Rutherford's wife, why the info blackout?

by VM44 64 Replies latest jw friends

  • VM44

    Rutherford's son, Malcolm, was a lawyer.


  • BeelzeDub

    Mary's early years.

    Mary was the only child of a Dr. John Fetzer from Cooper county Missouri. Her father was a surgeon in the 5th regiment of the Union Army. John Fetzer experienced partial deafness during the war that his wife received a pension for. Mary's father died in 1884 of Brights disease, so he likely never had the wonderful priveledge of meeting Rutherford. She was raised in Cooper county MO, about 40 miles from where Rutherford was born and raised in Morgan county. John Fetzer built several buisnesses on Main street in the heart of town before his death. Being an only child, she may have lived off some inheratence from her mother, however that is speculation on my part. Maybe I will research a will from her mother and see if there was one.

    Mary and Rutherford were married in 1890.

    Ohio C

    Malcolm C. Rutherford was born on Nov. 10, 1892, and died on June 22, 1989, and lived in Arcadia, California-(Los Angelos).

    Where did you find that info? I thought that I saw Malcolm listed as less than 1 year old in the 1890 census record. I will take a second look later.

    RR Do you know where Rutherford went to school?

  • VM44

    Rutherford went to school to learn court stenography.

    His training in law was obtained on the job working in a lawyer's office.

    He became a lawyer by passing an oral exam given by a group of lawyers.

    Later, Rutherford filled in for a judge total of four (4) days. Some days he filled in there wasn't even any cases. From that little experience he took on the title "Judge" which he used the rest of his life. (Does the word "Pompose" come to mind?)

    It is interesting to see how the Watchtower now refers to Rutherford being called affectionately "Judge" while back then at the time he was living, the WT used the title extensively in promoting his lectures and books. ("Hear JUDGE RUTHERFORD Speak Tonight!")

    Does anyone remember which poster here at JWD was writing the Rutherford biography?


  • Leolaia

    BeelzeDub....That info confirms what I independently found in the 1930 census, that Mary Rutherford was first married in 1890. VM...If you send me a PM with your email, I'll send the gif image as an attachment. ohiocowboy....Thanks for the lead...I should be able to find more info, especially if Malcolm was a professional.

    Another interesting thing about the 1930 census is that her next-door neighbors, the Swains (Mr. Roy A. Swain and Mrs. Carolyn R. Swain, with 4 children), were from Missouri and New York. Roy himself was from Missouri and his wife Carolyn was born in New York, and the four children were born in New York. So, like J. F. Rutherford himself (and probably Mary), Roy Swain moved from Missouri to New York, and like Mary Rutherford moved to live in Monrovia, Los Angeles. I wonder if the Swains were friends of Mary or were fellow Bible Students. Anyone know anything about the Swains?

    I also found Mary's listing in the 1920 census. The copy is less legible so I can't read the age very accurately but it doesn't give her middle initial, but the listing does indicate the father as German and the mother as French, so I think it is the same person. In this earlier census, her address is given as something like 1256 N. Eastlake Avenue, but the copy is so illegible it is hard to tell what the numbers are supposed to be. But it is pretty clear that the address is "Eastlake" and not "Primrose". Might have the street changed its name?

    On edit: I found Roy A. Swain's obituary here. It says that he died in 1939 at his home in Monrovia, and that he married Miss Carolyn G. Yost in New York City in 1906. Anyway, it looks like they were probably not associated with the says that the Swains left New York in 1908 to Newton Falls where Mr. Swain had a position with the Newton Falls Paper Co., and then moved to Los Angeles by 1910 to become superintendent of the Cylinder Paper Co., only to then move to Illinois and then back to California in 1916. Since 1921 he was the West Coast representative for the L. L. Brown Paper Co. Nothing about his religion, but it looks like he moved around because of business. I wonder where the WTS got their paper from, but anyway it looks like the Swain's association with Missouri and New York might be a coincidence....

  • amac

    VM44 -

    Later, Rutherford filled in for a judge total of four (4) days. Some days he filled in there wasn't even any cases. From that little experience he took on the title "Judge" which he used the rest of his life. (Does the word "Pompose" come to mind?)

