894 he says he had been in the work about five years. That takes us to this period. He explained his view of ‘the work’ in that same letter: “The work, as I understand it, is to find the ‘wheat’ class, and with the present Truth intellectually seal them and thus separate them from Babylon. In doing this, many DAWNS are sold to others who may not now appreciate them, but who thus assist in bearing the expense of the laborers; and they will be read by and by.” He reported lecturing “some and quite acceptably, but have no ambition to make that a special work.”
            Wise loved humor, incorporating it into his evangelism. We cannot place as to time or place the one example he left, but that seems not to matter. This was his preaching method:

The Scriptures show us that having ... having thus consecrated our wills, we may be able to be of service to our fellow beings, neighbors and friends, and might by the Lord's grace, impress these precious things on their hearts and minds. How many of these incidents have come to our attention in our service of the truth! I remember working in a town where they said, “If you will see a man down there he will talk the Scriptures to you.” And towards evening I called on him, and this is what occurred. I am a little humorous in my way of approaching people and I said, “I understand you are quite a teacher of the Bible and understand it.”

“Yes.”

“I have come in to run you in a corner.”

“Every time you do you will get a five-dollar note.”

And I gave him a little talk on the divine plan of the ages from the chart, and when I got through he says, “Do you believe that?”

“I certainly do.” And he had not a word to say. Thus was I instrumental in impressing on his mind the great and glorious truth. I did not see him afterwards, but I learned he came into the truth.

            The New Castle paper described Wise as “chuck full of the ideas of the book he is selling.” It reported that he “succeeded in inculcating the doctrines pretty deeply where he has been at work.” The paper said that a “J. C. McCombs” was “one of the most zealous ‘Millennial Dawn’ disciples. McCombs, a shoemaker, was, the paper said, “a deep thinking man and a member of the Methodist church” from which he had withdrawn over doctrinal difference. City directories suggest that this was Joseph A. McCombs who in addition to running a shoemaking business owned other business as well. Nothing is firm here. There is a John C. McCombs in the record, but he is listed as a railroad engineer.
            The Daily City News said the “object of the millennium expectants is not to organize or to form any settle or distinct denomination, but the principles are to be maintained and supported by individual rather than collective belief.” The paper called the believers in New Castle “earnest and zealous in their convictions.” By 1900 there were about 28,000 people in New Castle and about 40 adherents.



We need ...

A firm identity for W. A. Wallace, once a phrenologist, and then for a while a Millennial Dawn Colporteur in Pennsylvania and later in Ohio. Sometime in the 1890s he lived on Euclid Avenue in Allegheny. Anyone?

Update: Full name is William A. Wallace. He was born about 1836 according to the 1870 Census.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Here's what we have

We need help improving this. We need more detailed biography and a clearer identification of those mentioned here. We need to know if A. C. Wise was related to C. A. Wise. We have slight indication this is father and son. But dates conflict.



New Castle, Pennsylvania

            The New Castle congregation had its start in a book canvas by John Adamson. Writing to Russell in late June or early July 1887, he said:

I am having grand experiences every day. It seems impossible to get through New Castle. Yesterday took 46 names and left in afternoon train for home. In no other town have I got in so many books to the square, and I have excellent talks. Some careful thinkers are investigating, and awakened sleepers by the dozen. Of course there are bitter opposers, but as far as noted people are willing to investigate for themselves, and I have fruit already and expect much fruit. You may increase the order to here to 300 copies.[1]

