Monday, December 29, 2014

Letter from Maria

Transcript adjusted to reflect correction sent by Rachael in comments
On December 11 this blog published a reproduction of a letter from Maria Russell that was being offered on eBay. Portions of the letter had been obscured so that it could not be read in its entirety. With grateful thanks to the generosity of the collector who purchased the “original” we are able reproduce below the contents in full.

It was written by Maria quite soon after she had traveled to congregations to defend CTR from accusations made by S D Rogers and others. (see: A Conspiracy Exposed and Harvest Siftings, extra number of ZWT for April 25, 1894, and subsequent correspondence in columns of ZWT). It was written from the home of Joseph L Russell his wife Emma, Maria’s sister, in Ashland, Virginia.
Ashland, Va.
July 19th, 1894.
Mrs W N Fuller
Dear Sister in Christ
     Your welcome letter of June 27th was duly received and the pamphlet requested was sent you and as I did not have time to reply before I left home I do so now from here where I am spending a short time with my sister for rest and change.
     We appreciate very much the sentiments of your letter and feel very thankful that the storm has passed and that so little damage has been done. God has wonderfully overruled in it all and made the wrath of man to praise him; and all has worked together for good to his saints – the called according to his purpose who still love and serve him. What could more increase our love and confidence in him.
     We do indeed feel sorry for the erring ones, but there is no sign of repentance on the part of any of them. Their only regret is that they have not succeeded in wrecking the work and ruining the reputation and influence of Bro. Russell. How sad and deplorable must be such a condition of mind and heart.
(page 2)
     I am glad to know that your interest in the truth continues to grow and that your faith and hope increases. I hear from you occasionally through Sister Vero. Yes, how precious the truth is to us and what could we take in exchange for it? It is dearer to me every day and all my ambition is to attain that whereunto I am called. I can never for a moment feel that I could be satisfied unless I win the prize of our high calling; and yet I constantly realize my unworthiness. In Christ alone is my hope.
     The good work both h at home and abroad still goes forward, and even though clouds and darkness are about how we blessedly realize that the Lord is present and doing his strange and wonderful work. How fast events are progressing toward the full establishment of his kingdom. Truly Zion hears and is glad and the daughters of Judah rejoice. My heart is full of joy and praise when I think of these things.
     Give our love to your dear mother and family. My sister here – Mrs J.L. Russell – also sends greeting to you in the Lord. She and her husband and little daughter are also in the same faith and hope. She and I came into the truth together. Hoping to hear from you again, I am as ever
              Yours in the Beloved
               Mrs. C. T. Russell.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Today's Mail

            The first of the bound volumes of Spirit of the Word arrived in this morning’s mail. I haven’t read it in depth yet, but I have read it. There are things in it we will use. Adams restates his rejection of Literalist belief because to take the Bible literally meant he could not sustain his new doctrines. There is a multi-issue discussion between Adams and an un-named tract writer. The un-named man was Paton. The tract was a reprint of an article in World’s Hope.

            Adams does not directly mention Russell, but he does comment on his doctrines. Adams could not refute Russell, so he stood on the back porch and whispered innuendo. I can see several references to Watch Tower theology. It will take some time to pin them to exact Watch Tower articles. We won’t peruse that until the current chapter is finished, at least in rough draft.

            There is a note on a page margin. It appears to be in Adams’ hand. This volume is stamped “office copy.” Later it belonged to someone living in Kentucky.

            Adams retracted something he wrote in 1882. I’ll have to find the original statement. We have his 1882 book, so that should be possible.

            There was significant cross-readership between Paton’s magazine and Adams’. Those letters that are signed are often from people who also read Paton’s World’s Hope. It will take a very careful reading of the four years we have to put this all together.

            Bruce asked someone who’s very adept at finding things to look for Zion’s Day Star. We still need to see the early issues.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Retitled as Christ's Resurrection and Used in Hymns of Millenial Dawn


We've acquired the bound volume of Spirit of the Word. Our thanks to those who contributed to the effort. We used the small amount of excess to order some photocopies.

After we spent that, we were offered two more years of Spirit of the Word. Bruce bought them today, but spent money he could ill afford to spend. But we wouldn't have had access to them otherwise. So we have purchased (though not received yet) 1889, 1890, and 1891. When we receive these, we will be distracted for a while as we read them.

Thanks again for your help. We still need issues from 1886 to 1888. Keep on the watch.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Reader Reviews for Separate Identity

If you read and liked volume one, please leave a review on the site from which you purchased it. Hopefully you will leave a nice review, but wht you say is always up to you.

You can also leave a review on google books. It would help if friends of our research would do so.

Visit this page:

Click "Write a Review."

ADJ's last thoughts?