    Can you say where you got this information from? I would love to be able to show this to JW's...but as we all know, anything posted on a JW apostate board is all lies...

  • GermanXJW

    Fascinating info, Leolaia.

  • ohiocowboy

    Malcolm is listed in the Social Security death records, and shows his date of birth, death, and city and county of his last SS benefit, along with his SS number.

  • BeelzeDub
    Later, Rutherford filled in for a judge total of four (4) days. Some days he filled in there wasn't even any cases. From that little experience he took on the title "Judge" which he used the rest of his life. (Does the word "Pompose" come to mind?)

    I just love how the WTS, obscures that fact in their history book by calling him a "Special Judge" What exactly is a "Special Judge"? Does that mean he got to wear one of those funny looking helmets?

  • blondie

    I think Malcolm had a son named Paul.

  • Leolaia

    Okay, I found a listing in the 1910 census for a "Mary Rutherford" born in 1869, living in the Los Angeles area (i.e. Long Beach), but I have no idea if it is the same person because there is no index for the 1910 census to the actual individual entries:

    Name: Mary Rutherford Age in 1910: 40 Estimated Birth Year: 1869 Home in 1910: 1-WD LONG BEACH, LOS ANGELES, California Race: White Gender: Female Series: T624 Roll: 85 Part: 2 Page: 41B Year: 1910

    I also checked the 1880 census for Missouri and found the entry on the Fetzers. Mary's father is listed as John Fetzer, aged 55 (thus born in 1825). John Fetzer's occupation is listed as "physician," and his place of birth is stated as Westerberg, Germany. This neatly confirms what the later California census data stated, that Mary Rutherford's father was a native of Germany. John Fetzer's wife was listed as Mary Fetzer, aged 44, with her occupation stated as "keeping house". Mary's birthplace is given as Hannover, Germany. Interestingly, Mary declared in later censuses that her mother was from France. I'm not sure if this is accounted for by a post-WWI change in borders and if Hanover at one point was part of Belgium. The single child of the Fetzers was named as "Mary Fetzer," who was born in Missouri and whose age was given as 11. The Fetzers also had a live-in servant named Hannah Prigg, aged 18, and they all lived in Rolla, Phelps, Missouri .

    Meanwhile, I found a listing for "Joseph Rutherford," aged 11, resident of Haw Creek, Morgan, Missouri. Looks like he grew up in a big family. His father is listed as James Rutherford, aged 43, whose occupation was listed as "farmer". James Rutherford was born in Michner, Tennessee. Joseph's mother was named "Lanora Rutherford," aged 37, who was born in Senneku, Tennessee. Her occupation was "keeping house". They had 7 children (!). The oldest child was Virginia (sp.?), aged 20, who was employed as a school teacher. The next two oldest children were also girls, Anna (aged 19) and Salena (aged 17). Hmmm, does it sound like the Rutherfords were trying hard to have a son? The next oldest children were William, aged 15, and Florence, aged 13. Then, finally, do we come to Joseph, aged 11. But he wasn't the youngest child. Well, for much of his young life he was, but the Rutherfords had one last son, Berkie (sp?), who was aged 4 at the time of the census. No other occupation was given for the other children, except for William who was stated as "works on farm".

    I have copies of each of these censuses.

    On edit: The 1870 census lists a "Mary Fetzer" from Hannover, Germany living in Boonville, Cooper, Missouri. Cooper is the county that BeelzeDub gave as where little Mary was raised. It looks like it might be more accurate to say that Mary was born in Cooper county and then moved before the age of 11 to Rolla in Phelps County. The 1870 census also states that mother Mary was married to a physician named John Fetzer who was born in Wirtemberg, Germany. John Fetzer appears to have been somewhat wealthy; the value of his real estate was $15,000 and the value of his personal estate was $300. Mary Rutherford also appears to have had several siblings, such as Anna (aged 16), a brother F. (aged 15), a sister M. (aged 10/12), and a brother R. (aged 4). Little Mary would've been an infant at the time of this census so she wasn't counted.

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