Individual Record 179

Name}   Bird, Theodore L. Family History} Hancock                 
  Title}   Race} White Sex} Male
Birth:   Date} Fam      Jul  1860 Place}   , Kenton, Kentucky
Marr1: Date} Exa 17 Oct 1884 Place}   , Kenton, Kentucky     (Link)
Marr2: Date} Exa 14 Feb 1903 Place} Jackson, Jackson, Michigan     (Link)
Death: Date} Exa              1933 Place} De Soto,   , Kansas
Burial: Date} Exa              1933 Place}  
  Grave Marker} Yes
Source 1} 707 = 1870 USA cen
Source 2}   28 = 1880 USA cen
Source 3} 199 = Marriage rec
Source 4} 203 = Town directy
Source 5} 110 = Newspaper
Source 6} 111 = Newspaper
Source 7} 109 = Prison recrd
Source 8}   22 = 1900 USA cen
Source 9} 1427=Marriage rec
Source 10}708 = 1910 USA cen
Source 11}886 = 1920 USA cen
Source 12}798 = 1930 USA cen
Source 13}1246=Letter
Parents: } Elam Bird & Martha Patterson
   Relationship No.} 56
1st Household No.} 191 = M.D.3, Kenton, Kentucky
      Occupation 1} Farmer
       Occupation 2}  
  Religion/Church} Other - see Notes
Spouses:    First} Hoskins, Alice
              Second} Nelson, Pamelia Elizabeth
 Total Number of} 2
Notes:  Theodore was listed in the "Williams' Covington Directory" issues of 1888 and 1894 (Source 203) as a laborer living in Covington, Kentucky.

Theodore Bird was with Theodore Williams at a mission in Toledo, Ohio, by the Spring of 1899.

Theodore Bird arrived in the vicinity of Rome and Adrian, Michigan, in April 1899 and was then in the company of Theodore Williams, Charles Ray, and J. Lawrence.  The four men became known as the disciples.  They were accompanied by their respective spouses — including Pernilla Williams (his wife) and Myrtle Bird (his sister).

The group of four men and their spouses had a religious belief that was peculiar, the most prominent feature being that marriage by a minister or justice of the peace was unholy.  They required that any person joining their group should leave their husband, or wife and family, and marry again according to the group's customs.  The Detroit Tribune called them A new religious sect with a membership of 11 to date (that) has made its headquarters around Detroit for the past two months.  One of their tenets was described as free love.

On 29 Sep 1899, the four men were arrested and charged with conspiracy in attempting to defraud a local man of his property.  Police located Theodore Bird and Theodore Williams at 13 Sixth Street in a basement of two rooms, the front being used by Bird and his wife, the rear by Williams, his wife and four children — one of whom had a foot cut off by a Detroit railway car a few weeks earlier.  On 30 Sep 1899, the men were arraigned and remanded to the Adrian jail after their failure to post $1,000 bail.

Theodore Bird seemed to be the speaker of the group.  He was tall, good looking, strong, and there burned in his eyes the light of a fanatic.  He denounced the government, which he declared to be the invention of satan.  He said that the charge of conspiracy was a lie of the devil and a cruel injustice.  It was hard to follow Bird in his arguments, as he would stop every moment or so and recite verses from the Bible, to every one of which Williams would respond, 'Bless the Lord'.

During the trial of the four disciples, it was reported that The woman now living with Bird was Williams' legal wife, and the woman whom Williams was living with was a sister.  They felt at liberty to obey the dictates of their own conscience, in preference to the civil law.

On 11 Nov 1899, the four men were convicted of obtaining money under false pretense and conspiracy.  Bird, Williams, and Ray were sentenced to four years at Ionia prison, while Lawrence got 3½ years there.  Theodore Bird appeared a trifle depressed in spirits and sat in one corner of his cell, his head burried in his hands.  He was a large man with a bushy beard of reddish tinge, and wore a dark brown suit and black and white striped shirt.  He was the orator of the group, and is a fluent talker.

Theodore remained in Ionia prison for four years and was released on 14 Nov 1903.  He had a fair complexion, brown hair, deep skyblue eyes, medium moustache, short square chin, weighed 164 pounds, was 5' 11" tall, and did not chew.
Time of Birth}   Time of Death}   Fraternal/Social}  
Baptism Date}   Place}  
Confirm. Date}   Photo} None  
Immigr'n Date} N/A Port} N/A
Education: Grade}                    or Top 2 Degrees}  
Military: Service}                     for the State of}  
Health Condition}  
 Cause of Death}  
Last Updated
by} Dan Hancock
Date Updated}   8 Feb 2013
Date Created}    7 Dec 1996
Copyright © 2004, 2010, 2013 by Daniel W. Hancock.  All Rights Reserved.

Home Page Home Page View Family Tree Tree Next Page Next Page