Sunday, November 30, 2014

Albert Royal Delmont Jones' death certificate



Albert (Royal) Delmont (Jones) died on 15 May 1930. An earlier article has detailed the circumstances and also the bizarre nature of his burial place. This certificate gives his age as 76 (which ties in with a known birth year of 1854), and the census from a few weeks before gives his birthplace and that of his parents as Pennsylvania, so we know for sure this is our Albert.

Perhaps the saddest thing about the certificate - even though you may feel that Albert deserved all that came his way - is the repeated phrase "no record." Was he single or married? No record. Who were his family? No record. What was his occupation? No record.

We know quite a bit about his various occupations, and also his family. At the time he died, his first two wives were still alive. The first lived until 1933 and the second was featured less that flatteringly in a newspaper report from 1935. Some of his other "wives" may also have survived him, but we are on more shaky ground there.

Three of his children survived him. Ella was still alive in the 1940 census, William lived until 1932, and Herbert lived until 1954.

Yet here he is - alone and unknown. As far as the almshouse/hospital was concerned - no record.

I know we may quote that you reap what you sow - but I still find it sad.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

You can help


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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Another Sighting - or Is It?


 
by Jerome
 
We know that Albert Royal Delmont Jones (abbreviated as ADJ) is in the 1900 census for Chicago.  He is married to Isabel and gives his work as “editor.” He claims to be 44, and she is 23. Isabel Agnes Mulhall was to become quite a character in her own right, if newspaper gossip is to be believed.

As Rachael rightly queries in another post – in 1900 ADJ was editor of what?

Then in the 1930 census ADJ turns up, elderly and alone, in a state almshouse/hospital in Delaware shortly before his death and burial in a pauper’s grave that year.

I believe we may have found him in the 1910 census, although there are queries as detailed below. He is now calling himself Albert R Delmont (Albert Royal Delmont) and claims to be 48, married for three years to Margaret White, aged 28. He is now living in Campbell, Kentucky.

By this time he has no occupation. And he is living in the home of his in-laws, James and Johanna White.

This would be a fourth marriage – after Caroline Bown, Belle Mulhall, and Bambina Maud Scott.

A marriage register shows they were married on 19 September 1906, but gives no other information.

The age given in the 1910 census return is less than his real age. But as with previous wife Isabel, this wife Margaret is at least twenty years his junior. Men who marry much younger women often shave a few years off their age, along with taking up tennis, and cycling around in Lycra on a top-end bicycle!

However, there are two discordant notes in the above scenario. First is that this Albert Delmont claims to come from Virginia. But there are no references in the Virginia records that remotely fit. This could just be an enumerator’s mistake, or ADJ covering his tracks from yet another past life. And this is the only Albert Delmont thrown up in the 1910 census indexes.

Second is the 1920 census. It is easy to find the same family still living in Campbell, Kentucky. Father-in-law James has died and Johanna White is now the head of the household with the same children, one of whom is Margaret Delmont. There is no Albert R in sight. Margaret claims to be only 34; however, the initial in the appropriate column suggests she has put down as a widow! But I cannot find any reference to an Albert R Delmont (or variations) dying between 1910 and 1920.

There are so many negatives about ADJ that a faked death or insurance scam, or just good riddance and I stand a better chance as a widow than as a deserted woman or divorced woman – all these scenarios are possible.

And I cannot find hide nor hair of ADJ under any combination of names in the 1920 census. But then he turns up as a kind of elderly vagrant in 1930.

I am still searching, and readers of this blog are welcome to search too. The problem is – what name might he have used by then?

 

Day Star Universal Releif Fund

Established by in 1884, still active in 1887. Office in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Brooklyn and Lynn, Mass. We need more information. Anyone?

Update


Philandering Financier 

            Carrie Jones divorced Albert in March 1889, charging adultery. Evidence suggests that his adulterous life began as early as 1882. The Leighton, Pennsylvania, Carbon Advocate reported Jones’ visit to Edwin F. Luckenbach. Instead of his wife, he traveled with “Mrs. Hopper of New York” and “Mrs. Agene of New Jersey.”[1] Luckenbach (Oct. 11, 1842 – Mar. 3, 1912)) was a merchant in Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania, combining a fresco painting business with a stationery, wall paper and paint store. He was a factor in local politics.[2] We don’t know why Jones visited him in mid-June 1882. But it seems improbable that a married Christian would travel from New York City to Mauch Chunk with two women but without his wife, especially so in an era when appearance mattered.

“Mrs. Agene” was most certainly Mrs. A. Agens of New Jersey, a Watch Tower adherent whose poetry was published in Zion’s Watch Tower. If he was sexually involved with Agens, we have an uncomfortable picture of Jones as a predator within the congregation. Of course, both women could have been in doddering old age, and Jones may have escorted the two grannies on a vacation. We are suspicious, but we can’t identify these women and don’t know.