I notice that someone who obviously reads this blog has written a fanciful account of Albert Delmont Jones' thoughts looking back on his life on Rachael's personal blog. The word 'fanciful' needs to be stressed - it is obviously based on both fact and outright fiction - I think "faction" is the conglomerate word. As long as it is not confused with the serious history and facts discussed here, some readers might just find it of interest. It can be found at:

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Yet more on the second Mrs Albert Delmont Jones

by Jerome

I know that the second Mrs Albert (Royal) Delmont (Jones) is really off the topic of Watch Tower history, other than a footnote. However, her assessment of men which you will find at the end of this short article is an interesting footnote in itself. I have tried to restrain myself from writing too much, but Isabel Mulhall (Delmont) was a fascinating character. Albert obviously thought so, as an earlier newspaper article in this blog tells how he was first smitten by her picture. It was downhill all the way from then on.
Albert and Isabel were divorced in 1903 and the Washington Post stated that this was after Albert met “financial reverses.” Isabel briefly went on the stage, before becoming Mrs Sidmon McHie.  Somewhere around 1906 she was in the news for accusing her chauffeur of blackmail, a man who was then employed by Mr McHie.  Sidmon was a Wall Street operator and publisher – and millionnaire – you could smell the money. At a hurried secret ceremony they married in 1909. (see Washington Post, August 1, 1909).

Isabel thereafter went by the name of either Isabel M McHie or Isabel D McHie, and one assumes the D stood for Delmont. She must have had financial assets of her own or been given some by Sidmon, because in 1919 she and her husband made wills leaving the other partner as main beneficiary. This became complicated when they separated acrimoniously in 1925. In 1926 an agreement was forged where Sidmon would give her certain assets and also pay her an allowance of a thousand dollars a month for as long as she lived. But there was a condition. The sixth covenant of the document said (quote) – It is agreed that the parties shall live apart and separate and shall not annoy or molest each other (end quote).

Salmon stopped paying the allowance in 1932 claiming in subsequent legal proceedings that Isabel had indeed continued to annoy and molest him. He divorced her in 1936 on the grounds of HER “cruel and inhuman treatment.” (see Fifth Avenue Bank of New York v. Hammond Realty Co., Court of Appeals for Seventh Circuit, October 30, 1942).

Isabel made the newspapers quite regularly. One occasion she was locked in the brig of a steamship for causing a disturbance. (According to the Milwaukee Sentinel, December 20, 1942 she tried to sue the Cunard Steamship Line for $100,000 over the incident, but the company successfully proved she had been “obstreperous”). When choirboys practiced at a church opposite her she played Caruso records at full blast! (same citation from Milwaukee Sentinel). A ruckus at a Baltimore hotel resulted in her being committed to an asylum but she escaped when a Brooklyn clergyman (or someone dressed as one) came to visit with a heavily veiled woman, who exchanged places. (That is if the Brooklyn Standard Union for May 13, 1931 is to be believed).
As noted in a recent post on this blog, in 1935 she was taken off a train after throwing large sums of money out of it.

Isabel died in 1939 at the age of 63, after an exciting if not exactly happy life. She had been living at the home of her mother, Susan Mulhall and her final resting place was the Fresh Pond Crematory and Columbarium, Queen County, New York.   (Check it out on Find a Grave)

Her paranoia was indicated by her will, which provided substantial funds for an autopsy and investigation in case she had been poisoned.
Then the fun started again. Who would inherit her sizeable fortune? Her father, who had deserted the family nearly 60 years before, suddenly reappeared to make a claim. A younger person called a protégé, made a claim. Ex-husband Sidmon, who was still alive, made a claim. And the squabble went on until 1943, when finally her wishes were granted. (See Bingham Press, February 15, 1943). So where did the rump of her fortune go? It was left to a dog’s home that trained guide dogs for the blind.

And here is the punch line. Maybe it was the absent father, maybe it was the two husbands (both old enough to be her father, and including of course our ADJ) – but she planned a sculptured bust of herself in her own memory, headed by the words which also adorned her stationery. It was a quote originally attributed to Mme de Sevigne (1626-1696):

If any are interested in reading more, and seeing the sculptured bust of Isabel, plus a candid photo of her elderly mother yelling at her even more elderly father after sixty years of separation, when they met on the court steps, have a look at this full page story. It mentions ADJ. Of course, I wouldn’t necessarily believe ALL that you read in newspapers.

(then go to page 78 of this document)

Isabel’s parents share a moment on the court steps in 1942.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The former second Mrs Albert Delmont Jones

From The New York Post for March 22, 1935.
The former Mrs Albert Royal Delmont Jones a little later on in life. It says she was "taken from a train" after these events.
Albert had lost all his money by the time he and Isabel were divorced.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


We need to raise significant money to purchase a very rare magazine volume. We anticipate needing about 125.00. We have a paypal donation system. The button is on blog 2, but if you want to donate and do not have access to blog 2, email me and I'll tell you how.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

We need this

This is for sale on ebay. It is a scanned copy of a letter from M. Russell to Mrs W. N. Fuller. [Personally, and without much proof, I think she meant Mrs. W. R. Fuller. But that doesn't matter.] As you see, the seller has blocked out portions of the letter. We're not inclined to buy from this seller, and the asking price is too high for us. Do any of you have a clear scan of this? Will you share it? You may need to click the image to view it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

More on Malcom Cameron Rutherford


In a sense this isn’t MORE, but material originally published in comments on a past post from 28 October this year.
Due to a mishap, some of these comments disappeared into cyberspace.  However, I have recently come across rough drafts of most of my own comments before they were posted. So I am republishing them here with a few extra observations to make this into a complete article.
The photograph that heads this article was taken on or after 5 June 1917.  It was taken in connection with Malcom’s draft board registration in 1917.  The original document found on genealogy sites show that Malcom was 24 at the time, born November 16, 1892, currently single, and living in Los Angeles. He gave his occupation as book-keeper and clerk for H G Pangborn and Co. in Los Angeles. A notable fact is that Malcom claimed exemption from the draft on the grounds that he was part of the International Bible Students Association.

