Did you know that J.F. Rutherford was part of the Knights of Pythias? There's PROOF for this!

by ILoveTTATT2 76 Replies latest jw friends

  • Finkelstein

    In spite of the WTS under Russell failed doctrines concerning 1914, Rutherford was aware of the money Russell had immersed into the WTS. and was probably the main reason for his venturous take over.

    He was so loose with doctrines and inexperienced in bible theology, he promoted a new date 1925, which of coursed failed

    From around that time most of the members of the IBSA dispersed and went on their own direction, some even retaining Russell's teachings.

  • Jeffro

    Sorry kids, but although a J.F. Rutherford was in the Knights of Pythias, there's no indication it was Joseph Franklin Rutherford. A little digging shows that the Knights of Pythias had lots of connections with the Bluff City Lumber Company (Arkansas), of which a J.F. Rutherford was the president (in 1909, when Joseph was at the Watch Tower Society in Pittsburgh).



  • Jeffro

    P.S. The person in question was John F. Rutherford.

    Arkansas Democrat, Wednesday, June 9, 1909, Page 2

    The largest financial transaction ever recorded here has just been made by John F. Rutherford, president of the Bluff City Lumber Company and recognized as one of the leading financiers of the State.

    Jefferson County Archives:

    [David Henry Duncan] came to Arkansas twenty years ago, and engaged in the lumber business, and for the past twelve years was identified with John F. Rutherford of the Bluff City Lumber Company. ... [Duncan] was a thirty-second degree Mason, belonging to the Consistory of New Orleans; also a member of Jerusalem Temple of the Mystic Shrine of New Orleans, and a member of the following orders: Knights of Pythias, Knights of Honor and Woodmen of the World.

    Please do some research beyond 'someone has the same initials' in future.
  • fulano

    Unbelievable this level of investigation.

  • ILoveTTATT2


    Arkansas is one thing, and Boonville, Missouri, is another.

    What are the odds that there were TWO J.F. Rutherfords in Boonville, Missouri, in 1899? The newspaper source is from Boonville, Missouri.

    It all fits that it was Joseph Franklin Rutherford.

    Do you have further proof that this was not Joseph Franklin Rutherford?

    It is easy to believe that there were two J.F. Rutherfords in the Knights of Pythias organization, which was all around the US. It is very hard to believe that there were TWO J.F. Rutherfords in Boonville, Missouri.

  • under the radar
    under the radar

    ILoveTTATT2, thanks for posting this. I'm sure it will get some folks all atwitter.

    Personally, I don't care a rat fork about whether Rutherford was member of any Masonic type fraternal organization or not. I did find the old newspaper scans very interesting, though. Small towns like Boonville basically rounded up all the local gossip and printed it for everyone to see. It was fascinating to see the interest they had in who was visiting whom, who was sick, who got married and how many attended, etc., etc. I guess in that age of limited mass communication, it served a real purpose by promoting the strong sense of community needed for rural areas to flourish.

    On a whim, I checked to see if that Knights of Pythias castle was still standing. Apparently, it still is, though the ground floor is now used by a senior center. I don't know if the other floors are still in use or whether that chapter of the Knights is still active or not. Anyway, here is a fairly recent pic of the building in all its glory.

  • HB

    I just had a very quick search for Joseph, John and J F Rutherford on the Ancestry website.

    I only pay for access to UK records, so unfortunately not able to check US censuses, but to give an idea, listed in the 1871 UK census, there are 17 different Joseph Rutherfords born around 1869 and 64 John Rutherfords . If anyone has access to the US Ancestry website, you will very likely find similar results, including the Joseph and John in question.

    The free Latter Day Saints website lists 71 Joseph Rutherfords alive in the 1880 census, including 5 in Missouri.

    It's to be expected that several related people who shared the same surname and initials would have lived in even the tiniest of towns or villages. Even a few who also shared the same forename and surname.

    Generally people tended to stay in the area where their family was based, so it is not uncommon to find two cousins born the same year with the same name, because two married brothers chose to name their respective baby boys after their own father, (the babies' grandfather). Include the extended family with uncles, second cousins etc, especially with popular names like Joseph and John and you have a high likelihood of finding a namesake even in a one horse town.

    (Incidentally, I came across the distribution map of the surname Rutherford and it apparently originated in the borders of Scotland.)

  • ILoveTTATT2

    HB, thank you for your research.

    I am interested in finding the truth about matters. If I was wrong, then so be it.

  • steve2

    Thank goodness Wikipedia allows amendments and corrections.

    Upon my own reflection, I'd say if certain information about "Judge" Rutherford's pre-Bible Student life is not yet in the public domain, it would indeed be very, very surprising - given how disliked the man was, both inside and outside the organization.

    So it does seem a little on the strange side that someone is able to "dig up" something "new" about the Judge's pre-Bible Student background that is not already known.

    I guess this is a sobering reminder to be extremely careful about what we "find" out about an individual that is allegedly being noted for the "first" time - when it very well may not be at all about the identified individual.

    I'd genuinely love to know the outcome of the "re-investigation".

  • ILoveTTATT2


    The info was passed on to me by a person who follows my exJW facebook page. Upon investigation, it seems like this person got that info from here:


    "Hi SOSSOS. Regarding Rutherford's membership in the Knights of Pythias, see the January 20, 1899 Boonville (Missouri) Weekly Advertiser (Volume 53, Number 20) page 1, lists the local membership which includes Joseph F. Rutherford. See also the January 13, 1898 Boonville Weekly Advertiser, page 1, where J. F. Rutherford was elected toastmaster for the Knights. The notice said that he was a good one.

    Rutherford's membership in the Woodmen of the World is mentioned in the February 17. 1899 Boonville Advertiser, page 1.

    This information in on microfilm and is available for researchers at the Missouri State Historical Society."

    When you actually look at the newspaper, however, it is only the initials, J.F. that are used, not "Joseph".

    Again, I have no idea how to actually prove that this JF Rutherford was actually Joseph Franklin Rutherford.

    Any ideas?

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