Jones’ infidelities became public in the late 1880s through gossip and a law suit. By 1886 he was having significant money problems. He commissioned Ada L. Cone, an artist, “to make for him a crayon portrait of a woman.” He told her to send it to the Hoffman House where he rented a suit. Jones failed to pay and was sued by the Working Women’s Protective Union in Cone’s behalf. A newspaper report says that, “Mr. Jones wanted to compromise, and to give him an opportunity to do so the Justice at his request adjourned the case for one week.” He still failed to pay, and judgment was entered in Cone’s behalf.[3] The New York World, without naming Jones, described him as “a broker with an office in the Mills Building and sumptuous apartments at the Hoffman House. According the The World, “he defaulted and … left for parts unknown when an officer attempted to execute the judgment against him.”[4]

William H. Conley’s testimony during the Jones’ divorce adds to this story: 

About 2 years ago last June [1887] in New York City I saw him one night about 9 o’clock walking on 5th Avenue with a woman other than his wife – did not know who the woman was. I believe I have heard that he had got into trouble with some woman and had to pay her a large sum of money to get rid of her – am not sure that I have the letter now – I burned about a bushel of letters – but I did get from him such a letter. I cannot state what the amount was but it was a large sum he had to pay – I judge that the reason for sending this letter must have been that I had written him a dunning letter as he had dealings, with us and owed us considerable money, and that would be his excuse (that he had to pay so much money on account of this woman) for not remitting to us. This letter I spoke of was received by me from him before I saw him walking with a woman as above mentioned. I think it must have been from 6 to 9 months before that.

I had a conversation in Albert Jones’s presence with H. B. Adams and Eugene F. Smith of New York and Thomas B. Riter of Allegheny City, Penna – there were three of us together at Mr. Jones’s offices in New York City about 2 years ago. During this conversation Mr. Adams and Mr. Smith accused Mr. Jones of keeping the woman besides his wife– They called him all kinds of vile names and he did not deny the accusation. He was accused of maintaining a house and a woman other than his wife in it in the upper end of New York, and Mr. Adams (who was in the House Furnishing business then) stated in Mr. Jones’s presence that he (Adams) had furnished the house and he (Mr. Jones) admitted the whole thing. I cannot state from recollection the precise location of the house spoken of.  

            While the first page of one of the Jones divorce papers is missing, we learn much from the surviving last page. In July 1886, when Albert was commissioning his paramour’s portrait, Carrie Jones returned to the Newark house. She found absolute proof of his infidelity and, taking her three children, returned to her father’s house in Pittsburgh. Carrie named an Annie Raleigh as Albert’s paramour, and counsel called Albert’s father to testify. He denied knowing Miss Raleigh, naming her as Annie Raleigh, Annie J. Raleigh, and finally as K. A. Raleigh. We have not identified her more closely.  Her statement says that after April 8, 1886, Albert contributed “very little” support for her and their children. What little he paid for their upkeep dried up, and by 1889 he was paying nothing. She believed he had “a fair income.” In fact, his financial empire was precarious. Albert refused to appear, and divorce was finally granted.



[1]               From the County Seat, The Leighton, Pennsylvania, Carbon Advocate, June 17, 1882.
[2]               J. W. Jordan: Historic Homes and Institutions of the Lehigh Valley, Lewis Publishing Co., New York, 1905, Volume 2, page 224.
[3]               Mr. Jones’ Friend’s Picture, The New York Sun, November 17, 1887.
[4]               Dead-Beats on the Rack: Where Workingwomen Get Redress for their Wrongs, The New York World, December 29, 1887.

Hoffman House. Home to famous actresses, the rich ... and A. D. Jones

 
Main Building and Annex
Jones maintained two houses and rooms in two up-scale hotels.