(The earlier article detailed his activities prior to this as a Bible Student, including supporting his father as a stenographer in the Rutherford-Troy debate of 1915.)
There were actually three main registrations for the services in America. The first started on 5 June 1917, and was for all men between the ages of 21 and 31. As noted above, this is when Malcom had his photograph taken and made his request for exemption.
The second was a catch-up in early 1918 for those who had subsequently reached age 21.  And then as the war dragged on, there was a third and far more inclusive call up in early September 1918. This was for men aged between 18 through 45.

It was on this occasion that Malcom accepted the draft. His enlistment date was 10 September 1918 and he was assigned to the Army.
We do not necessarily have to read too much into this. As the Proclaimers book states on page 191:

During the war years, the circumstances in which individual Bible Students were thrust varied. The way they dealt with these situations also varied. Feeling obligated to obey “the powers that be,” as they referred to the secular rulers, some went into the trenches at the front with guns and bayonets. But having in mind the scripture, “Thou shalt not kill,” they would fire their weapons into the air or try simply to knock the weapon from the hands of an opponent.
Certainly by September 1918 things had changed in Malcom’s life. He was now a married man. He married Pauline Lucille Short on 19 March 1918 in Los Angeles. (She would be known as Bobby, and this is the name that appears on her grave marker). Also Malcom’s father was in jail accused of working against the American war effort with the book The Finished Mystery and the Bible Students Monthly tract The Fall of Babylon.

So that leaves the question, did Malcom see active service?

A spring offensive by the Germans in 1918 made General Pershing push for more American troops to be sent to France without their own equipment for the sake of speed – the equipment then being supplied by the French and British once they were there.  In just two months, June and July of 1918, 584,000 Americans were sent over, presenting a logistical problem for the merchant marine to get them all there. By August 1918 there were nearly 1,500,000 American troops in France.

Then came this new American draft in the first half of September, when Malcom enlisted. By the time of the armistice of November 11, the number of American troops had passed the two million mark. This suggests that Malcom could well be among the half a million extra recruits shipped over to Europe in that time.

General Pershing commanded more than a million American and French combatants in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, which only ceased with the armistice.  Training for new recruits only lasted six weeks, so maybe Malcom was involved at some point in that campaign.

Once the armistice was signed, troop numbers in Europe decreased, although some American troops were involved in expeditionary forces in Italy and Russia. Americans were shipped back home and that would fit in with Malcom’s discharge on December 24, 1918. However, he stayed on the records, as all this information about his war enlistment comes from the US Department of Veteran Affairs BIRLS deaths file, 1850-2010.  This is the file that records that he was assigned to the ARMY and gives both his date of birth (10 November 1892)  and date of death (22 June 1989). He enlisted on 10 September 1918 and was discharged on 24 December 1918. Unfortunately, 80% of US army records for World War 1 were destroyed in a fire in 1973, and the 20% surviving are not readily accessible.

Note from an official site: The BIRLS (Beneficiary Identification Records Locator Subsystem) Death File is a Veterans Benefits Administration database that lists the names of deceased individuals who had received benefits from the Veterans Administration while they were alive. These include veterans who received educational benefits and veterans’ survivors who applied for benefits.

I do not know what benefits Malcom may have received during his lifetime.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Many Wives of Albert

by Jerome

The St. Paul Globe for September 15, 1903.

We have all heard of the many wives of Solomon, or the many wives of English King Henry VIII. We don’t know for sure how many times our boy Albert Royal Delmont Jones attempted matrimony, but the title still has a certain ring.

Wife number one was Caroline (Carrie) Bown. She had four children with Albert. One died in infancy, the other three all married and had families of their own. Carrie was buried in the Bown family plot in Pittsburgh when she died in January 1933. After her marriage ended she made her home with her daughter, Ella and family.

Wife number two was described as society beauty Isabel Agnes Mulhall. The newspaper cutting above, written in what we would call in the UK “tabloid style,” describes the history and subsequent demise of their relationship. How accurate the details are I do not know, but it makes entertaining reading. Isabel subsequently led a flamboyant life. She made the newspapers in 1935 by eccentrically throwing money out of a train. However, she appears to have really liked money, and really liked Albert when he had some. She died in 1939.

Wife number three – Bambina – now there’s a name! Her history has been detailed in the article In Search of Delmont Jones posted on 23 November 2014. Sometimes she is Maud Bambina Delmont, and sometimes she is Bambina Maud Delmont. Sometimes Maud has an E on the end, and sometimes not.