            By late 1889, a small congregation formed, the local newspaper reporting that “a comparatively new form of religious belief has recently obtained among certain people of this city.” They had, the newspaper claimed, “very decided and definite opinions as to the date of the millennium.” They met in the office of Andrew Lewis, a dentist with offices at 2 Washington Street, “for the study of the Bible and for prayer, and the discussion of the millennium.” They claimed to have “Biblical authority” for believing the millennial reign of Christ near at hand.[2]
            While Adamson may have sewn the seeds, the congregation owed its existence to A. C. Wise, once a United Brethren minister. United Brethren were a German speaking church with doctrines similar to the Methodist Church. Their clergy were untrained, and Wise was uncomfortable with public speaking. When speaking briefly at a Bible Student convention in 1907, he remarked: “I have been placed on this program without any consultation, and I am not engaged much in addressing the public, but more from house to house on the great Plan.”[3] It was through his house to house ministry that the New Castle congregation was formed. The New Castle, Pennsylvania, Daily City News reported: “One Dr. A. C. Wise, of Neshannock, Mercer county, [sic] is a leader in the new doctrine, the theories of which he obtains from a book called ‘The Millennial Dawn,’ for which he is agent.”[4]
            Wise was no sort of doctor. The Daily City News appears to have ‘played it safe’ by calling a clergyman doctor. Instead he was Aaron C. Wise, a farmer by trade and an itinerate Brethren preacher with no discernable education. He was new to the work. In a letter to Russell dated to May 1894 he says he had been in the work about five years.[5] That takes us to this period. He explained his view of ‘the work’ in that same letter: “The work, as I understand it, is to find the ‘wheat’ class, and with the present Truth intellectually seal them and thus separate them from Babylon. In doing this, many DAWNS are sold to others who may not now appreciate them, but who thus assist in bearing the expense of the laborers; and they will be read by and by.” He reported lecturing “some and quite acceptably, but have no ambition to make that a special work.”
            Wise loved humor, incorporating it into his evangelism. We cannot place as to time or place the one example he left, but that seems not to matter. This was his preaching method:

The Scriptures show us that having ... having thus consecrated our wills, we may be able to be of service to our fellow beings, neighbors and friends, and might by the Lord's grace, impress these precious things on their hearts and minds. How many of these incidents have come to our attention in our service of the truth! I remember working in a town where they said, “If you will see a man down there he will talk the Scriptures to you.” And towards evening I called on him, and this is what occurred. I am a little humorous in my way of approaching people and I said, “I understand you are quite a teacher of the Bible and understand it.”

“Yes.”

“I have come in to run you in a corner.”

“Every time you do you will get a five-dollar note.”

And I gave him a little talk on the divine plan of the ages from the chart, and when I got through he says, “Do you believe that?”

“I certainly do.” And he had not a word to say. Thus was I instrumental in impressing on his mind the great and glorious truth. I did not see him afterwards, but I learned he came into the truth.[6]

            The New Castle paper described Wise as “chuck full of the ideas of the book he is selling.” It reported that he “succeeded in inculcating the doctrines pretty deeply where he has been at work.” The paper said that a “J. C. McCombs” was “one of the most zealous ‘Millennial Dawn’ disciples. McCombs, a shoemaker, was, the paper said, “a deep thinking man and a member of the Methodist church” from which he had withdrawn over doctrinal difference. City directories suggest that this was Joseph A. McCombs who in addition to running a shoemaking business owned other business as well. Nothing is firm here. There is a John C. McCombs in the record, but he is listed as a railroad engineer.
            The Daily City News said the “object of the millennium expectants is not to organize or to form any settle or distinct denomination, but the principles are to be maintained and supported by individual rather than collective belief.”        The paper called the believers in New Castle “earnest and zealous in their convictions.”

We need help with this ...

We need the full name of a Dr. A. Lewis of New Castle, Pennsylvania. He lived there in the 1880s and 1890s.

Update: Dr. Lewis is Andrew Lewis, a dentist from New Castle, PA. We still need biographical details.

We need the full name and biographical details of A. C. Wise [Not C. A. Wise], once a United Brethren minister, later a Watch Tower colporteur. There is an Arron C. Wise and an Alfred C. Wise who are both possibilities, but we are uncertain.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

For the record ...

It is unlikely that we will use this material, but some of our blog readers may be interested. Paton published a book of poems by one of his adherents. It is available here:

https://books.google.com/books?id=liTSAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

"Bro. Stubbs"

Herewith is one of those mysteries we'd like to solve:

A letter from an O. R. to Paton appears in the February 15, 1911, World's Hope announcing the death of "Bro. Stubbs of Shelby," Michigan. Stubbs is not mentioned in early issues of ZWT, but Paton wrote that he "was among the first subscribers to the HOPE."

Can you help us put a first name to Stubbs?

Monday, July 10, 2017

An article by Dr. Schulz

Message body

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Update

The invitation only blog is a failed experiment. I am reopening this blog.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Private blog ..

The private blog is up and running. The first post by Jerome is up. I'm still taking requests to read the blog.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The End II

Comments will close on April 19, 2017.

I am willing to entertain requests for the private blog from those who did not comment on this blog. There must be a compelling reason for me to admit you to readership. Though it seems unkind, I will not take applications from anyone in Korea or Russia, the source of many of our trolls. I have no way of differentiating you from a troll.

