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

  • Jeffro
    Jeffro

    ILoveTTATT2:

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

    I see you also don't understand the concept of 'burden of proof'. I am under no obligation to affirm a negative claim. Your entire body of evidence is that a person with the same initials was a member of Knights of Pythias and your burning desire for Joseph Franklin Rutherford to have spent his earlier years in association with some 'secret order' (which ultimately has no bearing on anything anyway since it doesn't imply any ongoing agreement or affiliation).

    Yet we know there was in fact a John F. Rutherford who was originally from Missouri and who we know was in the Knights of Pythias and was president of a lumber company with many members who were also members of the Knights of Pythias.

    Added to this is the fact that although Joseph F. Rutherford is stated in some sources to be from Boonville, official records actually say that he was from Versaille, Missouri. Hence it is quite possible that some sources have previously conflated John F. Rutherford with the early history of Joseph F. Rutherford; though despite your incredulity, it would not be at all remarkable for there to be two J. F. Rutherfords in the same town.

  • slimboyfat
    slimboyfat
    I see you also don't understand the concept of 'burden of proof'. I am under no obligation...

    This is not a court room Jeffro. When ILoveTTATT2 asked you whether you have proof it's not the JF Rutherford he was asking for your help to determine the facts, not throwing down a legal challenge. This is a discussion forum. Your approach seems misjudged for the situation.

  • Jeffro
    Jeffro

    slimboyfat:

    This is not a court room Jeffro. When ILoveTTATT2 asked you whether you have proof it's not the JF Rutherford he was asking for your help to determine the facts, not throwing down a legal challenge. This is a discussion forum. Your approach seems misjudged for the situation.

    Thanks for that little meta-analysis of the discussion. The fact remains that there is no reason to believe the J. F. Rutherford was Joseph and quite good reasons to believe it was John. Some people just 'really really want' it to be Joseph.

  • Jeffro
    Jeffro

    First, it was "proof"...

    Did you know that J.F. Rutherford was part of the Knights of Pythias? There's PROOF for this! ... Here is the evidence: ... Edited Wikipedia to reflect this. It all fits that it was Joseph Franklin Rutherford.

    Then there was some level-headed acceptance that it wasn't really 'proof' at all...

    Again, I have no idea how to actually prove that this JF Rutherford was actually Joseph Franklin Rutherford. ... I am interested in finding the truth about matters. If I was wrong, then so be it.

    Perhaps you would have done better to start your thread with the healthy skepticism that you eventually - albeit briefly - showed. But that again deteriorated into unsubstantiated claims that it is 'most likely' him...

    It is most likely him. ... Population of Boonville, MO in 1900 was 4377 according to Wikipedia. Two J.F. Rutherfords among 4377 people? I highly doubt it. ... Same first name and middle name initial, and last name, in a small town of less than 4400 people? ... Safe to assume it's him. But now I want a "smoking gun" proof.

    But there don't actually seem to be any sources whatsoever that suggest that any person named Joseph F. Rutherford was in the Knights of Pythias. None of the sources suggest "Two J.F. Rutherfords" with the "same first name". There's Joseph F. Rutherford from Missouri who moved to Pittsburgh, and John F. Rutherford from Missouri who moved to Arkansas. In future, please don't go changing Wikipedia articles until you have a "smoking gun" source that directly states what you're asserting rather than 'someone with the same initials lived in the same area and it's probably him'.

  • ILoveTTATT2
    ILoveTTATT2

    I looked at dozens of newspapers, and I am still waiting for other Boonville Advertiser articles, but here are the reasons why I assert it is Joseph Franklin Rutherford:

    1) Small town, 4400 people.

    2) He always appears in articles using the same initials, but it's not questioned whether it's him because there are other factors such as a) mentioned in relation to lawyers or b) mentioned in relation to the democratic party.

    But the same skepticism could be applied here: ONLY THE INITIALS APPEAR. Could there have been TWO J.F. Rutherfords who were involved in laws in Boonville, Missouri, except one was John F. and the other Joseph F.? It's a little ridiculous. J.F. Rutherford, in Boonville, Missouri, involved in laws or the democratic party, is automatically assumed to be Joseph Franklin Rutherford.

    However, I found an "Hon. J.F. Rutherford from Pine Bluff" article, and an "Hon. J.F. Rutherford from Boonvillle" article. According to your logic, it could have happened. But no.

    You mention that John F. moved from Missouri to Arkansas. Proof of that?

    3) In other articles, he is not mentioned in relation to laws or the democratic party, but he is mentioned, always, as "J.F. Rutherford, from Boonville". In many cases, he is noted to be a brilliant orator.

    Therefore, since we have:

    A J.F. Rutherford in the Boonville Advertiser being involved in a fraternal organization which could help in getting good contacts for a lawyer who wants to run for office, who is involved in public speaking for this organization, it can be safely assumed it's him. Same newspaper, same town, same first, middle intials and last name, similar public activities...

    I have not contested your Wikipedia change, since for now I only have indirect proof. But I think that your John F. from Pine Bluff has no bearing on this.

  • Earnest
    Earnest

    Jethro : There's Joseph F. Rutherford from Missouri who moved to Pittsburgh, and John F. Rutherford from Missouri who moved to Arkansas.

