THE STORY IS IN THE DETAILS
The problem with obituaries is that the one person who could confirm all the details is not there to do so. Who wrote the obituary in question? Were they around in the early 1880's?
It's quoted without attribution in Finished Mystery. My impression is they were not active in 1881. But I don't know.
Those involved with The Finished Mystery, Rutherford, Fisher, Woodworth and Seibert were not around until the 1890's. It would be an easy slip to make. Without corroboration it stands that "35 years later it was claimed/stated..."
I share Jerome's caution. A contemporary account in Zion's Watch Tower (Oct-Nov issue from 1881, page 5 [Reprints 291] states:"The work has employed hundreds of men, women and boys in preparation and distribution, nearly 500 boys being employed to distribute in London, and about 300 in New York - other cities in proportion. The distribution was made in the larger cities at the church doors on Sundays."Newspaper articles in Britain mention the distribution in October 1881. The contemporary ZWT account doesn't, of course, exclude the possibility of distribution in Canada. However it would be useful if any Witnesses with access to Canadian newspaper archives could carry out a search for October 1881 to see if the later obituary account could be authenticated.Son of Ton
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