Arabella Mann and Mary J Whitehouse on North face of pyramid
The first article in this series (see September 22) reviewed the history of the five persons named on the east panel of the pyramid memorial in the center of the Society’s main plot in the Rosemont United Cemeteries.
In this article we will examine the remaining names – two on the north panel and two on the south. There are no inscriptions on the west panel.
The panel facing south is headed Dead With Christ and contains two names, Chas T Russell and John M Coolidge.
Charles Taze Russell
Right at the top is the inscription Chas T Russell, age 64. He died on October 31, 1916, and his burial took place on November 6, 1916. His current grave marker further up the hill from the pyramid dates from the same time as the pyramid itself, late 1919, early 1920. The installation was complete when it was written up in the The New Era Enterprise for February 10, 1920.
I trust that most readers of this blog will already know his history, and will also know that his sister Margaretta R Land (died 1934) is buried in an unmarked grave next to him. Her name was given in various ways over the years, but Margaretta R Land is how she gave her name in the 1930 census and how it is listed in the cemetery records.
CTR and his sister, Margaret Land, in 1907
John M Coolidge
John Coolidge’s name is quite easy to miss because it is right at the bottom of the south page that is headed by CTR’s name. The reason simply is the location of the grave. CTR is buried in what is now Section T – lot 34 – grave A1, and John is right at the end of the same row in what is now numbered grave D2. He has the distinction of being the only one (other than CTR) to have a surviving grave marker.
John Milton Coolidge was born in February 1876 in Massachusetts. He was married for a short time to Emma Eliza Phillips (married in Utah in 1898, but she died in 1899). He obviously lived at some point in Canandaigua, county seat of Ontario County, NY, because the Ontario County Journal gave a one line notice of his death - at New York City, Jan. 2, John Milton Coolidge, formerly of Canandaigua, aged 38 years. (The death certificate gives January 4).He was not in the 1913 list of Bethel residents provided by Menta Sturgeon, nor in the 1915 census of Bethel. However, a 1915 listing has him serving as a deacon in the New York City Ecclesia.
John’s death certificate states that he was living at 320 Beekman Avenue, The Bronx, at the time of his death. (This is a block of apartments built in 1910). The certificate says that he died of cerebrospinal meningitis at the age of 40 on January 4, 1916. (If the above birth date is correct that should probably be age 39, although the newspaper announcement gave age 38 and the pyramid inscription repeats the death certificate with age 40). His burial in the United Cemeteries plot was on January 6. His occupation was given as electrician.
All I can establish about him is that he was an amateur poet, somewhat along the lines of Gertrude Seibert. His death and funeral are not mentioned in the SPE (St Paul’s Enterprise) but a few months later a letter dated April 22, 1916, was written from Brooklyn by Mrs Anna H Brooks. It was eventually published on page 4 of the August 29, 1916, issue. She wrote:
The poem was entitled “What of To-day?” and modern readers can always skip down this page if it is not to their taste.
We aim to do good in the “after while.”
What good have we done to-day?
We would bring to each lonely one a smile,
But what have we brought to-day?
We would give to Truth a greater worth:
And to steadfast Faith a grander birth,
And bless the fallen ones of earth.
But what have we done to-day?
We will be so kind – “when we’re over there”
How kind have we been to-day?
Our dear Lord’s likeness we there shall wear.
But whose have we worn to-day?
We will share His joy and His glory too;
Rejoice and praise Him the whole day through,
And do all the Father would have us do.
But what are we doing to-day?
Overcome, we must, to with Him share.
Have we overcome aught to-day?
We will serve all His dear ones with tender care,
Have we served them so to-day?
Gentle and loving and kind as a dove,
Manifesting the Heavenly Love,
Showing the Spirit from above.
But how have we done to-day?
We’ll sympathise fully with others then.
But how are we doing to-day?
We’ll think e’er we speak and not condemn,
But what are we doing to-day?
We wish to prove worthy of “the call”
And help all mankind up from “the fall”
That the Glory of God may be known to all.
Are we practicing this to-day?
Composed by J.M. COOLIDGE
Another one from John Milton Coolidge
Some internet transcripts give Arabella’s age at death as 86. However, the only death recorded in Kings, New York (the area including Brooklyn) with a subsequent burial at United Cemeteries, is Arabella L Mann, who died 28 May 1916 aged 66. Trying to decipher the difference between a 6 and an 8 on a discolored and weathered pyramid seems to have caused the discrepancy.
