I grew a goatee while still an active JW. Many in the congregation said it looked good on me and didn't understand why they didn't allow it. Since I was not a MS or Elder, there was nothing said to me about it. I was in a liberal congregation.
What I did notice was they would only schedule TM talks in the 3rd school down in the basement and when I tired to make arrangements to go out door to door with elders they would not show and make some arrangement ahead of time for me to work with someone else but never bothered to tell me in advance.
Rutherford who sold encyclopedias door to door as a young man took the same model for creating his JW sales force to peddle his WT propaganda understood the image of first impression. Russel obviously had no issues with the beard.