If you believe you can contribute to the private blog in some way - other than mere curiosity, email me at rm de vienne [at] yahoo.com

Additional note: While in operation, this blog had many readers. Despite repeated requests for comments, we had few. The desire to comment or the ability to contribute significant research is your key to the private blog.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Private Blog

I am reopening the private, invitation only blog. You must apply for access which is limited to those who have previously left comments on this blog. Not everyone who's left a comment will gain admittance. Having been invited to it before will not automatically see an invitation now.

To be admitted you must email me at rm devienne [at] yahoo dot com. Explain who you are.

Decisions may take a few days.

Monday, April 10, 2017

End



This blog does not serve the purpose for which it was intended. The number of deleted and disallowed comments is increasing because some blog readers cannot ‘play nicely.’ One called us liars. [I was beginning to believe you, but ...]

The immediate solution is to shut the blog down. I will start by disallowing further comments. There will be no more posts to this blog, at least for the foreseeable future. The blog as it is today will remain as a resource. But nothing new will appear here until volume 2 is finished.

Other than Bruce, our blog editors should remove themselves within the next week. This is not open for debate. It’s not your blog. It belongs to Bruce and me. Neither of us wants to deal with reader abuse.

Comments will close sometime next week.

Special thanks to Jerome and Roberto who supported this blog in many ways. I appreciate our constant and faithful readers. 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Communication - The Name of the Game


by Jerome


One of the keys I’ve found for researching history is to try to be a good communicator. That may mean sending dozens of expansive emails, or telephoning repositories and trying to befriend people the other end of the line.

Here are just a few examples as well as a review of some useful resources that others can use. It is not intended to be a scholarly article, more a series of personal experiences. As such I apologize in advance for a likely overdose of words like “I” and “me”.

Newspapers

Even today not all newspapers are online, and if they are, it is pot luck whether they are freely accessible or require you to take out a subscription. However, for the latter you can often sign up for a trial period and then hastily cancel. But a few years back there were two newspapers from the north of Scotland which had not made it onto internet databases. There was a debate on the subject of “future probation” between a Bible Student named Charles Houston and a local clergyman Donald Davidson that was mentioned in the pages of ZWT. (See ZWT reprints pages 1965, 1884 and 2278.) At the time the local papers wrote it all up in great detail, with a lot of local interest on both sides of the religious divide. I emailed the local library in Wick, Scotland, but got no response. So I telephoned and spoke at enthusiastic length to the librarian. He was most helpful and became quite hooked on this piece of local history. So he appointed a library assistant to - well, assist me. Over several months they painstakingly checked all the papers for me and scanned all the relevant bits and pieces. The results were several posts on this blog back in 2012 and a book on the subject that can still be obtained from Lulu. Just go to the Lulu site and punch in Houston-Davidson Debate.



That’s a blatant plug of course, but the download is free.

Internet sources

Never despise Google as a first port of call. For example, there is a family history site for the Paton family. They are a little wary of inquiries, but I managed to get in touch with a descendant of John H Paton who kindly sent me photographs of him, with permission to reproduce, and they have been on this blog. He also supplied a missing link in how the Almont Public Library obtained photocopies of Paton’s World’s Hope magazine. They had been offered to him for free several decades ago and he had turned down the offer. Which was a great shame. I am sure he would have shared them for free, whereas the library charged.

But do write to people and if you think there may be reticence there, be honest but speak soothingly and reassure them of your honorable intentions...

Libraries

Many are quite clued up now, which means they will only assist after a fashion for a fee. But as illustrated with the Houston-Davidson debate above, it doesn’t hurt to phone if an email doesn’t work. One of the available issues of A D Jones’ Day Star paper came from an exchange with an American library. I telephoned from UK using one of the companies that give you international calls for pennies and burbled enthusiastically away. And although the guy took my credit card, he photographed the paper and sent me the pdf and I never did get charged. About twenty-five years ago three missing years of Storrs’ Bible Examiner came my way on a free microfilm after a friendly correspondence with a college librarian. If only more libraries or library staff would be like that.

