Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Separate Identity


If you intend to buy a copy of Separate Identity vol. One, note that Amazon has fouled up the purchase page, raising the price without authorization to almost fifty dollars. Buy it from lulu.com where the price is 27.50.

I'm working with Amazon to correct this, but without much success. Personally, I've become so frustrated with Amazon that I never purchase through them anymore if I can find the book I want elsewhere. There are many book sites including ebay and bookfinder.com and abe.com.

Amazon can't "keep it together," and dealing with their agents online, on the phone or via social media is frustrating, usually a waste of time. Use lulu for my books.

https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/b-w-schulz/a-separate-identity-organizational-identity-among-readers-of-zions-watch-tower-1870-1887/paperback/product-1re47n8q.html

Amazon has created two web pages for volume one. One of those takes you to a high priced book. It's their preference. The normal page is here

https://www.amazon.com/Separate-Identity-Organizational-Readers-1870-1887/dp/1304969401

I still suggest you avoid Amazon. They're a problem plagued seller.

Monday, August 10, 2020

George Swetnam


George Swetnam (1904-1999) was a writer who led a full and eventful life. His obituary in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette (April 7, 1999) outlined how he was an author of a dozen books, mainly on history, and was also a Presbyterian minister. He had been a newspaper editor, a member of various historical societies, and for two years of his life, a hobo. His obituary states “he claimed to have ridden more freight trains than any other Ph.D alive.” He is probably best remembered today for co-authoring A Guidebook to Historic Western Pennsylvania.

He is of interest on this blog because he wrote about Charles Taze Russell from time to time.

In 1958 he wrote Where Else but Pittsburgh, and part of one chapter has six pages on CTR. It is written in popularist style, and while one can easily nitpick some of the erroneous details, it could be called a tribute and a sympathetic portrait.


Swetnam became a columnist and feature writer for the Pittsburgh Press. At least two of his pieces featured CTR. The first in the Pittsburgh Press Sunday magazine for October 6, 1963, was about the demolition of the old Bible House as part of the North Side redevelopment scheme.


The second was an article, again in the Sunday magazine section of the Pittsburgh Press for January 25, 1967. This was about the burial site and the pyramid monument.


Swetnam lists the names found on the pyramid, but was obviously struggling. The weathering of the stone and the way the light hits the monument can make decipherment difficult. He lists eight names, CTR himself and then seven others.


There were actually nine names inscribed. He misses out the name John Perry, and some of the names he records have glitches. Grace Mound was actually Grace Mundy, who died in a fire in 1914. Chester Elledge can only be a drastic misreading of John Coolidge, which is strange because his grave marker is the only one (other than CTR’s) to still survive of those named. Swetnam says that the oldest who died was Miss Cole, aged 78. Flora Cole actually died aged 70, but it IS hard to decipher the lettering. But she wasn’t “Miss” she was “Mrs” – her son James Cole was the inventor of the Dawn-Mobile featured in a fairly recent Watchtower article – February 15, 2012.

The other thing this article did was to remind the public that there was a treasure trove of old publications buried in the pyramid. They appear to have survived until 1993 when the pyramid was finally broken into and the contents stolen.

Not by any reader of this blog I would hope.


Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Call for submissions.


Usual expectations. Supported by original source material. Footnoted. History not doctrinal controversy. I'm still struggling with health issues as is my wife. I can't contribute to this blog as I might wish. I'd like to see a well-researched article on Russell's newspaper sermons. Another possibility is an article probing the effects of the publication of Millennial Dawn volume 2. An article about court cases and legal issues during the Russell era would be welcome. Or any Russell-era topic you have pursued. Surprise me.

I have the final say on what appears here. I will make my decision based on research quality and grammar. If English isn't your first language, one of us will work with you to put your article in shape assuming it is otherwise interesting.

There is no word limit, except that imposed by blogger. We can divide an article into parts if need be.

Email your submission to me at bwschulz2 at yahoo dot com.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

John Parker


A "Rev. John Parker" was the Methodist clergyman in Geneseo, New York, in 1840.

