April 6, 1914
CHURCH GUARDED TO FOIL JANE EST
Washington Heights M. E. Members Feared New Row at Service.
DR. PRICE VICTIM OF PLOT, FRIENDS SAY
Lay Trouble to Women Spurned by Pastor Recall Friction Over Choir Head.Fearing that Jane Est, the Industrial Workers of the World agitator, would repeat at the Washington Heights Methodist Episcopal Church the disturbance she created on Saturday at the trial of the church's rector, the Rev. Jacob E. Price, a detective was placed on guard yesterday morning before the service began.
The sleuth had nothing to do. If Miss Est was on hand she did not become active enough to excite attention, and the service went off as smoothly as had any of the others prior to the charges against the pastor by several women.
Combating the accusations against Mr. Price, two of the trustees of his church declared yesterday that the minister had really been "hounded" by the women, instead of forcing his attentions on them, and that the clergyman's refusal to give them encouragement so infuriated them that they decided to have vengeance by bringing charges against him.
The defence of Dr. Price was outlined yesterday for The Tribune by Walter Comfort, president of the board of trustees.
It will be shown, said Mr. Comfort that the charges were part of a plot to oust Dr. Price from the church in retaliation for his supposed instrumentality in bringing about the dropping of Charles Delmont as leading of the church choir.
As to the kissing charges themselves, he said, it would be shown that not only was Dr. Price innocent of even so much as indiscretions, but that whatever improper conduct had occurred had been in the form of advances made to Dr. Price by certain women, and that they had been repulsed. Piqued at this, he said their minds had been further worked upon by those interested in the spite plot against their minister, until they had been brought to twisted and exaggerated versions of what had really occurred.
"When the whole truth of the situation is placed before the trial court," said Mr. Comfort, "I do not think there will be any doubt that Mr. Price will be entirely exonerate. When these charges were first circulated, the board of trustees investigated them, and was almost unanimous in his favor. The only one who was not in his favor heard only one side of the gossip.