ADJ's Final Resting Place


by Jerome

If any readers wish to examine Albert Royal Delmont Jones’ death certificate, they can access it through the Family Search website. Punch in “Albert Delmont” and use the search terms “1930” and “Delaware” and you should quite easily call it up. This site is particularly useful because it is free to use.
Albert’s death certificate is a sad document. He died at the New Castle County Hospital on May 15, 1930. This was originally called the New Castle County Almshouse, and was a last resort home for people who were elderly, single and poor. The certificate shows he was 76 (linking in with a known birth year of 1854) but that is about all the history it contains. Albert wasn’t then around to provide any more information. So next of kin, occupation, place born – all these sections were “no record.”  Fortunately when the census was taken earlier that year, Albert Delmont was listed as an “inmate” and was lucid enough to state that he was from Pennsylvania, as were his parents. Hence the match.
Even though ADJ was a bad boy, I find it sad that no-body knew who his family were, and there was no-one to claim him. At least two of his children were still alive at that time, but obviously no-body knew or perhaps even cared what had happened to him.
The New Castle County Almshouse/Hospital was located at a small place called Farnhurst, and was next door to the quite separate Delaware State Mental Hospital. Those who died at New Castle Hospital who had no-one to claim them for burial elsewhere were buried in what is now called the “Cemetery in the Woods at Farnhurst.” (Residents from the mental hospital were buried elsewhere). The “Cemetery in the Woods” also received the bodies of premature/stillborn babies and unidentified bodies that turned up in the nearby rivers. Several thousand people were buried there.
This was to be ADJ’s last resting place, what was called at the time the New Castle County Hospital Cemetery. As a Potter’s Field cemetery, there were no named grave markers. However, small 5” square granite markers were provided but they only had numbers on them. It appears that a fire at the original building in the 1950s destroyed any of the records linking names to numbers.
But it gets worse. The cemetery was replaced by another Potter’s Field location in the mid-1930s, and the original New Castle County Hospital Cemetery was abandoned. Then in the late 1950s, early 1960s, around 85% of the cemetery was covered up with the construction of the 1-295 freeway ramp to the Delaware Memorial Bridge. It was planned to clean up the area and put up a lasting memorial, but of course, once the road was built, that was the end of that. Apparently about 100 or so granite markers are still visible at the base of the ramp – but you have to climb a fence and crawl over trash and brambles to get to them – and they date from earlier decades than 1930.
So what does this mean for ADJ? I tend to think of the possible fate of many gangsters who disappeared in times past. In ADJ’s case, he really does appear to be buried under the freeway.
It is a long way from genteel grave markers in park-like cemeteries in Pittsburgh.


Grateful thanks are due to Kathy Dettwyler of the University of Delaware for assistance with this material.
 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Another little bit from our current research


Philandering Financier 

            Carrie Jones divorced Albert in March 1889, charging adultery. Evidence suggests that his adulterous life began as early as 1882. The Leighton, Pennsylvania, Carbon Advocate reported Jones’ visit to Edwin F. Luckenbach. Instead of his wife, he traveled with “Mrs. Hopper of New York” and “Mrs. Agene of New Jersey.”[1] Luckenbach (Oct. 11, 1842 – Mar. 3, 1912)) was a merchant in Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania, combining a fresco painting business with a stationery, wall paper and paint store. He was a factor in local politics.[2] We don’t know why Jones visited him in mid-June 1882. But it seems improbable that a married Christian would travel from New York City to Mauch Chunk with two women but without his wife, especially so in an era when appearance mattered.

“Mrs. Agene” was most certainly Mrs. A. Agens of New Jersey, a Watch Tower adherent whose poetry was published in Zion’s Watch Tower. If he was sexually involved with Agens, we have an uncomfortable picture of Jones as a predator within the congregation.

Jones’ infidelities became public in the late 1880s through gossip and a law suit. By 1886 he was having significant money problems. He commissioned Ada L. Cone, an artist, “to make for him a crayon portrait of a woman.” He told her to send it to the Hoffman House where he rented a suit. Jones failed to pay and was sued by the Working Women’s Protective Union in Cone’s behalf. A newspaper report says that, “Mr. Jones wanted to compromise, and to give him an opportunity to do so the Justice at his request adjourned the case for one week.” He still failed to pay, and judgment was entered in Cone’s behalf.[3] The New York World, without naming Jones, described him as “a broker with an office in the Mills Building and sumptuous apartments at the Hoffman House. According the The World, “he defaulted and … left for parts unknown when an officer attempted to execute the judgment against him.”[4]



[1]               From the County Seat, The Leighton, Pennsylvania, Carbon Advocate, June 17, 1882.
[2]               J. W. Jordan: Historic Homes and Institutions of the Lehigh Valley, Lewis Publishing Co., New York, 1905, Volume 2, page 224.
[3]               Mr. Jones’ Friend’s Picture, The New York Sun, November 17, 1887.
[4]               Dead-Beats on the Rack: Where Workingwomen Get Redress for their Wrongs, The New York World, December 29, 1887.

GUESS WHAT! GUESS WHAT!

Albert Delmont Jones in 1900

More Jones ....

Jones died May 15, 1930, in a state hospital that served the needs of the indigent elderly and mental patients. He was confined there for 15 mos before his death.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A. D Jones - Again

He is listed in the 1900 Census as Albert Delmont, living in the Chicago area. His occupation is given as "editor." What did he edit?