I need as much information about him as can be found. Are you up to the task?

Saturday, August 1, 2020

I need as much information as you can find ...

About a Methodist Episcopal clergyman named Stephen D. Trembley. He served Prattsburg and Cohocton, New York from the mid 1830s into the 1840s. He owned the B. T. Hawkins sawmill and adjacent property, in 1840, organized the first Sunday school in Bristol, New York. 

I know very little beyond this, and any stray fact will be helpful.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Revision to "Nelson Barbour"


This fragment of revision to Nelson Barbour: The Millennium's Forgotten Prophet is posted for your comments and observations:


            As with his childhood, there is little record of Barbour’s adventures in Australia. He left the United States through an east coast port. New York City is most probable. And we can date this to 1851 or 1852 based on a newspaper advertisement for his services as a physician. He told the Rochester Union and Advertiser that he preached in all of the Australian colonies. This implies that he traveled somewhat regularly. There are three ship’s records for a Mr. Barber of the correct age traveling as a mining supplies merchant between the various colonies. Lacking a first name or initials, we cannot firmly attach these to Nelson Barbour. A Mr. Barber appears in Australian newspaper files in the two years before he left for England. This Mr. Barber was being sued by several for defalcation. New York property records show property transfers to a N. H. Barbour in the eighteen months before he left for England. There are, however, at least two other N. H. Barbours living in New York State in that period. So while we could imagine a very dim and dirty story with Nelson Barbour at its center, without a firm identification in the records we would craft fiction and not history.
            In the first edition of this work, I suggested how and where he became an electro-physician. The craft, eventually viewed as medical quackery, has since been revived in a more narrow way as part of current medical practice. Originally I suggested [quote paragraph]. Since that was written I discovered several advertisements for Barbour’s services. These suggest that his studies were primarily in Europe. Barbour made wild claims throughout his lifetime and was not averse to making misleading, sometimes false claims. [continue]

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Albert Delmont Jones


As Bruce is currently unwell, he suggested I fill a gap with a post on the bad boy of Watch Tower History, Albert Delmont Jones. What follows is slightly abridged from a series of articles last year on my own blog, but many of which started life here a number of years ago. Enjoy?  - Jerome

Contents
An introduction
Family matters
Theology
Albert’s theology and Zion’s Day Star
Richard Heber Newton – as featured in Day Star
Selling shirts
The many wives of Albert
Overview and Carrie
Isabel
Bambina
Margaret?                             
Albert’s end
A fanciful last testament


An Introduction

 
Believed to be Albert Delmot Jones c. 1900
as taken from Separate Identity volume 2

This is a long post about the bad boy of Watch Tower history “Albert Delmont Jones” (hereafter abbreviated to ADJ). He was one of CTR’s early associates, writing for ZWT before starting his own paper Zion’s Day Star in late 1881. Within a year he had deviated drastically from ZWT theology, and the rest of his history became a cross between Icarus and Hogarth’s The Rake’s Progress.

I wrote a number of articles on him over the years and what follows is a slightly abridged rewite (but with slight updates on occasion) in an approximate date order of events. It is admitted that ADJ’s post-ZWT history has little to do with Watch Tower history. But I found it both wryly amusing and sad in turn. If your focus is strictly on ZWT history then by all means pass this material by.

First is the briefest summary of ADJ’s post-ZWT careeer. Zion’s Day Star became The Day Star and ceased to be Bible-centric. By the end of the 1880s, the paper was gone and ADJ was in trouble both in business and matrimony. His first wife Cassie divorced him on the grounds of infidelity.

In the 1890s he reinvented himself in St Louis as a businessman extraordinaire. He dropped the common name “Jones,” added the name “Royal” and with a flourish became Albert Royal Delmont. He was involved in a blind pool investment scheme (basically where investors invest “blind” without knowing where their money is going – not the wisest of moves). The scheme, as did most things involving Albert, ultimately went sour and there was a court case. What the newspaper account does is to tie the different names of Albert together.


