Biography of Jay Gould
Celebrated Americans





JAY GOULD, one of the greatest financiers that the world has ever produced was born May 27, 1836, at Roxbury, Delaware county, New York. He spent his early years on his father's farm and at the age of fourteen entered Hobart Academy, New York, and kept books for the village blacksmith. He acquired a taste for mathematics and surveying and on leaving school found employment in making the surveyor's map of Ulster county. He surveyed very extensively in the state and accumulated five thousand dollars as the fruits of his labor. He was then stricken with typhoid fever but recovered and mace the acquaintance of one Zadock Pratt, who sent him into the western part of the state to locate a site for a tannery. He chose a fine hemlock grote, built a sawmill and blacksmith shop and was soon doing a large lumber business with Mr. Pratt. Mr. Gould soon secured control of the entire plant, which he sold out just before the panic of 1857 and in this year he became the largest stockholderin the Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, bank. Shortly after the crisis he bought the bonds of the Rutland & Washington Railroad at ten cents on the dollar, and put all his money into railroad securities. For a long time he conducted this road which he consolidated with the Rensselaer & Saratoga Railroad. In 1859 he removed to New York and became a heavy investor in Erie Railroad stocks, entered that company and was president until its reorganization in 1872. In December, 1880, Mr. Gould was in control of ten thousand miles of railroad. In 1887 he purchased the controlling interest in the St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad Co., and was a joint owner with the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Co. of the Western portion of the Southern Pacific line. Other lines soon came under his control, aggregating thousand of miles, and he soon was recognized as one of the world's greatest railroad magnates. He continued to hold his place as one of the master financiers of the century until the time of his death which occurred December 2, 1892.


FROM:
A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.


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