I didn’t realize, until I did a search, but I have actually posted something on this several years ago - J F Rutherford’s very first book. But having lost an hour of my life actually reading it earlier today, I decided to post again.
In 1895 the Boonville Advertiser, the official paper of Cooper County, gave away a free 128 page book entitled Laws of Missouri - Business Manual. The author and compiler was one J F Rutherford of the law firm of Wright and Rutherford.
The book is not dated as such, but one of the advertisements for the Cooper Institute announced that its 26th year of operation would begin on Tuesday, September 3, 1895, so we can reasonably assume that the volume came out earlier that year.
In the main, only the right hand pages contained text, the left hand pages contained full page advertisements for the various services available in a rural area. There are thirteen law firms in the area for example, but top of the list is Wright and Rutherford, with offices in the Windsor Block. There is a glowing endorsement of Rutherford in the Publisher’s Preface:
“THE ADVERTISER has had Mr J F Rutherford, one of the leading members of the Boonville bar, to compile and arrange the laws herein. His fitness for such work is a guarantee of its usefulness to the farmers and businessmen.”
The table of contents shows the scope of legal matters that Rutherford covered.
One might note such subjects as Conveyance of Real Estate, Divorce and Alimony, Mortgages and Deeds of Trust, and Wills are covered. Knowledge in some of these areas would make J F Rutherford very useful to CTR when he became the Watch Tower’s legal counsel.
Of course, there is nothing whatsoever theological in this volume; Rutherford’s first foray into scriptural interpretation would not come until 1907 with the publication of Man’s Salvation, from a Lawyer’s Viewpoint. But still, for completionists, this is a volume to obtain. As you can tell from the grainy opening picture, alas, I do not have an original.