So here in July 1896 we have the Albert Delmont Jones’ blind pool case. One of the main witnesses (and possible co-conspirator) is Wiliam J H Bown. He is billed as Delmont’s brother-in-law. ADJ’s ex-wife Cassie was originally Cassie Bown. So here we can see that Albert Delmont Jones has morfed into Albert Royal Delmont.

It’s interesting that William Bown is called ADJ’s brother-in-law because ADJ had married again by this time, to a young Society beauty half his age, Isabel Agnes Mulhall. The couple moved to Chicago and ADJ tried again, this time linked to a company called Albert R Jones and Co., commission merchants. (The name Delmont was dropped this time.)  A R Jones and co. were expelled from the Chicago Board of Trade according to the newspaper cutting below.


Prior to this ADJ had tried his hand at publishing again. The 1900 Chicago census has him down as Albert Delmont and occupation as editor. For a long time we didn’t know what he edited after the long defunct Day Star. We now know his new venture was called American Progress. It is not known how long it lasted as no copies appear extant.


It was only a matter of time before the marriage of ADJ and Isabel hit the buffers. Albert’s money went, and so did she. The newspaper cutting below written in popularist style has the inference that Albert’s manly charm was not the mainstay of their relationship.



For a fuller reproduction of this cutting see the subheading “The Many Wives of Albert” later in this post. He was still Albert Royal Delmont at this point.

A third marriage followed which has historical interest in that wife number three, after she was rid of him turned up in the infamous Fatty Arbuckle court case as Bambina Maud Delmont. For those who love trivia and conspiracy links, Arbuckle’s own third wife was Addie Oakely Dukes McPhail, the former wife of Lindsay Matthew McPhail, who was the son of Matthew Lindsay McPhail who had helped lead the new covenant breakaway from the Society c. 1909. You really couldn’t make this stuff up.

There may even have been a fourth marriage for ADJ – the evidence is circumstantial but it would have been in character.

By the end of his life the name “Royal” had gone the same way as “Jones” and he was simply listed on his death certificate as Albert Delmont. He died alone and destitute, his death certificate giving his family as unknown. He was, in fact, survived by at least two ex-wives and several children. They obviously did not know where he was, and likely did not care. Buried in a pauper’s grave, his part of the grave site was taken over by a freeway extension. Yes – as is suspected of many a disappeared gangster - ADJ is literally buried under the freeway!


Family Matters
                       

There are several Delmont Jones names in this article, so our main quarry, the editor of Zion’s Day Star, will continue to be referred to as ADJ.

If you type in Delmont Jones and Pennsylvania on the Find a Grave site, as well as other genealogical sites, 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 Find a Grave if you know where to look as is one of his children, also an Albert D Jones.

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 one, 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 often relate to this Delmont rather than ADJ – just to confuse researchers.

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.


The photograph has not reproduced well, but Caroline’s inscription is on the stone on the left in the picture. Unfortunately I never heard back from the person who took the photograph, so can only credit it to the Find a Grave site.

Having dealt with his forebears and namesakes we can now turn our attention to the main attraction, ADJ himself.



Theology


Albert’s Theology and Zion’s Day Star

Albert Delmont Jones started Zion’s Day Star in late 1881. It was not long before he veered quite drastically fom the basic theology of Zion’s Watch Tower. He explained his new viewers in Zion’s Day Star for January 1884:

In fact, we were never so thoroughly convinced as now, that the Four Gospels of the New Testament have comparatively no inspiration about them! Very many of the New Testament teachings do not correspond with those of the Old, but do, on the other hand, flatly contradict them! Peter draws a clear-cut line between Jesus as the man and his after exalted state as Lord and Christ. Note this well, for it is a death blow to the Miraculous Conception theory!

We question the inspiration of the Four Gospels, and we challenge those who teach such a theory to harmonize it with Daniel’s prophecy! To claim that Peter, James and John were inspired, is simply child’s talk! Let us look well to what we pin our faith; or upon what we build an argument; and especially when using statements found in either of the four Gospels or Acts of the Apostles!