After her divorce from Albert – assuming there ever was a divorce – Bambina married John Hopper in 1912. Neglecting to divorce Mr Hopper she committed bigamy by then marrying a Cassius Wood. In the 1920 census she is down as a corsetiere with her own shop; other reference works give less flattering occupations. She latched onto vivacious, promiscuous starlet Virginia Rappe at the infamous 1921 party Roscoe (Fatty) Arbuckle attended. When it all went bad and Virginia died in hospital, Bambina was initially the star witness against Arbuckle - until it was established that at the time she claimed to see and hear certain events, she was otherwise occupied in another bedroom. The LA District Attorney Matthew Brady had political ambitions riding on this case, which was basically an excuse to put the whole of Hollywood on trial. He ensured that Bambina never went anywhere near the witness stand during three trials, in spite of repeated requests from the defense.  As soon as the first trial went to the jury (a hung jury of 10-2 for acquittal) Bambina was done for bigamy. There may have been some sort of deal to get her off with probation. See the news item below.

December 11, 1921 Oakland Tribune

Wife number four? There is a question mark over this one, but see post entitled Another Sighting - or Is It? published on 25 November for a possibility.

Albert’s slippery slope gained a certain momentum as the years rolled by. For those of an artistic bent, have a look at William Hogarth’s 18th century series of paintings called The Rake’s Progress.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Albert Royal Delmont Jones' death certificate

Albert (Royal) Delmont (Jones) died on 15 May 1930. An earlier article has detailed the circumstances and also the bizarre nature of his burial place. This certificate gives his age as 76 (which ties in with a known birth year of 1854), and the census from a few weeks before gives his birthplace and that of his parents as Pennsylvania, so we know for sure this is our Albert.

Perhaps the saddest thing about the certificate - even though you may feel that Albert deserved all that came his way - is the repeated phrase "no record." Was he single or married? No record. Who were his family? No record. What was his occupation? No record.

We know quite a bit about his various occupations, and also his family. At the time he died, his first two wives were still alive. The first lived until 1933 and the second was featured less that flatteringly in a newspaper report from 1935. Some of his other "wives" may also have survived him, but we are on more shaky ground there.

Three of his children survived him. Ella was still alive in the 1940 census, William lived until 1932, and Herbert lived until 1954.

Yet here he is - alone and unknown. As far as the almshouse/hospital was concerned - no record.

I know we may quote that you reap what you sow - but I still find it sad.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

You can help

            You can help keep our project alive by recommending our books to your friends, even if you think they may not be history buffs. Show them the book. Put it in their hands. Recommend this blog. If you have a web presence, link to our blog. Please help.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Another Sighting - or Is It?

by Jerome
We know that Albert Royal Delmont Jones (abbreviated as ADJ) is in the 1900 census for Chicago.  He is married to Isabel and gives his work as “editor.” He claims to be 44, and she is 23. Isabel Agnes Mulhall was to become quite a character in her own right, if newspaper gossip is to be believed.

As Rachael rightly queries in another post – in 1900 ADJ was editor of what?

Then in the 1930 census ADJ turns up, elderly and alone, in a state almshouse/hospital in Delaware shortly before his death and burial in a pauper’s grave that year.

I believe we may have found him in the 1910 census, although there are queries as detailed below. He is now calling himself Albert R Delmont (Albert Royal Delmont) and claims to be 48, married for three years to Margaret White, aged 28. He is now living in Campbell, Kentucky.

By this time he has no occupation. And he is living in the home of his in-laws, James and Johanna White.

This would be a fourth marriage – after Caroline Bown, Belle Mulhall, and Bambina Maud Scott.

A marriage register shows they were married on 19 September 1906, but gives no other information.

The age given in the 1910 census return is less than his real age. But as with previous wife Isabel, this wife Margaret is at least twenty years his junior. Men who marry much younger women often shave a few years off their age, along with taking up tennis, and cycling around in Lycra on a top-end bicycle!

However, there are two discordant notes in the above scenario. First is that this Albert Delmont claims to come from Virginia. But there are no references in the Virginia records that remotely fit. This could just be an enumerator’s mistake, or ADJ covering his tracks from yet another past life. And this is the only Albert Delmont thrown up in the 1910 census indexes.

Second is the 1920 census. It is easy to find the same family still living in Campbell, Kentucky. Father-in-law James has died and Johanna White is now the head of the household with the same children, one of whom is Margaret Delmont. There is no Albert R in sight. Margaret claims to be only 34; however, the initial in the appropriate column suggests she has put down as a widow! But I cannot find any reference to an Albert R Delmont (or variations) dying between 1910 and 1920.

There are so many negatives about ADJ that a faked death or insurance scam, or just good riddance and I stand a better chance as a widow than as a deserted woman or divorced woman – all these scenarios are possible.

And I cannot find hide nor hair of ADJ under any combination of names in the 1920 census. But then he turns up as a kind of elderly vagrant in 1930.

I am still searching, and readers of this blog are welcome to search too. The problem is – what name might he have used by then?


Day Star Universal Releif Fund

Established by in 1884, still active in 1887. Office in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Brooklyn and Lynn, Mass. We need more information. Anyone?


