Rutherford, Joseph Franklin
- Gary Land
Rutherford, Joseph Franklin (08 November 1869–08 January 1942), lawyer and religious leader, was born in Morgan County, Missouri, the son of James Calvin Rutherford and Lenore Strickland, farmers. Experiencing both near poverty and hard work, Rutherford came to value education. He borrowed money and went away to school, where he learned shorthand. After studying law under Judge E. L. Edwards and serving as the official reporter of the Court of the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit of Missouri, he passed the Missouri state bar examination in 1892. Beginning private law practice in Booneville, Missouri, he soon joined the firm of Draffen and White. While practicing law he served four times as a special judge in the Eighth Judicial Circuit Court; this experience was the basis for the title “Judge” given to him later by many of his followers. In 1896 he campaigned for ...