You ask, then, what is our opinion of him? (Jesus). We answer, it is that he was a man.

By January 1884 there was a doctrinal gulf between CTR and Nelson Barbour and CTR and John Paton. But in comparison the theological chasm between CTR and Albert Delmont Jones had now reached Grand Canyon proportions.

Sadly for researchers the actual January 1884 Zion’s Day Star quoted above is not extant. At this time of writing, only a few copies of this paper in circulation. They are December 25, 1884 (by which time it was simply the Day Star) and a few issues from 1886, as pictured below.



There is a bound volume covering most of 1886 in the Library of Congress, Washington, DC. But it is fragile and oversize, and extracting material from this source is a bit like pulling teeth.

So where does the January 1884 quote come from? It comes from an article in the Church of God/Age to Come weekly paper called The Restititution for July 27, 1887, page 3.

A lengthy sermon by Dr L C Thomas is reprinted as given at Wyoming, Delaware, and Thomas quotes from the January 1884 Day Star. The quote is probably a series of extracts that Thomas put together as one to give the flavour of Jones’ theology. Thomas was NOT impressed, and specifically attacked the editor of the Day Star for being a Josephite. A Josephite is someone who denies the concept of miraculous conception for Jesus, and who therefore believes Joseph to be his natural father. Many Age to Come readers of The Restitution were Socinian in outlook (i.e. they disbelieved in a literal pre-existance for Jesus). Josephites would argue that they were simply taking the concept one step further.

CTR of course had a great deal to say about how he viewed Jones’ changing theology in both early ZWTs, as well as a summary in Harvest Siftings.


Richard Heber Newton – as featured in Day Star.


Photograph from the Fitchburg Sentinel, Mass, for April 22, 1891

What links the Scopes monkey trial of 1925, this blog’s resident bad boy, Albert Royal Delmont Jones, of the ill-fated Day Star, and Charles Taze Russell of Zion’s Watch Tower? The answer is Richard Heber Newton.

Your first reaction may be – who?                                    

To give a flavor of the man, check out first this newspaper item from the Aurora Daily Express for November 22, 1892. (The same story was also published in The Times, Trenton, N.J. November 19, 1892, and the Lincoln Evening News, Nebraska, November 25, 1892, and no doubt other papers of the day).


The clipping shows that Newton was widely known in his day. His “misfortunes” included being charged with heresy. In truth, he was to be charged with heresy on three separate occasions during his career, in 1883, 1884 and 1891, but as a sign of liberalizing theology the matter was always fudged so that he kept his position. The newspaper above, which relates to the 1891 episode, noted that Newton was “exonerated”, although dryly commented that “not proven” might be more accurate.

More than a decade after Newton’s death America was to be fascinated by what was popularly called the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925. A substitute high school teacher, John Scopes, was accused of violating the Butler Act which made it unlawful to teach human evolution in any state-funded school in Tennessee. Although the fundamentalists won the skirmish of the day and Scopes was found guilty, his conviction was overturned on a technicality. Long-term the fundamentalists lost ground as far as future legislation was concerned, although the Butler Act actually stayed on the books until 1967.

But in covering the case, most journalists highlighted past cases where an attack on a literal interpretation of the Bible had put people in the dock, including clergymen like Dr Richard Heber Newton. Several newspapers mentioned Newton being charged back in the 1890s with “debased churchmanship” - in other words heresy. The cutting below comes from the Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) for July 10, 1925:


The same story appeared in other papers such as the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune, July 9, 1925, and the Lima News, Ohio, July 10, 1925. According to the small print, Newton had demanded a formal trial, but when this demand was met, the plaintiffs failed to appear. And Newton was viewed as a champion of liberal theology as opposed to literalists and fundamentalists.

So who was this man, and what was his connection with “truth history”?