Philandering Financier 

            Carrie Jones divorced Albert in March 1889, charging adultery. Evidence suggests that his adulterous life began as early as 1882. The Leighton, Pennsylvania, Carbon Advocate reported Jones’ visit to Edwin F. Luckenbach. Instead of his wife, he traveled with “Mrs. Hopper of New York” and “Mrs. Agene of New Jersey.”[1] Luckenbach (Oct. 11, 1842 – Mar. 3, 1912)) was a merchant in Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania, combining a fresco painting business with a stationery, wall paper and paint store. He was a factor in local politics.[2] We don’t know why Jones visited him in mid-June 1882. But it seems improbable that a married Christian would travel from New York City to Mauch Chunk with two women but without his wife, especially so in an era when appearance mattered.

“Mrs. Agene” was most certainly Mrs. A. Agens of New Jersey, a Watch Tower adherent whose poetry was published in Zion’s Watch Tower. If he was sexually involved with Agens, we have an uncomfortable picture of Jones as a predator within the congregation. Of course, both women could have been in doddering old age, and Jones may have escorted the two grannies on a vacation. We are suspicious, but we can’t identify these women and don’t know.

Jones’ infidelities became public in the late 1880s through gossip and a law suit. By 1886 he was having significant money problems. He commissioned Ada L. Cone, an artist, “to make for him a crayon portrait of a woman.” He told her to send it to the Hoffman House where he rented a suit. Jones failed to pay and was sued by the Working Women’s Protective Union in Cone’s behalf. A newspaper report says that, “Mr. Jones wanted to compromise, and to give him an opportunity to do so the Justice at his request adjourned the case for one week.” He still failed to pay, and judgment was entered in Cone’s behalf.[3] The New York World, without naming Jones, described him as “a broker with an office in the Mills Building and sumptuous apartments at the Hoffman House. According the The World, “he defaulted and … left for parts unknown when an officer attempted to execute the judgment against him.”[4]

William H. Conley’s testimony during the Jones’ divorce adds to this story: 

About 2 years ago last June [1887] in New York City I saw him one night about 9 o’clock walking on 5th Avenue with a woman other than his wife – did not know who the woman was. I believe I have heard that he had got into trouble with some woman and had to pay her a large sum of money to get rid of her – am not sure that I have the letter now – I burned about a bushel of letters – but I did get from him such a letter. I cannot state what the amount was but it was a large sum he had to pay – I judge that the reason for sending this letter must have been that I had written him a dunning letter as he had dealings, with us and owed us considerable money, and that would be his excuse (that he had to pay so much money on account of this woman) for not remitting to us. This letter I spoke of was received by me from him before I saw him walking with a woman as above mentioned. I think it must have been from 6 to 9 months before that.

I had a conversation in Albert Jones’s presence with H. B. Adams and Eugene F. Smith of New York and Thomas B. Riter of Allegheny City, Penna – there were three of us together at Mr. Jones’s offices in New York City about 2 years ago. During this conversation Mr. Adams and Mr. Smith accused Mr. Jones of keeping the woman besides his wife– They called him all kinds of vile names and he did not deny the accusation. He was accused of maintaining a house and a woman other than his wife in it in the upper end of New York, and Mr. Adams (who was in the House Furnishing business then) stated in Mr. Jones’s presence that he (Adams) had furnished the house and he (Mr. Jones) admitted the whole thing. I cannot state from recollection the precise location of the house spoken of.  

            While the first page of one of the Jones divorce papers is missing, we learn much from the surviving last page. In July 1886, when Albert was commissioning his paramour’s portrait, Carrie Jones returned to the Newark house. She found absolute proof of his infidelity and, taking her three children, returned to her father’s house in Pittsburgh. Carrie named an Annie Raleigh as Albert’s paramour, and counsel called Albert’s father to testify. He denied knowing Miss Raleigh, naming her as Annie Raleigh, Annie J. Raleigh, and finally as K. A. Raleigh. We have not identified her more closely.  Her statement says that after April 8, 1886, Albert contributed “very little” support for her and their children. What little he paid for their upkeep dried up, and by 1889 he was paying nothing. She believed he had “a fair income.” In fact, his financial empire was precarious. Albert refused to appear, and divorce was finally granted.

[1]               From the County Seat, The Leighton, Pennsylvania, Carbon Advocate, June 17, 1882.
[2]               J. W. Jordan: Historic Homes and Institutions of the Lehigh Valley, Lewis Publishing Co., New York, 1905, Volume 2, page 224.
[3]               Mr. Jones’ Friend’s Picture, The New York Sun, November 17, 1887.
[4]               Dead-Beats on the Rack: Where Workingwomen Get Redress for their Wrongs, The New York World, December 29, 1887.

Hoffman House. Home to famous actresses, the rich ... and A. D. Jones

Main Building and Annex
Jones maintained two houses and rooms in two up-scale hotels.