Ancestry

The beauty of genealogical sites, especially international ones like Ancestry, is that you can be put in touch with people researching the same family. Every time I find someone relevant to this blog I contact who appear to be living relatives. I am currently in dialog with descendants of Leslie Jones, the doctor who produced the convention reports and got involved in the Mena Film Company and their planned sequel to the Photodrama of Creation. A little while back there was debate over the early days of the Bible Students in Britain. A photograph captioned Tom Hart turned out to be his friend Jonathan Ling, but only because a descendant contacted through Ancestry sent other photographs, and there he was. So if you use Ancestry, do contact all those who have your quarry on their tree or on their interest list. Some will never reply, but many do.

Find a Grave

This is one of my favorite sites and I delve in under a different name quite regularly. That is not morbidity on my part, but accompanying records often supply key information Quite often those who have supplied the information for Find a Grave, or a photograph, can sometimes supply a lot more. It is pot luck what you may find, but the database is rapidly increasing. I discovered who had left association with the IBSA by seeing who conducted their funeral, which may outside the scope of this project, but of interest to me. Links from Find a Grave to Ancestry helped me produce an article three years ago on all the names inscribed on the pyramid monument by CTR’s grave, and who they were and what happened to them.

And again, we are back to the importance of friendly communication. I always contact the person who supplied the entry and also the photographer of the grave. And on every occasion barring one, they have got back to me. So there is information from a descendant on John A Bohnet, for an article that may one day see the light of day. I also solved what was a puzzle to me about Malcom, Joseph F Rutherford’s only son. Records seemed to suggest that he married more than once (consecutively not concurrently I hasten to add). But were these people actually his wives? The person who had taken individual photographs but not joined up the dots sufficiently for my liking very kindly went back to the cemetery for me and photographed the graves together.



Malcom Rutherford WAS married twice and is buried beside both of his wives. He survived them both. The markers from left to right are for Bobby (Pauline) Rutherford, first wife, Eleanor Rutherford (second wife) and then Malcom Rutherford “in loving memory”. Which begs the question as to who put up the markers for all three, including him? My photographer couldn’t help with that one, but there are always loose ends to research.

I said on every occasion barring one. There is one exception where I didn’t get a refusal, just no response. It may be that the photographer no longer visits that site. Or being gloomy, has maybe joined the site. I probably could have just reproduced the picture and given a credit to Find a Grave, but my old-fashioned rules made me uncomfortable with that. For those who want to see the photograph check out the entry for Caroline M (Bown) Jones (1858-1933) buried in Union Dale Cemetery, Pittsburgh.

So who on earth was that?

Her gravestone says she was the wife of Albert D. Jones. Their son who only lived a week is buried there too, Albert D. Jones Jr. That is probably why the stone records the infamous Albert Delmont Jones name. Of course, our ADJ is not buried there. He dumped this wife for a society beauty, and she then dumped him when he lost his money. A third stab at matrimony had him tied with a con artiste who had a key role to play in the Fatty Arbuckle scandal. He ended his days destitute, and was buried in a potter’s field - which was subsequently covered by a freeway extension. Some mobsters who disappeared are reckoned to be buried under the freeway. In the case of Albert Delmont Jones that is literally true. Again, Find a Grave, and a detailed correspondence with a contributor, uncovered - if that is the right word - the story. It’s all been in this blog in times past.

As noted at the start, this was not intended to be a serious study in research methods. There are many who use resources and can probably find their way around them far better than I can. But sweet-talking people, being nice to them, showing an interest, and in many cases reassuring them - it’s amazing what may still be out there to find.



Saturday, April 8, 2017

you can help by ...

You can help by recommending our books, especially Separate Identity vol. 1 to others and by posting reviews on Amazon USA and on international Amazon sites. Reviews on B and N, Google Books and similar sites help too.

Sales periodically slow. This seems to be seasonal, but its not always predictable. Our continuing work is driven by sales of existing books. Sales pays for research. Original research is often very expensive.

Please help.

Friday, April 7, 2017

ooops

When dealing with an abusive comment we think we may have marked more than one person's comments as 'spam.' If you try to post a comment and it does not appear in the comment trail, email me and we'll find a work around, unless, of course, you are the person Bruce meant to block. I cannot fix that.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Marginally relevant

One of our blog readers sent me this. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. And I can say without too much of a smile that I've introduced my share of classes with something similar.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/language-blog/91039581-132.html#

Facebook

We've asked before that readers not link to this blog through facebook. The message was clear, but apparently some still do not understand. Show some respect. Delete links to this blog from your facebook account. Today.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Return of the Very Temporary Post

I despair of receiving analytical comments. But at Bruce's request, here it is with some additions and revisions. Usual rules.