Richard Heber Newton (1840-1914) was a prominent American Episcopalian clergyman and writer. From 1869 to 1902 he was rector of All Souls' Protestant Episcopal Church in New York City. He was a leader in the Social Gospel movement and as evidenced above, a firm supporter of Higher Criticism of the Bible. He came to prominence and notoriety in the early 1880s with a series of sermons later published in book form (copyright 1883) entitled “The Right and Wrong Uses of the Bible”. This work clearly nails his colors to the wall.

While commending the Bible as literature that could work on the emotions, Newton’s stance on inerrancy and inspiration was clear. His premise, bluntly and vigorously expressed, was that (in his own words):

It is wrong to accept its utterances indiscriminately as the words of God.
It is wrong to accept everything recorded therein as necessarily true.
It is wrong to consult it...for the determining of our judgements and the decision of our actions.
It is wrong to go to it for divination of the future.
And it is wrong to manufacture out of it any one uniform system of theology.

Preaching this material from the pulpit and publishing it for the masses outside of his own church drew strong criticism in certain quarters – hence the repeated charges of heresy and attendant newspaper notoriety.

These five key points of Newton’ theology would all be at obvious odds with the message found in CTR’s Zion’s Watch Tower of the day. But in the 1880s they would be manna from heaven for Albert Royal Delmont Jones.

 In the 1880s, after already having fended off two charges of heresy, Newton would write extensively (and sometimes exclusively) for Jones’ Day Star Paper.

The August 19, 1886 issue lists around 60 of Newton’s sermons being available in the Day Star pages. And some were exclusive to editor Jones at this point. For example:


A similar advertisement for the same pamphlet showed that it was given away as a free gift to all new Day Star subscribers:
  

This clearly shows that in 1886 the most prominent theological voice in Albert Royal Delmont Jones’ Day Star was that of Richard Heber Newton.

Whether Charles Taze Russell ever knew of Newton’s connection with Jones is not known, but Newton was sufficiently famous (or infamous) to make him a specific target in Zion’s Watch Tower. ZWT for July 1, 1892, carried a lengthy article (including a cartoon) that took up 10 of the magazine’s 16 pages. (See reprints pages 1417-1420).

CTR started by laying into Protestant clergy in general who preached higher criticism, describing them as “men honoured with titles such as neither our Lord not any of his apostles ever owned...who receive salaries such as no apostle ever received...(and) who are recognized as among the best educated in all things pertaining to worldly wisdom...but which prefers to arraign that revelation before an inferior court of fallible human philosophers and incompetent judges who vainly overrate their own knowledge and wisdom.”

He continued, “What wonder that the pews are also sceptical... They are handing stones and serpents to those who look to them for food... As for the average nominal Christian...he is just ready to swallow these suggestions of unbelief.” The Towers had warned about these developments from the very early issues.

Having lambasted the clergy in general, CTR next turned his attention to the Rev. R. Heber Newton in the particular, mentioning him by name three times. After one lengthy quote from Newton, CTR derided his theology: (capitalization mine):

“Here is a REPUDIATION of all that Christ taught on the subject of the “things written” which “must be fulfilled,” a REPUDIATION of all his quotations from the Law and the Prophets; a REPUDIATION of his repeated statements of God’s choice of...the seed of Abraham as heirs of the promises that of these should come the predicted Messiah; (and) a REPUDIATION of his statement of the necessity of his death.”

The last point hit at the heart of CTR’s theology. His attack on Newton’s preaching continued: “But whilst showing Christ to have been a wonderful Jew, and the great exemplar for both Jews and Gentiles, he (Newton) utterly REPUDIATES him as a Savior in the sense that the Master taught – that he “gave his life a ransom for many” – “to save (recover) that which was lost.”

CTR applied Matthew 7:22 to Newton – “those who say Lord, Lord, yet follow not his teachings...It is the duty of every true disciple to rebuke them; for the outward opponents do far less harm than those who wear the Master’s name whilst denying his doctrine.”