    I seemed to have missed the reference that John F. Rutherford was from Missouri. Does it specify where in Missouri he came from?

  • sparky1
    sparky1
    "Yet we know there was in fact a John F. Rutherford who was originally from Missouri and who we know was in the Knights of Pythias and was president of a lumber company with many members who were also members of the Knights of Pythias" - Jeffro Well Jeffro..........the plot thickens! Apparently, John (J.F.) Rutherford had been living in Bluff City Arkansas since at least 1892. Your claim that John F. Rutherford moved to Arkansas from Missouri needs to be substantiated. I found court records in the case of Godell v. Bluff City Lumber dated January 21, 1893 wherein J.F.(John) Rutherford was noted as being the vice-president and secy/treasurer of the Bluff City Lumber Company. Until proven otherwise, I stand with ILoveTTATT2. It's possible, but highly improbable that John (J.F.) Rutherford would travel over 460 miles from Bluff City, Arkansas to Booneville, Missouri to attend his lodge meetings when automobiles and easily navigable roads were in their infancy. If indeed he was some sort of 'celebrity toastmaster' making a special visit to this lodge, I think that the newspaper article would have been presented with more fanfare.
  • HB
    HB

    My years of genealogy research have taught me never to make assumptions or go by guesswork about the identity of individuals from the past, the only sure way is to use official public records such as birth, marriage and death records or the Federal, State or City censuses.

    A little digging has been interesting if frustrating, because as mentioned previously, I don't have access to US records. But I found a few details by luck.

    There were several other Joseph F Rutherfords in the US during the lifetime of the Watchtower leader. One was born in the same year but died age 6. The list includes Joseph F Rutherfords who were born or lived in the following places: Des Moines, Iowa; Wyandotte, Kansas; Alabama; Texas; Illinois; Utah, Georgia and Missouri.

    There are 12 pages of John F Rutherfords, including one born in 1866 in Green, Hickory, Missouri, a 2 hour drive from Boonville.

    It's also necessary to be careful when searching official documents, as for example in the 1920 Federal census, Joseph Franklin Rutherford is listed as RUTHERFORD F. JOSEPH. Could be confusing.

    See below copy of sheet 11a of the 1920 US census for the Borough of Brooklyn in Kings County, New York. (If you save the image to your PC, you can enlarge it).


    On line 1 is RUTHERFORD F. JOSEPH - born in Missouri, mother from Tennessee, father from Missouri.

    Other details are that 'the residence' was owned freehold, he was the Head of the 'household', age 50, white, married, able to read and write, profession - Minister, Bible Society. He worked on his own account (i.e. not an employer or salary/wage worker). The rest of the 'household' are listed as boarders, from various countries but all white, working as ministers, clerks, stenographers, cooks, printers, an editor, a janitor, a typist, a writer and a few individuals with no job. There's a 12 year old schoolboy living there (poor thing!) with his parents. I presume there are further pages, but I only had access to this one. There were 92 dwellings and 252 families.

    This establishes proof that the Watch Tower Rutherford was born around 1869 in Missouri. If someone with the right Ancestry subscription could look up other censuses to establish whether or not there was another J Rutherford with different parents, different date of birth, different occupation, who lived in Boonville, Missouri, it would help to determine the current question one way or another.

    The WT Joseph Franklin's parents were James Calvin Rutherford and Lenora Strickland. They died in Pilot Grove, Cooper, Missouri, about a 20 minute drive from Boonville.

  • steve2
    steve2

    Asking a poster who questions an assertion to prove it is not correct is mad-making.

    As Richard Dawkins argued in another context: If someone asserts that the "Mad Spaghetti Monster" is the font of truth, the onus is on that person to provide the proof of his assertion not on doubters to prove him wrong.

    So back to this thread: If a poster asserts he has evidence that "Judge" Rutherford is the J F Rutherford who was a member of the "Knights" order, that poster must supply the evidence so that others can decide whether he proves his assertion to be sound.

    Those who doubt, of course, can always choose to dig into the claim (as some have done) but they are not required to do so.

    It is never unreasonable to ask people who make assertions to provide their evidence - it does not necessarily imply an argumentative attitude.

  • ILoveTTATT2
    ILoveTTATT2

    So here is Jetthro's logic:

    This man referred to in the article below could just as easily be Joseph F. Rutherford or John F. Rutherford, because there may have been other J.F. Rutherfords in Boonville, Missouri which had political interests.

    Here's why I believe this doesn't apply:

    Almost every single time, the newspapers from Missouri use the first and middle initials and then Rutherford, to refer to Joseph Franklin Rutherford. The newspapers from Arkansas almost always say that their J.F. Rutherford is from Pine Bluff.

    If I am wrong about the Knights of Pythias, then the historians are wrong about J.F. Rutherford's political activities in his time before the Watchtower, because the newspapers, which seem to be their sources, only use J.F. and not the full name.

    I still say that the level of doubt created is not appropriate.

    Again, still waiting for a response from the Knights of Pythias organization and more newspaper clippings from the Boonville Advertiser that have to do with the Knights of Pythias, but for now this is my best answer as to why I believe Jethro is wrong.


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