A James W. Zachary Precis

There is a lively Facebook group (search for Friends of the Restoration) devoted to all things Stone-Campbell history.  In November the group’s moderator called to our attention the birth date of James W. Zachary.  My interest in him hinges on his being published by Jephthah Clayton McQuiddy and David Lipscomb.  Here are a few notes.


James William Zachary born 7 November 1866 at Liberty, Kentucky and died 4 April 1936 at Lawton, Oklahoma.

According to his page at Find A Grave, he never married.  Zachary is buried in Marlow, Stephens County, Oklahoma with his father and brother (and Daisy Zachary…sister in law?).

James was baptized in April 1886 by Jasper Johnson near Comanche, Texas, after hearing the preaching of Silas Scarborough.  In October 1886 he began preaching and by 1893 held forth in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee resulting in about 600 conversions.

In January 1890 he began studies at College of the Bible in Lexington, Kentucky.  When Witness of the Spirits was published in 1893 his biographical sketch in that volume seems to indicate he was near completion of a four-year course of study at CoB.  He was living in Lexington into the first decade of the 20th century.  From Lexington he published and lectured on behalf of prohibition.  He campaigned at least twice (1902 and 1906) on a prohibition ticket (and lost twice). He was, as one scan below indicates, manager of the Christian Reform Federation. See bio sketch in back of Witness of the Spirits for further details especially about his ancestry, most of whom were Methodist and Presbyterians.


Baptist Questions Answered. Lexington, Blue Grass Printing Co., 1900.

Christian and Baptist Questions

Christian Endeavor Questions

[with Thomas E. Watson], Faithfulness and Romanism. Nashville, Gospel Advocate Publishing Co., 1898.

Infidels Moore and Ingersoll Unmasked.  Nashville: Gospel Advocate, 1898. 103 p.

—–2d ed. Lexington, Richardson & Co., printers, 1903. 104 p.

Old Kentucky Whiskey. Lexington, Quarterly Christian. 60 p.

——-Lexington, Blue Grass Printing Co., 1900

——-25th thousand.  Rev. ed. Lexington, J. L. Richardson and Co., 1904.

Origin of Baptists and Christians.

Popular Fashions. n.p., n.d. 24 p.

Prohibition Songs.

Why I am not a Campbellite.

The Witness of the Spirits…Nashville, Gospel Advocate ptg. co., 1893. 2 v.

——- [2d ed.] Nashville, Gospel Advocate, 1893. [6] 7-257, 4p. front. (port.)

——- 11th thousand (revised ed.) [3d. ed.] Lexington, Ky., Blue Grass ptg. co., 1901, c1893. xvii, 11-263p. port.

——-reprint by Gospel Advocate Company, Nashville, 1954.

“The Witness of the Spirit” in J. J. Limerick, Gospel in Chart and Sermon. Cincinnati: John F. Rowe, 1897, pp. 74-86. port.

debate with W. H. Smith: Zachary-Smith Debate. Cincinnati: Christian Leader Print, 1900.

introduction to : Clark Braden, Ingersoll Unmnasked, A Scathing and Fearless Expose of His Real Life, [with an] Introduction by G. F. Hall and supplement by J. W. Zachary, first edition. Lexington, Blue Grass ptg. co., 1900. 121 p.  I presume Zachary’s material appeared in the 4th thousand also printed in 1900 by the same concern and in the some time (albeit after 1910) reprint by Christian Board of Publication of St. Louis.

He edited and published at least one periodical, the Quarterly Christian, out of Lexington, Kentucky in 1904.

See Claude E. Spencer, An Author Catalog of Disciples of Christ and Related Religious Groups. Canton, MO: Disciples of Christ Historical Society, 1946, pp. 366 and 34 and Claude E. Spencer, Periodicals of The Disciples of Christ and Related Religious Groups. Canton, MO: Disciples of Christ Historical Society, 1943, p. 117.  Cf. also worldcat.org entries.

17 entries in Christian Standard (hereafter CS) index; 6 in Christian-Evangelist (hereafter C-E) index, first of which appears to be a notice of a pamphlet titled “The Witness of the Spirits” (see C-E 1892:718).  Considering how he held John F. Rowe’s Christian Leader in high esteem (“brim full of Gospel” as indicated below) we might expect to find articles and notices of various kinds.  Considering how McQuiddy and Lipscomb published what amounts to his most enduring work, we might also find him here and there in the pages of Gospel Advocate.  In the absence of comprehensive indicies for either the Leader or the Advocate, we shall have to wait for some intrepid and utterly dedicated page-turning biographer or grad student, or both, to uncover him.  Claude Spencer knew of Zachary’s Quarterly Christian but provides no further information.  If that title can be nailed down then that will be a great boon just by itself.

In addition to the Zachary-Smith debate noted above, he met a Mr. Poling in polemical exchange; see Ira C. Moore, “Zachary-Poling debate” CS 15 September 1894, p. 918.  He was a disputant in the Drake Creek, Arkansas Zachary-Carlin debate; see L. Powell, “Zachary-Carlin debate” CS 3 November 1900, p. 1408 and Lucile Powell, “Zackary-Carlin debate.” C-E 1900:1367.  He engaged a Mr. Moore in debate; see “Zachary-Moore debate” C-E 1896:561.

Below are scans from my copy of Old Kentucky Whisky with scans of a promotional card uploaded to Zachary’s Find A Grave page.  The photo above is from J. J. Limerick’s Gospel in Chart and Sermon.


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