Just awful ...

If you read my personal blog with any sort of regularity, you know I have health issues. I tried to moderate a comment early this morning while I was more than a little disoriented. I managed to delete a comment ... and fifty of the preceding comments.

Your comments are important to me. I'm sorry they're gone. I can't get them back. And I'm seriously depressed as a result. If you want to re-comment, you'd make me happy.

Rachael

In Search of Delmont Jones


by Jerome



Rachael kindly sent me a family tree for Albert Delmont Jones, which was far more extensive than the one I had put together from Ancestry. I understand the original research was done by “Ton” who is greatly missed. Because there are rather a lot of Delmont Jones names in this article, our main quarry, the editor of Zion’s Day Star, will hereafter just be referred to as ADJ.

The family tree sent me in search of records on the Find a Grave site. If you type in Delmont Jones and Pennsylvania you will find five different Delmont Jones listed. Due to research errors and misunderstandings, these five names only relate to three people – ADJ’s grandfather, father, and younger brother. ADJ’s first wife’s grave is also on the site if you know where to look as is one of his children, also an Albert D Jones. Alas, I have not traced ADJ himself. But one wonders, with his chequered history, under what name he finally went under?

 So, first the grandfather. Three of the Find a Grave entries relate to him! There are two entries for a Delmont Jones, b. August 3, 1803. One has him dying on December 30, 1878 and an almost duplicate record states December 29. They have him buried in the Turner Cemetery on Squirrel Hill, Allegheny County. This location was originally correct. Census returns for Peebles Township (Squirrel Hill) and old maps show the original Delmont Jones owning farming land in this area. It was eventually annexed into Pittsburgh in 1868.

 The Turner Cemetery still exists, but is only half an acre in size and was abandoned around 1880 when the church beside it that maintained it was closed. As a result, a number of those buried there were later moved. This included the first Delmont Jones, who was one of the last to be buried there. He was reinterred at the Homewood Cemetery in Pittsburgh on 25 March 1899. This was quite a common practice. As small community graveyards closed and the land often reused for other purposes, many families had relatives transferred to the new-style park-like cemeteries that were needed to cope with the dramatic increases in population. So there is a Find a Grave entry for Homewood Cemetery with a Delmont Jones, b. unknown, and died 1899 – which is a misunderstanding of what happened. On the other hand, this entry does show his gravestone with the correct date of death, 30 December 1878. It is likely that a gravestone was first placed at Turner cemetery and then moved with him, although this version looks of more recent origin.

Thanks are due to Find a Grave correspondent Rich who kindly gave me permission to reproduce the photograph at the head of this article, and also checked out the details of the discrepancy. One mystery - there was another Jones, this time a Watson Jones who was moved from Turner to Homewood on the same day, transported in the same container, and reinterred in the same grave as Delmont. Watson Jones died from epilepsy in 1866 aged 25. However, this does not link up with any known names in the Delmont Jones family tree. Perhaps they were moved together and reburied together, just in case. However, only Delmont’s name appears on the gravestone.

 Next, we come to the second Delmont Jones, son of Delmont Jones (Mark 1), and the father of ADJ. This Delmont Jones was born in Squirrel Hill, Allegheny, 1831 and died in 1894. His wife’s obituary describes him as a well-known Civil War veteran who served as an engineer in the United States Mississippi gunboat fleet. He and his wife Martha are buried in the South Side cemetery in Pittsburgh. This time thanks are due to Find a Grave correspondent Rob who gave permission for me to reproduce the photograph. The stone lists five names – Delmont Jones, his wife Martha Jones, and then the remaining surnames are of the Frasher family. One of this Delmont Jones’ daughters married a Frasher, so this will be her and some of her family.



Next, we come to the actual generation of ADJ. ADJ had a younger brother called – what a surprise – Delmont Jones again. This Delmont Jones (1874-1923) is buried in the Union Dale cemetery, Pittsburgh. Alas, there is not a stone, or at least a photograph of a stone, and it is unknown whether other members of the family were buried with him. The name Delmont Jones turns up in a number of Pittsburgh records, and likely relate to this Delmont rather than ADJ – although it is difficult to establish with certainty.

The Union Dale cemetery was also the final resting place for ADJ’s first wife. She is buried with her father and mother in the Bown family plot. The Jones name is mentioned because the inscription has her down as Caroline M Bown (1858-1933), wife of Albert D Jones. ADJ’s infant son, listed as Albert D Jones, born and died in 1883, is buried there with her. That is probably the only reason that ADJ is mentioned on the stone, since Caroline divorced him for infidelity after four children and around twelve years of marriage. One suspects that the D in the middle of the infant’s name is likely to be another Delmont.

