In 1907, Pastor Russell had executed his Last Will and Testament, which was amended slightly the following year, again in 1910 and once more in 1911. Copies of these Will’s have ever been made available to the public or the brethren. Yes, the 1907 Will was published in a 1916 Watchtower, however, we don’t have a copy of the Will to compare to and verify the text. Enough brethren had seen the Will that this was probably fairly accurate, however we cannot verify if Rutherford’s name was fraudulently added as an alternate editor. We also wonder what changes might have been in the 1910 or 1911versions which were never published.
RUTHERFORD’S NAME IN THE WILL?
JFR’s name may in fact appear in the 1907 Will, however, no one was allowed to see that Will. It is curious that the published version of the 1907 will says “five” names, and with JFR it makes six names. Because JFR is said to have been the lawyer to draw up the Will, he could have left the space for him to sign as the attorney in the middle of the five names intended. It can be argued that John Edgar had died and that a replacement would be appropriate, but then why was Bro. Edgar’s name not crossed out?
Two Bible Students have testified that they each saw a copy of Bro. Russell’s 1911 Will, which was at that time in the possession of a friend and JFR’s name was not in it. JFR never mentioned the latter Will.
The Will of C.T. Russell may be the most important historical early Watchtower document, in fact the “Holy Grail,” so to speak of these historical documents. For in fact, If Rutherford’s and Van Amburgh’s names were missing from the 1911 Will (or even the 1907, 1908 or 1910 versions) it would remove all doubt of a conspiracy at the heart the the new organization created after Russell’s death.
If you have any information and any way of finding a copy of Brother Russell’s Will, please click on “CONTACT” in the upper right section of this web page and you can pass on this information to us. If we can obtain a copy, we would make a pdf copy available to the public.