Evangelical Voice

            The Barbourite movement was narrowly focused, drawing almost entirely from non-Seventh-day Adventists, Age-to-Come believers and other Millinarians. Barbour saw those without a millannialist point of view as worldly and lost. He saw himself as God’s appointed voice for the Last Days. Paton believed he was divinely appointed, and he saw “advances” in spiritual insight as God’s special revelation to him. Both published tracts, Paton many more than Barbour who relied on the Herald of the Morning to further his ideology. The focus of both was narrow, and they didn’t seek a wider voice.           
            Russell’s view was more expansive. He believed God’s people were scattered in all of Christendom, and some were as yet unfound in non-Christian religions. Connecting good-hearted Christians with ‘truth’ was urgent because they were, he believed, in the time of final judgment, the harvest time of Jesus’ parables. To explain Zion’s Watch Tower’s mission, he quoted from the Millerite hymn Alarm:

"We are living, we are dwelling
In a grand and awful time;
In an age on ages telling
To be living is sublime."[1]

        post was deleted.

Roberto's analysis

With some English language assistance from Rachael:



            The article of ZWT February 1881, entitled “Lay up for yourselves treasures”, is a sequel of previous articles written by Russell about the obligation of the Saints, the Bride of Christ, to spread seriously and meaningfully the message. Bruce and Rachael have posted a previously “Temporary post … VERY temporary” to introduce us to the argument, and that article is the basis for my comments.
            Russell’s article is addressed to the regular readers and believers of ZWT, to encourage them to spread the “truth”, but I suspect, on the base of the previous article of Bruce and Rachael, it was also an (in)direct message to some leading characters of the movement, I suspect Paton and Allen. This suspicion came to me reading this:

Do I hear you say that the prize for which you are running is a heavenly one and that you are laying up your treasure in heaven? I am glad that when you hold these treasures up before your mind you recognize them all as earthly, which the moth and rust of time will soon destroy. I am glad if your hearts have not become so fond of these things, that you worship them and think them beautiful. But let me put it plainly: Would your neighbor judging from your daily acts not suppose that you are bending all of your energies for some of these prizes? Is he deceived, or are you, with reference to your real aim? Do not your actions, as well as his, speak louder than words--What is your real treasure-- the thing which you really love?

            Russell speaks of “daily acts” and “actions”, and that they “speak louder than words”. What are these acts and actions? He quoted a hymn, “All for Jesus! All for Jesus! All my beings ransomed powers; All my thoughts and words and doings, All my days and all my hours.” In quoting the hymn he implicitly says that the Christian deeds should be in thoughts, words and doing, and at this point Russell reports his personal experience in thoughts, words, and doings for Jesus:

I found that I had three hours for my consecrated work … I daily spend one hour not in reading, but in earnest study. I searched and found daily spiritual food and my "daily bread" sometimes took two instead of one hour. How should I use my other hours? … my chief object should be to give spiritual help, or secondly, any temporal aid or comfort to those needing it.

            Russell made clear the point reporting to the readers two of his personal experiences in preaching: First he gave testimony to his next-door neighbor who had sickness and trouble, and then to a lady of whose deep piety and Christian character he had heard much, giving her WT tract n.1. Thus his time was spent from day to day, until the three hours were not enough. So we understand that in the mind of Russell, acts and actions were: studying the Bible and preach the truth 3, 4 hours every day.
            Russell states that his article is directed to the consecrated saints:

These five pictures represent persons who have consecrated all to God, who have covenanted to become dead to earthly aims, and ambitions and prizes, and have entered the list of those who will strive for "The prize of our high calling" and "seek for glory, honor and immortality"--the honor, the glory and the life promised only to the Bride--the overcomers, who keep their covenant.

            Russell underlined the necessity to increase the witnesses saying: “He (God) has given us many ways and opportunities of doing this. It may be spent in spreading the truth.” The rest of the article is an exhortation to evangelize. The exhortation was directed to every sort of Saints: the rich, the poor, mothers, housewives, etc. Every kind of Saint must spread the truth.
            In ZWT of April Russell was explicit again. He launched an appeal for 1.000 preachers, and published the article: “How to teach”. Paton in the same time published three articles: “Number Three, part 1”, “Number Three, part 2”, and “Foundation of the World”.