Unfortunately I have not received permission to reproduce a photograph of this stone. If I subsequently obtain this, then I will adjust the article, but any reader sufficiently interested can easily check the Find a Grave site for themselves.

It would have been nice to have found a stone for ADJ and also a juicy obituary in some newspaper. Maybe they will still surface at some time.

(Note: as more recent posts have indicated, ADJ's final resting place is now known. He was buried in a Potter's Field cemetery, with just a small stone with a number on it. Most of the cemetery was obliterated when a freeway ramp was constructed in the late 1950s, early 1960s. It is rumored that many gangsters who disappeared are possibly buried under the freeway. In ADJ's case, it seems literally true. A long way from the leafy parklands of Pittsburgh cemeteries.)


Changing tack now, perhaps the most interesting point for me from the supplied genealogical records - as someone who has written on film history over the years, is a tenuous connection with the Roscoe Arbuckle scandal. Fatty Arbuckle was arrested and accused of rape and murder after a 1921 party in San Francisco. The victim was a small part actress named Virginia Rappe. The charge was subsequently reduced to manslaughter. Arbuckle went through two hung juries before being cleared at a third trial where the jury were out for all of six minutes, using five of them to write a statement making a formal apology to him for the injustice he had suffered.

There was little doubt that Virginia Rappe’s death was preventable. Health problems exacerbated by a series of abortions made her fragile, and she didn’t get prompt or proper care when taken ill. But the lurid accusations against Arbuckle all originated with Rappe’s companion who crashed the party, one Bambina Maud Delmont. While Wikipedia is not always the most accurate of sources, it does quite a nice line in character assassination with (quote) “Delmont had a long criminal record with multiple convictions for racketeering, bigamy, fraud, and extortion, and allegedly was making a living by luring men into compromising positions and capturing them in photographs, to be used as evidence in divorce proceedings.  Her unsubstantiated testimony at the original hearing got Arbuckle indicted, but then the prosecution deliberately kept her far away from all the actual trials, because her obvious inability to tell truth from fiction would have immediately sunk their case.

The connection with Truth History? Maud had previously been the third Mrs ADJ. They married in 1904. That is where she obtained the Delmont name.

When you consider ADJ’s history after his “fall from grace” which will be detailed by Bruce and Rachael in the forthcoming volume, and then Maud’s colourful history, it would appear that some people just seem made for each other.

 Albeit briefly.

 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

More, unedited, from chapter in progress


            Jones printed a half million copies of the first issue, sending them to libraries, magazines and newspapers. The North Manchester, Indiana, Journal noted receipt of a copy in the December 1, 1881 issue: 

We have received the first number of Zion's Day Star, a new religious paper published at New York City, bv A, D. Jones; it is a 4-column quarto, devoted especially to religious interests,. The paper states that in this first number near a half million of copics were issued. With various passages of scriptures as reference and the signs of the times closely observed, the editor advances the probability of the near end of the Gospel disipensation, or the end of time.   

            Institutions as far-afield as the Virginia Institute for the Deaf, Dumb and Blind received copies.[1] He continued to send papers to the Virginia Institute until 1886, which appears to be the last year of publication. In the first issue (or issues), Jones suggested a careful reading of each article: “We suggest that you read carefully, at least twice, most of the articles, and especially those on chronology and the prophetic time. Without this our readers can scarcely get the connexions, and unless these are seen the force of the argument cannot be appreciated” The Printing Times, a British journal, commented on Jones’ advice, saying: “This advice, though perhaps salutary and even needful, is not very complimentary to the lucidity of the writers or to the intelligence of the readers. It is not too much to assume that most persons would rather be excused from the task of even a single reading.”[2]

            Not every review was as negative. The Longmont, Utah, Leader said that “the subscription price is nominal being only 50 cents per year. What ever they claim as a creed, many of the articles in the first issue are interesting and contain much truth.”[3] It is through a quotation in the Leader that we know some of Jones’ approach to new readers. He wrote: 

Many no doubt will inquire who are these persons advancing these views; and, because we are not among the noted and well known, my feel disposed to carelessly cast aside this sheet, scarcely reading what is therein contained. But ere you do so, we ask your attention for a short time. First, it is not for you to ask who we are, nor should you decide either for or against the paper on account of those who are concerned with it; for in and of ourselves we are nothing; but a fair question for each reader to ask is, Are the views as here set forth true? Are they supported by God’s word? If, on examination, you find them so, then they, no us, demand your attention. … 

