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Charles Henry Dow

Charles Henry Dow

(1851-1902) ~ Inducted 2006

Charles H. Dow and Edward D. Jones, were reporters, one for the Providence Journal and one for the Providence Morning Star and Evening Press.  The names of these former Rhode Island journalists are now synonymous with money and finance.

Charles Henry Dow (1851-1902) was born in Sterling, Connecticut on November 5, 1851 and began his career in journalism as a reporter in Springfield, Massachusetts.  In 1875 he joined the Providence Morning Star and Evening Press where he met Edward Jones, a Brown University dropout who had also entered the world of reporting.

Dow was first exposed to financial journalism when he got a job at the larger Providence Journal filing reports on gold and silver discoveries in the West known as his “Leadville Letters.”  Dow also wrote a pamphlet on the history of steam navigation between Providence and New York as well as a sprightly history of nineteenth century Newport.

In 1879 he moved to New York City and began working at the Kiernan News Agency, a firm that delivered handwritten news to banks and brokerage houses.  Edward Jones also got a job at Kiernan and in 1882 they both left and formed the Dow Jones Company.

The Dow Jones Company published a daily two page financial news bulletin and when the editors expanded their creation, it became known as The Wall Street Journal.   The first edition of this innovative paper appeared on July 8, 1889.

Charles Dow died in Brooklyn, New York on December 4, 1902.  Survivors included his wife Lucy, whom he married in 1881, and a stepdaughter.

Edward Davis Jones (1855-1920 ) was born in Worcester, Massachusetts and from a young age was known as someone who could read and understand financial reports better than anyone.  Working in Providence after his short tenure at Brown University, Jones was recruited by his former colleague Dow to work at Kiernan, and, by 1882, Jones was the more visible partner at Dow Jones.

Described as hot tempered, the red mustachioed 6-footer Jones dealt with the messengers in his office and wrote and edited bulletins.  He also took on an aura of calm and command during times of crisis.  A growing incompatibility with Charles Dow prompted Jones to leave the firm in 1899.   He then worked on Wall Street in the brokerage business until his death at 65 in 1920.

The self-imposed rules established by Dow and Jones were for employees to exude  integrity, accuracy, and trust--rules that apply to any reporter who gets it right.  Their Wall Street Journal became the world’s most vital newspaper for business and financial news and information.

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