Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Did they have a crèche?

Originally on blog 2

A review of the 1910 Brooklyn census reveals the names of those then living in the newly established Brooklyn Bethel. What is unusual by modern-day standards is how many children were living there.

There were fifteen married couples living there, and nearly double that number who were currently single. But with the married couples are a number of children.

For example, the Brenneisens (Edward and Grace) had two children, Susan aged 10 and Ralph aged 7. The McMillans (Alexander and Mary) had two children, Albert aged 2, and Goodwin aged 1/12, which I can only assume means one month. It might explain why McMillan disappears from view at times in the Society’s history – he could have been outside Bethel handling family responsibilities for while.
The Sturgeons (Menta and Florence) had a son, Gordon, aged 11. The Parkepiles (Don and Blanche) had a daughter, Mildred, aged 11. The Horths (Frank and Lilian) had a daughter, Marie, aged 15. And the Keuhns (J G and Ottile) had a daughter, Mildred, aged 16, as well as four adult children living there.

As the title asks – did they have a crèche?


Chris G. said...

Hello. Thank you for sharing. I was never aware Macmillan had children. This is a stunning discovery. Do we have any information on whether or not Malcolm Rurtherford resided at Bethel or was a Bethelite at any point? His photo in the 1911 report appears to show a man of approximately 20 years.

jerome said...

Malcolm Rutherford was in Bethel in 1910 when he was 17.

The main census of Bethel in Kings, Brooklyn, was taken on April 29-30, 1910, and lists CTR and a collection of familiar names, but the Rutherfords are missing. However, I have now discovered a page dated May 14, 1910 by a different enumerator, with the word “supplemental” at the top, which gives a few extra names for 122 and 124 Columbia Heights and People’s Pulpit Association.

And there we find Jos F Rutherford, Mary Rutherford and Malcolm C Rutherford all living together with a few other well-known Bible Student names. Under “Industry” is “Bible and Tract Society” – Joseph is an Attorney and Malcolm a Mail Clerk. Joseph and Mary are down as assistants, and Malcolm as a boarder.

In the 1915 census Malcolm is not there, but neither are his parents.

His draft registration card states he was born on November 16, 1892, and is currently 24 years old. This would be around 1917. He is then living in Los Angeles, employed as a book-keeper and clerk. It is interesting to note that he is claiming exemption from the draft on the grounds of being a member of the International Bible Students Association. also has what is called his soldier photograph from this time.

By the 1920 census, Malcolm is married to Pauline (he married when he was 25 according to a later census) and living in California.

His dates (1892-1989) and a photograph from the 1911 convention report, along with a photo of his grave’s headstone, can be found at

Chris G. said...

Hello Jerome,
Thank you for this insight, Do you know if Malcom ever had children? I heard he left the IBSA in the early days and never returned, is this confirmed in any way?

jerome said...

Hi Chris

Malcolm Rutherford was married twice, but had no children himself.. He enlisted in the army in 1918, when his father was in prison, which strongly suggests he did not stay with the IBSA. However, he and his mother, who always remained a JW, were living together in 1944. As a result of your questions, I have done a bit of research while on vacation, and an article on Malcolm will appear on the blog shortly.