Clarence Barron once wrote, “The market’s symbol of optimism, the bull, was adopted to represent J.P. Morgan, whose body, voice, and temperament are very bull-like, indeed.”
Morgan was Barron’s idol, and he likened himself to Morgan’s bull-like personality. In 1902, when Barron purchased the “Wall Street Journal” from Dow, he had already achieved financial success. Two years earlier, he had married Jessie Waldron, and to demonstrate their new family status and his business success, the Barrons purchased a mansion in Boston’s exclusive Back Bay section. The mansion boasted twenty-six rooms, eighteen telephones, a library, an elevator, and a staff of twelve servants.
Barron had also recently fallen in love with sailing. He purchased the ninety-seven foot yacht, the “Hourless”, and sailed it throughout the Northeast. Barron was obsessive in nature, and his new obsession was sailing. At five feet, five inches, and somewhere around 350 pounds, he dressed in a commodore’s uniform of gold-braided blue blazer, white trousers, and captain’s hat. It is said that he would stand on the bridge and exhort his crew of eighteen, driving them to more exacting service.
At first, Barron was not too interested in the “Wall Street Journal.” He gave it to Jessie, his wife, to run, and he kept on sailing. Within a few years, Jesse would bring in her new son-in-law, Hugh Bancroft,Jr., a lawyer and Bostonian, to help her run the “Journal”. That would be the beginning of “Wall Street Journal” lineage that almost a century later would involve me with a “Wall Street Journal” heiress and her husband.
I write of “Journal” history in my book: “Observer: The Ronnie Lee and Jackie Bancroft Spencer Morgan Story, a tale of people, greed, envy, manipulation — even crime”.
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