CTR concluded his lengthy attack on Newton with the words:

“As a further element of this discussion the reader is referred to Chapters ii, iii, and x. of MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. 1. And thus we rest our argument for the present; urging all who have “laid hold upon the hope set before us in the gospel” to hold fast the confidence of their rejoicings firm unto the end – to hold fast to the Book, And how much more easy it is and will be for those who have learned the real plan of God and seen its beauty to stand firm upon the Bible than for others. Too many, alas! It is a jumbled mass of doctrinal contradictions, but to us it is the foundation of a clear, definite, grand plan of the ages. So grandly clear and symmetrical is the wonderful plan that all who see it are convinced that only God could have been its author, and that the book whose teachings it harmonizes must indeed be God’s revelation.”

Albert D Jones’ reliance on Newton to fill his Day Star pages in the 1880s, and CTR’s lengthy and specific attack on Newton’s theology in the early 1890s, shows the gulf that now existed between CTR and his former co-worker. There were a number of people over the years who parted company with CTR and founded their own journals – Paton, Adams, von Zech, Henninges – but at least they retained a more or less fundamentalist approach to scripture, and could have a framework within which to debate their own proof texts. The same was true with other religious journals, One Faith, Adventist, and the like.

But the infidel Jones had gone one step further. In ZWT for May 1890 CTR reviewed the history of the developing “truth movement” in a lengthy article entitled Harvest Gatherings and Siftings. Concerning Jones’ paper (Zion’s) Day Star, he wrote that “within one year it had repudiated Christ’s atoning sacrifice, and within another year it had gone boldly into infidelity and totally repudiated all the rest of the Bible as well as those portions which teach the fall in Adam and the ransom therefrom in Christ.” He also noted that of that date (1890) the Day Star was “now for some years discontinued”. The whole article was reprinted with some amendments in the special 1894 issue of ZWT entitled A Conspiracy Exposed and Harvest Siftings.

The dates (“one year” then “another year”) line up perfectly with the first publication of Newton’s credo “The Right and Wrong Uses of the Bible”. To then allow Newton his weekly pulpit in the Day Star pages would make perfect sense to Albert D, but illustrates how just far (by CTR’s terms of reference) he had gone beyond the pale.


Selling Shirts

It is known that A D Jones once worked in one of CTR’s stores. He also branched out into the shirt store business on his own account.

Below is an advertisement from the Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette for November 6, 1883. The firm of Jones and Littell is operating from Pitstsburgh, but they have several branches. One of these branches is at 335, Fourth Avenue, New York.


As shown below, this was the address of Jones’ (Zions) Day Star.


In the December 25th 1884 issue of Day Star there are several advertisements under Furnishing Goods. Below are three. The one in the middle is J M Littell (billed in the ad as the successor to Jones and Littell of Pittsburgh) with its surviving Pittsburgh address. Albert D Jones and James Littell appear to have parted business company by this time, although Jones’ paper still carried advertising for Littell’s solo venture. But topping and tailing the Littell advertisement are advertisements for another company. Do you want a Wamsutta Muslin Night Shirt? Or how about White Dress Shirts? The American Shirt Store can assist you. And the address of the American Shirt Store? Yes - 335, Fourth Avenue, New York.


There were several businesses at this address around this time including a photographic studio and The Tiffany Glass Company. But it is surely no coincidence that a shirt store in Pittsburgh bearing the name Jones, and its successor, are both linked to the same address as the ill-fated Day Star.

Perhaps in retrospect, Jones would have done better just sticking to selling shirts.


The Many Wives of Albert

Overview and Carrie

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 Isobel Agnes Mulhall. The newspaper cutting below, already partially reproduced above, describes the history and subsequent demise of their relationship. It is written in what we would call in the UK “tabloid style.” How accurate the details are I do not know, but it makes entertaining reading. Isobel 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.


The St. Paul Globe for September 15, 1903.

Wife number three – Bambina – now there’s a name! Her history will be given more detail below. 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 properly she committed bigamy by then marrying a Cassius Wood a little early. 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.

                           
Oakland Tribune for December 11, 1921

Wife number four? There is a question mark over this one, but see subheading “Margaret?” below for a possibility.