The truth of the scriptures is the only rule of faith by which we will be examined. It is our aim to teach the truth as free from the terms of the times; to teach it in its entirety. We are not in bondage to any creed, party, or sect, but we claim to be the Lord’s free men. We recognize one Head and Master – Jesus Christ; and all true followers of him as brethren. Therefore we wish our teachings compared with “the law and the testimony,” and if any view presented is not in accordance with the above “there is no light in them,” and wee shall consider you a friend. Acts17 11. It will be our aim to make plain some of the “dark sayings and parables” of the word, and we doubt not that the hearts of many will be made to rejoice as they come to see the beauty and harmony of our Father’s word.[4]



[1]               Annual Report of the Institution for the Education of the Deaf, Dumb an d Blind at Staunton, Virginia to the General Assembly of Virginia for the Fiscal Year Ending September 30, 1882, page 33.
[2]               American Jottings, The Printing Times and Lithographer¸ July 15, 1882.
[3]               Untitled article in the December 2, 1881, issue.
[4]               As quoted in an untitled article in the December 2, 1881, issue of the Logan, Utah, Leader.

A. D. Jones' Second Wife.

 
Details later. They divorced in 1903.
We need someone willing to persue the divorce records.
Volunteer?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bet you've never seen one ....


From unedited work in progress


Albert Royal Delmont Jones played a significant though till now unexplored role in Watch Tower history. He was the son of Albert Delmont Jones, Sr. (born c. 1835) and Martha McCleary. His father most often used his middle name in place of his first. Albert senior settled for a period in Cooksport, Pennsylvania, a tiny framing community. He moved to Pittsburgh where he purchased a farm and remained there until his death.[1] He was a Civil War veteran, serving as an engineer on one of the Mississippi gunboats, and a Republican. He remained a staunch Republican until near his death when doubts over tariff policy led him to question party loyalty: “I’ve been a Republican, voting that ticket, thinking it was right, and thinking by doing so it was keeping up wages for the workingman, but I … have begun to think that we are only helping the capitalists and not benefiting the public and ourselves.”[2]

His mother was born in the East Liberty area of Pittsburgh in 1833 into a Colonial Era family. Her grandfather settled in Pittsburgh in 1812 after his ship was wrecked. Martha and A. Delmont Jones, Sr. married in July 1852. If genealogy records are correct, she gave birth to her first child, Martha Elizabeth, October 22, 1852, too soon to call the baby premature. She was a life-long Baptist, though it seems of a more liberal disposition than her fellow Baptists. Her obituary says:

 

“Aunt Martha,” as the subject of this sketch was known to a circle of relatives from Pennsylvania to Texas and California, was a woman of rare strength of mind and intellect. Her study of the Sacred Scriptures had given her a far-reaching insight into their deeper meaning such as few attain to in this life. She was broad-minded, nothing narrow  contained her doctrines; she believed in being as broad as the Bible, which is saying a good deal; in being as liberal as God is, which is saying still more. The dignified, cultured personality of “Aunt Martha” will always be a sweet remembrance to the many who knew her.[3]


            While her obituary suggests “a good deal,” it really says nothing about her liberal beliefs. But one can surmise that she raised her children in an atmosphere of Bible reading and study. The New York, New York, Press described his family as “well-to-do and respectable.”[4]

            The 1880 Census gives Albert, Jr’s age as 26, making him about two years younger than Russell. His birth place is listed as Pennsylvania, and his residence was in Pittsburgh’s 32nd Ward, Precinct two. He is listed as a married “store keeper” with a one year old daughter. At this writing we’ve not located a photo, so we’re left with a newspaper description printed in 1890: “Jones is a stylish looking man, with long black hair and peculiarly white face, who affects black sombrero hats and has the air of a crank.”[5]

            Sometime, apparently in 1876 at the latest, Albert moved to New York City, taking a job as a clerk, probably in a clothing store.[6] Returning to Pittsburgh in 1877, he secured employment with J. L. Russell & Son at the Fifth Avenue Store, which was managed by C. T. Russell, his dad having retired from active management. A newspaper report describes Jones as “an attaché” of Russell & Son, which may indicate management status. Jones family members had business interests that intersected Russell’s. A relative owned the D. J. Kennedy Company, coal wholesalers, and the Bulger Block Coal Company, a mining concern.  He was also general manager of the Darlington Brick and Mining Company. Russell had an interest at various times in Black’s Run Coal Syndicate and in U. S. Coal and Coke Company and also in The Silica Brick Company of Pittsburgh. The two families were social peers and could not help but become acquainted.

