Thursday, August 3, 2017

An Obituary

(revised from material first published on Blog 2)

When John H Paton died it was to be expected that the local paper, The Almont Herald, would publish an obituary. Unfortunately the Almont library holdings are missing the key year 1922. However, it has recently been discovered that the obituary was picked up and re-published by the Yale Expositor (Yale, Michigan) on Thursday, September 21, 1922.

There is one piece of information this supplies that was previously unknown, namely that George L Rogers conducted the funeral service. This makes a lot of sense, as noted in the paragraph below from an old blog article about the township of Almont and its connection with both Watch Tower and Universalism.

(quote) As John H Paton’s Universalist ministry wound down another Scots immigrant living in Almont, George Lawley Rogers fired up. Rogers had been a Baptist minister in Almont but then supported the Concordant Publishing Concern, a Universalist group which attracted a number of former Watch Tower adherents. These included Fredrik Homer Robison (who lived at Brooklyn Bethel with CTR and was imprisoned with JFR in 1918), Walter Bundy (one time Pilgrim) and Menta Sturgeon (CTR’s traveling companion on his last journey). Robison and Rogers became friends and often spoke on the same Concordant platform over 1923 and 1924. (end quote).

(Note: Robison shared the same address for a number of years as CTR, and Rogers took the funeral of Paton who had officiated at CTR’s wedding way back in 1879. It’s a small world sometimes. No doubt Robison and Rogers had a number of things to talk about.)

To read the full article about all these connections you can go to:


Gary said...

Thank you Jerome for this fascinating research.

Out of interest, has any possible connection ever been explored, other than the name itself, between John H Paton and John Gibson Paton (24 May 1824 – 28 January 1907), born in Scotland, who became a Protestant missionary to the New Hebrides Islands of the South Pacific, bringing education and Christianity to the New Hebrides? There may not be any, of course, but it might be worth checking.


jerome said...

There is a Paton Family History, a 412 page book full of photographs and stories edited by the Almont John H Paton and published in 1905. It claimed a connection between the two John Patons - going back to the Covenanter Captain John Paton hanged in 1684. Both John H and John G are supposed to descend from him, but as I remember there was an absence of actual proof given. Ancestry traces John H back to the 1600s, but how accurate the information may be is anybody's guess. Ancestry's take on John G sort of fizzles out in the 1700s, and there are no obviously link-ups in the names available.

So - it is possible they were distant relatives. The problem is that Paton is a very common Scots name - possibly originally meaning "Son of Pat" - so lots of separate unrelated families could have taken the name when surnames came into being.

roberto said...

Thanks Jerome. Tomorrow I will put a link to this article in the Italian forum

roberto said...

Italian Translation - Traduzione italiana

Un Necrologio
(Revisione di un articolo precedentemente pubblicato su Watch Tower History 2)

Quando John H. Paton morì ci si aspettava che il giornale locale, “The Almont Herald”, pubblicasse un necrologio. Sfortunatamente nella biblioteca della città di Almont manca proprio l’anno chiave 1922. Però è stato recentemente scoperto che il necrologio era stato copiato e ripubblicato dal Yale Expositor, un giornale di Yale (Michigan), in data 21 settembre 1922.


C’è qualche dettaglio in più che va a riempire quello che prima non si sapeva, e cioè che un tale George L. Rogers condusse il funerale. Questo è di rilievo come si può evincere dal paragrafo sottostante preso da un vecchio articolo del blog sulla città di Almont e i suoi legami con la Watch Tower e l’Universalismo.

(Citazione dal vecchio articolo)
Il ministero universalista di John H. Paton destò il forte interesse di un altro immigrato di origine scozzese che viveva ad Almont, un tale George Lawley Rogers . Rogers era stato un ministro battista di Almont ma in quel momento sosteneva la Concordant Publishing Concern, un gruppo universalista che aveva attratto diversi ex aderenti della Watch Tower. Fra questi ricordiamo Frederick Homer Robison (Che viveva alla Betel di Brooklyn ai tempi di Russell e fu imprigionato con J. F. Rutherford nel 1918), Walter Bundy (che era stato un pellegrino, cioè un sorvegliante viaggiante dell’epoca) e infine Menta Sturgeon (compagno di viaggio di CTR durante il suo ultimo giro di conferenze quando morì). Robison e Rogers divennero amici e spesso tennero conferenze per il movimento della Concordant Publishing Concern tra il 1923 e 1924.
(Fine citazione dal vecchio articolo)

Nota in calce: Robison condivise per alcuni anni lo stesso indirizzo di CTR, e Rogers tenne il funerale di Paton che a sua volta aveva celebrato il matrimonio di Russell nel 1879. È veramente un piccolo mondo a volte il nostro. Senza dubbio Robison e Rogers avevavo tante cose di cui conversare.

L’articolo originale si trova a questa pagina: