Albert G. Rutherford was born in Watford, Ontario, Canada. He immigrated to the United States in 1883 with his parents, who settled in Carbondale, Pennsylvania. He attended Blair Academy in Blairstown, NJ, and the Scranton-Lackawanna Business College. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School at Philadelphia in 1904, where he became a member of the Delta Chi Fraternity.
He served as deputy prothonotary of Lackawanna County, PA, from 1907 to 1914. He moved to Honesdale, Pennsylvania, in 1918 and continued the practice of law. He enlisted in the Pennsylvania National Guard in 1904, and served as a lieutenant colonel of the Second Pennsylvania Reserve Militia in 1918.