Jones married Carrie M. Bown. The wedding was performed by W. H. McKinney, pastor of the Mt. Washington Baptist Church. The Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette noted that Albert and Carrie were “well known in the city and highly esteemed.” The Pittsburgh Chronicle reported that the wedding drew “a large number of friends and acquaintances,” and the Wheeling, West Virginia newspaper noted that Carrie’s brother, W. J. H. Bown, was prominent in West Virginia local politics and that Carrie was well known there, having “a large number of friends and acquaintances in Wheeling.” William T. Bown, Carrie’s father, described himself as a Merchant Broker.[7] Samuel E. Bown, an uncle, was a well-known coffee and peanut roaster, managing the W. T. Bown & Bro. company. Jointly with Carrie’s father S. E. Bown patented a roasting process.[8] Their company was “among the leaders” in the period.[9]



[1]               Joshua Thompson Stewart: Indiana County, Pennsylvania; Her People, Past and Present, J. H. Beers & Co., Chicago, 1911, Volume 2, page 27.
[2]               Veteran: Obituaries: Oakdale, Pennsylvania, Times, February 15, 1908. Republican: [Albert] Delmont Jones, Sr, Letter to Editor of The Truth Seeker, published in the September 24, 1892 issue.
[3]               Obituaries: Oakdale, Pennsylvania, Times, February 15, 1908.
[4]               New York Swindler Turns Up in St. Louis, The New York, New York, Press, December 27, 1896.
[5]               Topics Talked About, The New York, New York, Press, February 2, 1890.
[6]               Goulding’s New York City Directory for the Year Commencing May 1, 1877, Ending May 1, 1878, page 712. The data were gathered in prior to publication in early 1877.
[7]               Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette, January 9, 1878, [wheeling paper], W. T. Bown’s testimony as found in the Jones’ divorce records. W. T. was active in community and religious affairs and was one of those who helped organize a reading room for young people in the Mt. Washington neighborhood and helped secure a branch library for the area. [R. J. Coster: A History of Grace Church Parish, Wm. O. Johnston Co., Pittsburgh, 1903, pages 126-127.]
[8]               Jones’ Divorce Records; United States Patent number 217258; W. T. Bown & Bro. was founded in 1869. – Pittsburgh's Progress, Industries and Resources, 1886, page 212. Bown & Bro. roasted coffee for brand name holders rather than selling under their own name. – Our Leading Merchants and Manufacturers and the Rise and Progress of Prominent Business Enterprises, 1888, page 62.
[9]               W. H. Ukers: All About Coffee, Tea and Coffee Trade Journal, New York, 1922, page 507.

Carrie M. Jones Father Owned this Business


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Albert Delmont Jones, Sr.

We need to verify A. D. Jones' father's civil war record. anyone?

Restatement of the Rules

Bruce asked me to remind our readers that we do not debate theology on this blog. Do not send us debate questions. We won't engage with you. We especially will not engage with someone whose questions are asked to no good purpose. You may think you're clever and that your questions are unanswerable. By now you should know differently.

We're not here as targets for your proselytism. And we will not waste our time answering questions ment only for debate when you can easily find the answers elsewhere.

As a reminder, Bruce is a Witness. I am not. What Bruce asked me to state above goes for me too. This is a history blog. It's not a forum for former believers and Internet evangelists. We present accurate well researched history. Nothing more.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

We Think ...

We think there is a family connection between A. D. Jones family and the Laughlin family. We think there is a connection (though distant) with the Jones and Laughlin who founded the famous steel company. We don't have time to research this. If you're adept at genealogical research, you might want to research this for us. Any volunteers?

Unedited, uncorrected bit of current research


            Paton addressed Jones’ rejection of New Testament authority in the November 1883 issue of World’s Hope. The New Testament is the basis for Christian belief, Paton wrote. If one rejects it or any part of it, then one rejects the very basis for Christianity and of belief in Christ:

 

To reject the New Testament as authority, as some are doing, seems strangely inconsistent for any one claiming to be Christian. We do not unchristianize anybody, though we have been accused of doing so, but we wonder how a man can be a believer in Christ who rejects the only written and authoritative testimony that the coming of Jesus Christ is fact. How can they who do not accept of the apostles and Evangelists as inspired teacher, have any real faith that what they say of Jesus, – of His saying and doings – is true. The very articles written to discard the authority of John, for instance, will, however quote John to prove that Jesus said, “Search the scriptures,” &c., thus endorsing the Old Testament. If the New Testament is not reliable, how do we know that Jesus endorsed the Old? –  or that Jesus ever existed at all?[1]

 

           We do not know how Jones answered Paton’s criticism. We do know that he attacked Paton’s Atonement doctrine. Paton tell us so by means of a brief paragraph found in the January 1884 issue of World’s Hope:

 

The editor of Zion’s Day Star, who ridicules the “middle ground” between the doctrine of Substitution and the complete rejection of the death of Christ as the basis of man’s salvation, does not know how solid that ground is, for he has never stood there. We rejoice in our position. The lengthy quotations he has given from The World’s Hope are the only articles in which he has ever expressed the idea of the Representative fullness of Jesus Christ.[2]