ADJ's Final Resting Place

by Jerome

If any readers wish to examine Albert Royal Delmont Jones’ death certificate, they can access it through the Family Search website. Punch in “Albert Delmont” and use the search terms “1930” and “Delaware” and you should quite easily call it up. This site is particularly useful because it is free to use.
Albert’s death certificate is a sad document. He died at the New Castle County Hospital on May 15, 1930. This was originally called the New Castle County Almshouse, and was a last resort home for people who were elderly, single and poor. The certificate shows he was 76 (linking in with a known birth year of 1854) but that is about all the history it contains. Albert wasn’t then around to provide any more information. So next of kin, occupation, place born – all these sections were “no record.”  Fortunately when the census was taken earlier that year, Albert Delmont was listed as an “inmate” and was lucid enough to state that he was from Pennsylvania, as were his parents. Hence the match.
Even though ADJ was a bad boy, I find it sad that no-body knew who his family were, and there was no-one to claim him. At least two of his children were still alive at that time, but obviously no-body knew or perhaps even cared what had happened to him.
The New Castle County Almshouse/Hospital was located at a small place called Farnhurst, and was next door to the quite separate Delaware State Mental Hospital. Those who died at New Castle Hospital who had no-one to claim them for burial elsewhere were buried in what is now called the “Cemetery in the Woods at Farnhurst.” (Residents from the mental hospital were buried elsewhere). The “Cemetery in the Woods” also received the bodies of premature/stillborn babies and unidentified bodies that turned up in the nearby rivers. Several thousand people were buried there.
This was to be ADJ’s last resting place, what was called at the time the New Castle County Hospital Cemetery. As a Potter’s Field cemetery, there were no named grave markers. However, small 5” square granite markers were provided but they only had numbers on them. It appears that a fire at the original building in the 1950s destroyed any of the records linking names to numbers.
But it gets worse. The cemetery was replaced by another Potter’s Field location in the mid-1930s, and the original New Castle County Hospital Cemetery was abandoned. Then in the late 1950s, early 1960s, around 85% of the cemetery was covered up with the construction of the 1-295 freeway ramp to the Delaware Memorial Bridge. It was planned to clean up the area and put up a lasting memorial, but of course, once the road was built, that was the end of that. Apparently about 100 or so granite markers are still visible at the base of the ramp – but you have to climb a fence and crawl over trash and brambles to get to them – and they date from earlier decades than 1930.
So what does this mean for ADJ? I tend to think of the possible fate of many gangsters who disappeared in times past. In ADJ’s case, he really does appear to be buried under the freeway.
It is a long way from genteel grave markers in park-like cemeteries in Pittsburgh.

Grateful thanks are due to Kathy Dettwyler of the University of Delaware for assistance with this material.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Another little bit from our current research

Philandering Financier 

            Carrie Jones divorced Albert in March 1889, charging adultery. Evidence suggests that his adulterous life began as early as 1882. The Leighton, Pennsylvania, Carbon Advocate reported Jones’ visit to Edwin F. Luckenbach. Instead of his wife, he traveled with “Mrs. Hopper of New York” and “Mrs. Agene of New Jersey.”[1] Luckenbach (Oct. 11, 1842 – Mar. 3, 1912)) was a merchant in Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania, combining a fresco painting business with a stationery, wall paper and paint store. He was a factor in local politics.[2] We don’t know why Jones visited him in mid-June 1882. But it seems improbable that a married Christian would travel from New York City to Mauch Chunk with two women but without his wife, especially so in an era when appearance mattered.

“Mrs. Agene” was most certainly Mrs. A. Agens of New Jersey, a Watch Tower adherent whose poetry was published in Zion’s Watch Tower. If he was sexually involved with Agens, we have an uncomfortable picture of Jones as a predator within the congregation.

Jones’ infidelities became public in the late 1880s through gossip and a law suit. By 1886 he was having significant money problems. He commissioned Ada L. Cone, an artist, “to make for him a crayon portrait of a woman.” He told her to send it to the Hoffman House where he rented a suit. Jones failed to pay and was sued by the Working Women’s Protective Union in Cone’s behalf. A newspaper report says that, “Mr. Jones wanted to compromise, and to give him an opportunity to do so the Justice at his request adjourned the case for one week.” He still failed to pay, and judgment was entered in Cone’s behalf.[3] The New York World, without naming Jones, described him as “a broker with an office in the Mills Building and sumptuous apartments at the Hoffman House. According the The World, “he defaulted and … left for parts unknown when an officer attempted to execute the judgment against him.”[4]

[1]               From the County Seat, The Leighton, Pennsylvania, Carbon Advocate, June 17, 1882.
[2]               J. W. Jordan: Historic Homes and Institutions of the Lehigh Valley, Lewis Publishing Co., New York, 1905, Volume 2, page 224.
[3]               Mr. Jones’ Friend’s Picture, The New York Sun, November 17, 1887.
[4]               Dead-Beats on the Rack: Where Workingwomen Get Redress for their Wrongs, The New York World, December 29, 1887.


Albert Delmont Jones in 1900

More Jones ....

Jones died May 15, 1930, in a state hospital that served the needs of the indigent elderly and mental patients. He was confined there for 15 mos before his death.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A. D Jones - Again

He is listed in the 1900 Census as Albert Delmont, living in the Chicago area. His occupation is given as "editor." What did he edit?