Arabella Mann was born c.1849-1850. (One source says December 1849). The 1900 United States Federal Census has Arabella L Mann living in Middlesex, Massachusetts, aged 50. She was born in New Hampshire, and had been married for 28 years (i.e. since c.1872), but there are no husband or children with her on census night. Her occupation is Music Teacher. City directories also place her on her own in Massachusetts in 1899 (Boston) and 1907 (Everett). By the 1910 census she is back in her home state of New Hampshire at Plymouth, Grafton, aged 60, as a boarder and a widow with no occupation listed. The Atlantic Reporter volume 80, page 366, reviewed a legal hearing held in New Hampshire in 1911 involving a widow named Arabella L Mann claiming back wages owed to her late husband, one George G Mann, who died March 17, 1908. This could be the same Arabella.
If she were a sometime colporteur, then moving about would be par for the course. By 1915 she is in the Brooklyn Bethel. The name is incorrectly rendered in the schedule as Anna L Mann. No other family members are with her. She is aged 66 and gives her relationship to the rest of the family as “helper” but her occupation as “missionary.” That would tie in with colporteur work.
Perhaps the biggest point to note about Arabella is that she appears to be no relation to William Imrie Mann. It would have been nice if a connection could have been made with WIM, who wrote for the early ZWTs and was a Society director until 1892. However, WIM left CTR and associated with John Paton and William Conley. It was this Mann who reported Conley’s death in the pages of Paton’s World’s Hope in 1897. Just the year before, CTR had railed against those who, as he saw it, were guilty of “evil surmising and slanders and envy” – and Mann was first on his list. (See Russell vs. Russell 1906, exhibit 2, letter from CTR to ‘My dear wife’ dated July 9, 1896). So it seems unlikely that Arabella was a relative. William Imrie was born in Scotland, whereas Arabella was born in America, although I do not have any information on her husband or maiden name.
Mary J Whitehouse
Mary Jane Whitehouse died in the Pittsburgh area in June 1916. There was a brief announcement of her death in the Pittsburgh Press for June 24, 1916. It reads:
WHITEHOUSE – On Friday, June 23, 1916, at 1.25 a.m., Mary Jane, beloved wife of Herbert E Whitehouse (née McAdams) in her 63rd year. Funeral services at her late residence, Rear 382 Boquet Street, Oakland, on Sunday June 25th at 2.00 P.M. Interment private.
Mary Jane McAdams married Herbert Edward Whitehouse c. 1877 to become Mary Jane Whitehouse. Both were born in England but grew up in America. Two of their children featured in Watch Tower history.
The most well known was Laura Mary Whitehouse. She was born in Pittsburgh in 1878, and in the 1900 census she gives her occupation as a clerk. This was most likely in the Bible House, because she was invited with two other women to give their names to a company called Logan, Land and Whitehouse, in connection with buying goods at wholesale rates for a short-lived commercial enterprise called the Solon Society. When asked about why she allowed her name to be used, in cross-examination at the Russell vs. Russell 1907 hearing, she answered:
“I knew these gentlemen that belonged to the Solon Association, and I understood them to be thoroughly honest, honorable and reliable, and that there would be no responsibility upon myself, and so I permitted my name to be used in that way...Mr Russell broached the subject to me, but it was not compulsory at all; he didn’t say that we had to or needed to; he just simply asked us if we would like to.”Laura’s mother was to be buried on the pyramid site, as was the mother of Alice Land, another one of the Logan, Land and Whitehouse triumvirate. Alice’s mother was CTR’s sister, Margaretta, mentioned above.
Laura married Albert Ernest Burgess, who, like her, grew up in Pittsburgh. He became a well known Pilgrim speaker and was one of the names mentioned in CTR’s will. By the 1910 census they have been married one year and are living in Brooklyn Bethel.
Another daughter of Mary Jane and Herbert Whitehouse was Estelle Belle Whitehouse who married Isaac Francis Hoskins on January 16, 1908. The two are also together in Brooklyn Bethel as a married couple in 1910, with the suggestion (assuming the enumerator completed the form correctly) that she had lost two children by then. Isaac Hoskins was one of the four directors replaced by J F Rutherford in 1917.
Laura and Estelle Whitehouse in 1907
Mary Jane Whitehouse’s husband, Herbert, died in 1931, having spent his last few years living with the Hoskins in New York.
So those are a few details about the nine names on the pyramid.