 

            The distinction between Christ as substitute for humanity and Christ as representative of humanity was an important one. Barbour, Paton, Adams, and now, apparently, Jones saw Jesus as man’s representative, leaving men in various degrees deserving of salvation in their own merit. God was obligated to save if they followed Christ’s example. Atonement theory based on Christ as substitute sees man as the recipient of a divine but undeserved gift. The heart of this issue rests in one’s approach to scripture. Russell remained a literalist. The others did not, leaving them free to escape plain meaning by spiritualizing. Paton confessed as much when discussing the cleansing blood of Christ. If he were to see remission of sin occurring as a result of the shedding of Christ’s literal blood, his theory would fall, so he found a “spiritual” alternative:


Does the literal blood of Christ cleanse from all sin? One says, “Away with so much spiritualizing: we must cling to the literal meaning of the word.” But we claim that the true Bible literalism requires the comparison of scripture with scripture, and the application of the rules, “First the natural; afterward the spiritual;” and “The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.”[3]

 

            Neither of Paton’s citations lends itself to his exegesis. They do not say what he believes them to say. But his understanding allowed him to believe as he wished. The same was true of the others espousing what Russell called “no-ransom theories.” Paton’s reply to Jones seems weak. His claim is Jones’ understanding is poor solely because Jones did not see matters as he did. There is no scriptural argument.

            Though both Paton and Jones used the word “representative” to convey their Atonement theories, they did not mean the same thing. Paton addressed this issue early in 1884:

 

Some who regard Jesus as a mere man, and as a saved sinner, (though they do not think He was an “overt” sinner, or a very bad man) seem to think that The World’s Hope at one time leaned toward this doctrine. Such an idea has always, in the clear light of the Word, seemed obnoxious to us. It seems no less so now. They seem to think we use the word “Representative” in the sense of a sample, – as if when God saved Jesus (?!) from His personal sins and lost estate (?!) it was simply a sample of the way He will save others.[4]

 

            Without access to the earliest issues of Day Star, this is the best statement of Jones’ Atonement belief we have. [add wt material here]



[1]               J. H. Paton: Untitled article, World’s Hope¸ November 1883, page
[2]               J. H. Paton: Untitled article, World’s Hope, January 1884, page 56.
[3]               J. H. Paton: The Blood of the Lamb, World’s Hope¸ January 1884, page 52.
[4]               J. H. Paton: Untitled article, World’s Hope, February 1884, page 71.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Amazon Review

By Andrew Grzadzielewski on November 7, 2014
 
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase 
 
I finished my copy of A Separate Identity a few weeks ago. The story that is told of the early days of the ministry of Charles Taze Russell is fascinating and the incredible details uncovered by the authors make this a must read for any Witness or Bible Student, or for that matter, anyone interested in religion in general. Even though it covers only a few short years of Russell’s life, it shows that his spiritual journey was much more complicated that has ever been realized.

But the book is much more than just a statement of facts about Russell’s spiritual development. It tells a story that has never really been told. The usual Watchtower story has Russell and his close associates meeting in small groups and refining their ideas and doctrinal positions in a spiritual vacuum. While acknowledging the efforts of a few spiritual advisors, the Watchtower often perpetuates a myth that Russell and his associates “rediscovered” lost Bible truths on their own in their small study group. The reality, brilliantly documented in this book, is that Russell’s spiritual journey was influenced by a multitude of others, including clergymen, family members, friends, and many others, some of whom he considered his spiritual mentors. It also clearly demonstrates that his path toward creating a separate religious identity was anything but linear; it was a meandering trip filled with starts, stops, potholes and plenty of indecision. And since the book only provides the story up to 1879, the year the Watchtower was first published, there evidently is a lot more to be told.

The standard Watchtower mythology, which is still perpetuated to this day, is shown to be wholly inadequate to even begin to describe what he and his associates when through as they developed this new identity. The portrait that this book paints of Russell makes him appear much more human and vulnerable than anyone has perhaps ever expected. We can now begin to see Russell the man, rather than Russell the saint, unilaterally rediscovering lost truth.

As a Witness myself, I now find myself disappointed by the usual Watchtower approach to Russell, and anxious to learn more. The authors speak of a second volume to their work, taking events 15 or more years into the future. This volume dismantles the myth of Russell laboring nearly alone to bring back apostolic Christianity. I wonder what the next volume will say about the other extreme, the one in which Russell is portrayed as a con man, a heretic, or worse.

Buy it and read it!

Also, check out the authors’ blog at http://truthhistory.blogspot.com.