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Nutting, John Danforth (1854-1949) | Archival Collections at Wheaton College

Name: Nutting, John Danforth (1854-1949)

Historical Note:

John Danforth Nutting was a 1878 graduate of Wheaton College and received an M.A. in 1881. He had a career as a preacher, lecturer, missionary, writer, editor, and publisher. He was born March 8, 1854 in Randolph Center, Vermont, the son of Rufus and Sarah Hubbard Nutting.

After attending Wheaton College Nutting attended Oberlin Theological Seminary and graduated in 1881. Nutting married Nannie Keith Miller (Oberlin, 1883) on  June 23, 1885. She died the following year while in childbirth. He later married Miss Lillis R. Morley of Mentor, Ohio (January 1, 1890).

He was ordained in 1885 and later pastored in Wauseon, Ohio (1886-1888), Newport, Kentucky (1888-1890), St. Louis, Missouri (1890-1892) and Plymouth Church in Salt Lake City, Utah (1892-98). After some years study of the work among the Mormons it seemed to him wise to copy their own missionary methods. In 1900 he returned to Ohio and organized the Utah Gospel Mission in Cleveland, Ohio, serving as its secretary until his death in Cleveland, Ohio on October 4, 1949. The mission would send out young men, two by two, who would go all through the regions occupied by Mormons, holding evangelistic meetings, visiting from house to house, and distributing literature. These missionaries would receive funds only sufficient to cover their actual expenses. This was deemed necessary because the Mormons themselves go out without salary. They traveled in large covered wagons in which they live. The results were very encouraging to Nutting. His aim is not so much to combat Mormonism directly, as to preach a pure gospel, which if received will displace error. The missionaries are welcomed and very often the Mormon halls and meeting places are opened for their preaching.


Nutting, John Keep. Nutting genealogy: A record of some of the descendants of John Nutting, of Groton, Mass. C. W. Bardeen, 1908.

The Book of Clevelanders, A Biographical Dictionary of Living Men of the City of Cleveland, Burrows Book Company, 1914

Note Author: Wheaton College Archives & Special Collections staff

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