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


Isabel

I know that the second Mrs Albert (Royal) Delmont (Jones) is off the topic of Watch Tower history, other than perhaps a footnote. However, her assessment of men which you will find at the end of this article is an interesting comment in itself. Isabel Mulhall (Delmont) was a fascinating character. Albert obviously thought so, as newspaper articles of the day describe how he was first smitten just by her seeing her picture. It was downhill all the way from then on.

Albert and Isabel were married in 1896 and divorced in 1903. 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 millionaire – you could smell the money. At a hurried secret ceremony they married in 1909. (see The 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: “It is agreed that the parties shall live apart and separate and shall not annoy or molest each other.”

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 for 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 – quote -“obstreperous”). When choirboys practiced at a church opposite her she played Caruso records at full blast! (The 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 with her. (This of course is if the Brooklyn Standard Union paper for May 13, 1931 is to be believed.)

In 1935 she made the news again when she was “taken from a train” after throwing large sums of money out of it. From the New York Evening Post for March 22, 1935.


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 at the Fresh Pond Crematory and Columbarium, Queen County, New York. You can check this 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. The Milwaukee Sentinel for December 17, 1942 managed to snap a tender moment on the court steps between her parents.


A younger person called a protégé, also made a claim. And 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 own 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):

THE MORE I SEE OF MEN, THE MORE I ADMIRE DOGS!



Bambina


Albert Delmont Jones (now calling himself Albert Royal Delmont) married Bambina Maude Scott on September 29, 1904. He was around 50 years old at the time and (if the 1920 census is to be believed) she was 21. A 1922 newspaper has a claim that her first husband was a Cincinnati millionaire. Cincinnati was certainly one of ADJ’s past locations. (Interview question: “Tell me, Bambie, what was it about this 50 year old millionaire that first attracted you to him?”) Bambina liked the name Delmont and kept it through several subsequent marriages, including John Hopper and Cassius Wood. In 1922 she was last heard of (under the Delmont name) planning to marry a Lawrence Johnson.

As noted above, in the newspapers she is sometimes Bambina Maud Delmont and sometimes Maud Bambina Delmont and Maud sometimes has an E on the end, and sometimes not. But the “Delmont” is consistent.

Bambina liked getting married, but didn’t always finish the paperwork for her divorces and was subsequently charged with bigamy on one occasion.


In the 1920 census returns she was running her own shop in Los Angeles selling and fitting corsets.

Bambina’s claim to fame (or infamy) is her part in the Roscoe Arbuckle scandal. Fatty Arbuckle was a silent film comedian who was huge (in more than one way) in his day. He is probably remembered in film circles today as the man who gave Buster Keaton his start in the movies.

Arbuckle was savaged by the media when he was suddenly 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 she was taken ill. But the lurid accusations against Arbuckle all originated with Rappe’s companion who crashed the party, namely Bambina Maud Delmont. While Wikipedia cannot be called the most accurate of sources, it does quite a nice line in character assassination: “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.”  The Weekly World News in 1961 veered into alliteration by accusing her of being a “Tinseltown tart.” 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.

Bambina capitalized on the notoriety and went on the stage. From 1922:


And then she disappeared very suddenly from the historical record. But this was the third Mrs ADJ.

When you consider ADJ’s history after his “fall from grace,” it would appear that some people just seem made for each other.

Albeit briefly.


Margaret?

We know that Albert Delmont Jones is in the 1900 census for Chicago.  He calls himself Albert Royal Delmont now and 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, as we have already reviewed.

Then he was to have a short lived marriage to the infamous Bambina Maud Scott.

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 with wife number 4, although there are queries as detailed below. He is now calling himself Albert R 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. If this is the right person, 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 little less than his real age. But as with previous wife Isabel (and probably Bambina), 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-of-the-range bicycle!