Just awful ...

If you read my personal blog with any sort of regularity, you know I have health issues. I tried to moderate a comment early this morning while I was more than a little disoriented. I managed to delete a comment ... and fifty of the preceding comments.

Your comments are important to me. I'm sorry they're gone. I can't get them back. And I'm seriously depressed as a result. If you want to re-comment, you'd make me happy.


In Search of Delmont Jones

by Jerome

Rachael kindly sent me a family tree for Albert Delmont Jones, which was far more extensive than the one I had put together from Ancestry. I understand the original research was done by “Ton” who is greatly missed. Because there are rather a lot of Delmont Jones names in this article, our main quarry, the editor of Zion’s Day Star, will hereafter just be referred to as ADJ.

The family tree sent me in search of records on the Find a Grave site. If you type in Delmont Jones and Pennsylvania you will find five different Delmont Jones listed. Due to research errors and misunderstandings, these five names only relate to three people – ADJ’s grandfather, father, and younger brother. ADJ’s first wife’s grave is also on the site if you know where to look as is one of his children, also an Albert D Jones. Alas, I have not traced ADJ himself. But one wonders, with his chequered history, under what name he finally went under?

 So, first the grandfather. Three of the Find a Grave entries relate to him! There are two entries for a Delmont Jones, b. August 3, 1803. One has him dying on December 30, 1878 and an almost duplicate record states December 29. They have him buried in the Turner Cemetery on Squirrel Hill, Allegheny County. This location was originally correct. Census returns for Peebles Township (Squirrel Hill) and old maps show the original Delmont Jones owning farming land in this area. It was eventually annexed into Pittsburgh in 1868.

 The Turner Cemetery still exists, but is only half an acre in size and was abandoned around 1880 when the church beside it that maintained it was closed. As a result, a number of those buried there were later moved. This included the first Delmont Jones, who was one of the last to be buried there. He was reinterred at the Homewood Cemetery in Pittsburgh on 25 March 1899. This was quite a common practice. As small community graveyards closed and the land often reused for other purposes, many families had relatives transferred to the new-style park-like cemeteries that were needed to cope with the dramatic increases in population. So there is a Find a Grave entry for Homewood Cemetery with a Delmont Jones, b. unknown, and died 1899 – which is a misunderstanding of what happened. On the other hand, this entry does show his gravestone with the correct date of death, 30 December 1878. It is likely that a gravestone was first placed at Turner cemetery and then moved with him, although this version looks of more recent origin.

Thanks are due to Find a Grave correspondent Rich who kindly gave me permission to reproduce the photograph at the head of this article, and also checked out the details of the discrepancy. One mystery - there was another Jones, this time a Watson Jones who was moved from Turner to Homewood on the same day, transported in the same container, and reinterred in the same grave as Delmont. Watson Jones died from epilepsy in 1866 aged 25. However, this does not link up with any known names in the Delmont Jones family tree. Perhaps they were moved together and reburied together, just in case. However, only Delmont’s name appears on the gravestone.

 Next, we come to the second Delmont Jones, son of Delmont Jones (Mark 1), and the father of ADJ. This Delmont Jones was born in Squirrel Hill, Allegheny, 1831 and died in 1894. His wife’s obituary describes him as a well-known Civil War veteran who served as an engineer in the United States Mississippi gunboat fleet. He and his wife Martha are buried in the South Side cemetery in Pittsburgh. This time thanks are due to Find a Grave correspondent Rob who gave permission for me to reproduce the photograph. The stone lists five names – Delmont Jones, his wife Martha Jones, and then the remaining surnames are of the Frasher family. One of this Delmont Jones’ daughters married a Frasher, so this will be her and some of her family.

Next, we come to the actual generation of ADJ. ADJ had a younger brother called – what a surprise – Delmont Jones again. This Delmont Jones (1874-1923) is buried in the Union Dale cemetery, Pittsburgh. Alas, there is not a stone, or at least a photograph of a stone, and it is unknown whether other members of the family were buried with him. The name Delmont Jones turns up in a number of Pittsburgh records, and likely relate to this Delmont rather than ADJ – although it is difficult to establish with certainty.

The Union Dale cemetery was also the final resting place for ADJ’s first wife. She is buried with her father and mother in the Bown family plot. The Jones name is mentioned because the inscription has her down as Caroline M Bown (1858-1933), wife of Albert D Jones. ADJ’s infant son, listed as Albert D Jones, born and died in 1883, is buried there with her. That is probably the only reason that ADJ is mentioned on the stone, since Caroline divorced him for infidelity after four children and around twelve years of marriage. One suspects that the D in the middle of the infant’s name is likely to be another Delmont.

Unfortunately I have not received permission to reproduce a photograph of this stone. If I subsequently obtain this, then I will adjust the article, but any reader sufficiently interested can easily check the Find a Grave site for themselves.

It would have been nice to have found a stone for ADJ and also a juicy obituary in some newspaper. Maybe they will still surface at some time.

