The following information was obtained from Skip Higgins who is a distant
relative of C.J. Woodworth. Skip is a non JW who was researching his family
tree when he contacted me in April of 2001. Skip's great grandfather was
C.J. Woodworth's brother. I've edited some of the email I've received from
skip and it is presented below. I didn't have time to reduce the photos but
I will post them later.
Hello. I am interested in contacting someone within your group who
might know something of the family of Clayton James Woodworth. I believe
he might have been involved with the productions of some of the
publications of the Watchtower Society. I believe he died in the Cleveland area
in 1987(Note: This would be the son) . He was a first cousin of my grandmother,
and I would be interested to know if he had any family.
Thank you, Skip Higgins
Thanks for answering my question. Clayton James Woodworth, the father,
was born in 1870, and my records show that he died on Nov 18, 1951 on Staten
Island, NY. His son, Clayton James Woodworth, born 1906 and died in 1987
is the one that I thought was involved with your church. Perhaps I'm wrong,
and the father is the one that you can help me with. The father is the
younger brother of my great grandfather, and as there were 10 children in
this family, they scattered far and wide. Thanks in advance for any
information that you can give me about the person and his family.
Two photos are attached. In the group photo, I believe Clayton (C.J Woodworth)
is at the far right, front row.
By the way, you might be interested in knowing that his two wives were
sisters, Mary Emma Arthur and Sophronia C. Arthur. I don't know their
For Clayton James Woodworth, Jr., my notes say that his last known address
was the Watchtower Society, Lakewood, OH.
Clayton James Woodworth was the 10th of 15 children born to Charles
Roswell Woodworth and his wife Elizabeth Hannah "Libbie" Bennett. Of this
15, 5 died in childhood and 10 grew to adulthood. Clayton was born in
North Pitcher, NY, where Libbie's parents lived. They were there for a few
years after the Civil War as Charles adjusted to the loss of his left arm in
the Civil War. He received a minnie ball in his left hand in the Battle of
the Wilderness, and they had to remove most of his left arm as a result.
Eventually, this family moved back to Nunda, Livingston Co., NY where
Clayton grew up. Charles started a knife factory in Nunda, known as the
Woodworth Knife Works, which survived until the 1930's. My great
grandfather, Fred Woodworth, Clayton's older brother, was my great
grandfather and he ran the company until it went out of business.
My records show that Clayton was married twice, with one child by each
marriage. I have only sketchy information on each of these children, and my
point in contacting you was to ask if you might have more. I'm going to
send this note to Mr. Raines, and ask him if his research on Mr. Woodworth
would include any family information.
I have a childhood picture of Clayton, and a picture of him as a young man,
and these pictures very much resemble the picture on Mr. Raines' website.
So, I think we're talking about the same guy. Gee, I never would have
guessed that such a close relative could be involved in such a bizarre
> Ken Raines has written extensively about CJ Woodworth:
Comments from Lee:
CJ Woodworth is a central figure in the development of the WTS blood policy.
As others have noted, the concern over "purity" played a very significant role
in the development of Watchtower policy.
Ken Raines analysis of the life of C.J. Woodworth has an evangelical bias.
I believe that C.J Woodworth can best be understood by an evaluation of his
family background and in light of what psychologists would recognize as a
dissociative disorder. Clearly, he was intoxicated with religion, unbalanced and
suffering from extreme anxiety. The obsession with purity, so often seen in a
religious context, is so intense that I would imagine he probably suffered
from OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) or some related condition.
My guess is that much of his energy was spent in discerning how to keep
clean in order to block out the high level of anxiety he was experiencing as
a result of his inability to block out intrusive thoughts. The magical thinking and
distorted belief systems that individuals generate to survive in these situations
is simply unbelievable to those who have not studied or experienced it.
What is troubling and unfortunate is that someone who was clearly mentally
ill rose to a position of power and influence. Then again, history is full of
comparable examples and my own experience as a JW exposed me to similar
situations Involving elders and circuit overseers who were very troubled