However, there are two queries in the above scenario. First is that this Albert R Delmont claims to come from Virginia. Albert was born in Pennsylvania; however he grew up in Virginia. He and his family are found in that State in the 1860 census (when he was 6) and the 1870 census (when he was 16). So this could be 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 any 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. However, the 1925 census for Buffalo, New York, has an Albert K Jones as a roomer in the Florida Hotel, aged 70 (the right age) and “retired.” The middle initial K looks very much like it could have been intended as an R. But then our Albert turns up as a kind of elderly vagrant in 1930.


This search is still ongoing and readers are invited to search too. The problem is – what variation of name might he have been using?


Albert’s end


Above is the death certificate for Albert Royal Delmont Jones. It is a sad document. Albert died at the New Castle County Hospital, Delaware, 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 ex-wives and 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 the records linking names to numbers. A record of some of these numbers has reportedly recently surfaced at a record office, but I have not been able to access it as yet.

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? As noted at the start of this post, one thinks 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.


A fanciful last testament for Albert

This is based on all the various stories above and is an imagined summary of ADJ’s life, with a lot of supposition filling in the gaps. It is not to be taken that seriously.

So here I am in this ward. It is the smell more than anything. Stale cabbage and bad drains. They say we are fortunate to be here – looked after free of charge. Everything is comparative I suppose.

It is the noise – some of these people aren’t right. How did I get here? It could all have been so different.

It started so well. I came from a good family, we owned land, we were respectable. I worked in stores, and handled the money. I was really good with money. I mean – OK – life got expensive and I started to cut corners, but until then, it worked a dream.  And I was attractive to women. You wouldn’t know it looking at me now, but oh yes, they used to go weak at the knees.

First there was Cassie. Quiet, domesticated. But boring though, so boring. We had those children. What were their names? I wonder where they are now?

And that Charles Russell. We started a magazine to tell the world about the coming end of problems. Oh what it was to have faith. But that’s all gone now. I was an editor. I founded my own magazine. It was a good magazine – but when I tried to be a bit more realistic, then some of those people turned against me. We did some good works though. We raised money for good causes. Some of it may have got lost along the way – I can’t remember now – but we meant well. I think.

I’d dropped the Jones by now – a common name, people much preferred the Delmont – in fact, several of my ex-partners even kept it.

And then there was Isabel. The papers called her a “raving beauty”. Hmm. All I can remember today is the “raving.” But we had some fun. Did we have some fun. The parties, the good times – but then the creditors caught up with me. But she was young, she had ambitions. And I started to find her tiring, very tiring. I bet her second husband found her tiring too. Over the years I’ve see her in the newspapers – no, perhaps I was well rid of her.

And then there was Bambina. What a name. What a woman. We had several good scams going. But then somehow she scammed me. I must have been losing my touch. I see she turned up at the Arbuckle trials – accused of bigamy. Did we ever get that divorce? I can’t remember. But Bambie – yes, memories of Bambie – I am sure she bounced back. Bambie always did.

And then Margaret. Well, that was a mistake. We lived with her parents. I told them a tale. They believed it. But it was domesticity again. And it was boring, so boring. And all these younger women I took up with – they all made demands. I got to the point where all I wanted to do was sleep.  It might have been the diabetes. So I did the decent thing – I really did. Faking my death like that – it meant she could pass herself off as a widow and claim the insurance. Yes, that was a good move. I wonder what happened to her? And her parents? What were their names?

So then it was try and try again. But now I seemed to have lost the touch. The Midas touch. Huh – the Delmont touch. But there was always going to be something else – somewhere over the rainbow. Do you know something? – that would make a good title for a song. If I wasn’t feeling so ill, I could even try and write something like that. It might make another fortune.

If I still had faith and still believed in heaven – but not hell (that’s one thing Charles Russell helped me with) – maybe I would be a bit worried now. But – I don’t know what I believe. All those people, I wonder what happened to them. Do they ever wonder what happened to me?  I’m glad they don’t know. But I’m tired. Maybe there is such a thing as reincarnation, and I can try and do better next time. But do better? What’s that? Be more boring? Make more money and this time keep it? I don’t know. I just feel tired, so tired…