(Note: as more recent posts have indicated, ADJ's final resting place is now known. He was buried in a Potter's Field cemetery, with just a small stone with a number on it. Most of the cemetery was obliterated when a freeway ramp was constructed in the late 1950s, early 1960s. It is rumored that many gangsters who disappeared are possibly buried under the freeway. In ADJ's case, it seems literally true. A long way from the leafy parklands of Pittsburgh cemeteries.)

Changing tack now, perhaps the most interesting point for me from the supplied genealogical records - as someone who has written on film history over the years, is a tenuous connection with the Roscoe Arbuckle scandal. Fatty Arbuckle was arrested and accused of rape and murder after a 1921 party in San Francisco. The victim was a small part actress named Virginia Rappe. The charge was subsequently reduced to manslaughter. Arbuckle went through two hung juries before being cleared at a third trial where the jury were out for all of six minutes, using five of them to write a statement making a formal apology to him for the injustice he had suffered.

There was little doubt that Virginia Rappe’s death was preventable. Health problems exacerbated by a series of abortions made her fragile, and she didn’t get prompt or proper care when taken ill. But the lurid accusations against Arbuckle all originated with Rappe’s companion who crashed the party, one Bambina Maud Delmont. While Wikipedia is not always the most accurate of sources, it does quite a nice line in character assassination with (quote) “Delmont had a long criminal record with multiple convictions for racketeering, bigamy, fraud, and extortion, and allegedly was making a living by luring men into compromising positions and capturing them in photographs, to be used as evidence in divorce proceedings.  Her unsubstantiated testimony at the original hearing got Arbuckle indicted, but then the prosecution deliberately kept her far away from all the actual trials, because her obvious inability to tell truth from fiction would have immediately sunk their case.

The connection with Truth History? Maud had previously been the third Mrs ADJ. They married in 1904. That is where she obtained the Delmont name.

When you consider ADJ’s history after his “fall from grace” which will be detailed by Bruce and Rachael in the forthcoming volume, and then Maud’s colourful history, it would appear that some people just seem made for each other.

 Albeit briefly.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

More, unedited, from chapter in progress

            Jones printed a half million copies of the first issue, sending them to libraries, magazines and newspapers. The North Manchester, Indiana, Journal noted receipt of a copy in the December 1, 1881 issue: 

We have received the first number of Zion's Day Star, a new religious paper published at New York City, bv A, D. Jones; it is a 4-column quarto, devoted especially to religious interests,. The paper states that in this first number near a half million of copics were issued. With various passages of scriptures as reference and the signs of the times closely observed, the editor advances the probability of the near end of the Gospel disipensation, or the end of time.   

            Institutions as far-afield as the Virginia Institute for the Deaf, Dumb and Blind received copies.[1] He continued to send papers to the Virginia Institute until 1886, which appears to be the last year of publication. In the first issue (or issues), Jones suggested a careful reading of each article: “We suggest that you read carefully, at least twice, most of the articles, and especially those on chronology and the prophetic time. Without this our readers can scarcely get the connexions, and unless these are seen the force of the argument cannot be appreciated” The Printing Times, a British journal, commented on Jones’ advice, saying: “This advice, though perhaps salutary and even needful, is not very complimentary to the lucidity of the writers or to the intelligence of the readers. It is not too much to assume that most persons would rather be excused from the task of even a single reading.”[2]

            Not every review was as negative. The Longmont, Utah, Leader said that “the subscription price is nominal being only 50 cents per year. What ever they claim as a creed, many of the articles in the first issue are interesting and contain much truth.”[3] It is through a quotation in the Leader that we know some of Jones’ approach to new readers. He wrote: 

Many no doubt will inquire who are these persons advancing these views; and, because we are not among the noted and well known, my feel disposed to carelessly cast aside this sheet, scarcely reading what is therein contained. But ere you do so, we ask your attention for a short time. First, it is not for you to ask who we are, nor should you decide either for or against the paper on account of those who are concerned with it; for in and of ourselves we are nothing; but a fair question for each reader to ask is, Are the views as here set forth true? Are they supported by God’s word? If, on examination, you find them so, then they, no us, demand your attention. … 

The truth of the scriptures is the only rule of faith by which we will be examined. It is our aim to teach the truth as free from the terms of the times; to teach it in its entirety. We are not in bondage to any creed, party, or sect, but we claim to be the Lord’s free men. We recognize one Head and Master – Jesus Christ; and all true followers of him as brethren. Therefore we wish our teachings compared with “the law and the testimony,” and if any view presented is not in accordance with the above “there is no light in them,” and wee shall consider you a friend. Acts17 11. It will be our aim to make plain some of the “dark sayings and parables” of the word, and we doubt not that the hearts of many will be made to rejoice as they come to see the beauty and harmony of our Father’s word.[4]

[1]               Annual Report of the Institution for the Education of the Deaf, Dumb an d Blind at Staunton, Virginia to the General Assembly of Virginia for the Fiscal Year Ending September 30, 1882, page 33.
[2]               American Jottings, The Printing Times and Lithographer¸ July 15, 1882.
[3]               Untitled article in the December 2, 1881, issue.
[4]               As quoted in an untitled article in the December 2, 1881, issue of the Logan, Utah, Leader.