Charles Henry Dow Charles Henry Dow, co-founder of Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and creator of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, was born in Sterling, CT, November 6, 1851. Little is known of Mr. Dow's early childhood. He left his family's farm when he was quite young, holding a variety of jobs before beginning his journalism career at age 21 as a reporter with the Springfield, MA Daily Republican. He became an assistant editor shortly thereafter. In 1875 Mr. Dow left Springfield to join the Providence (R.I.) Morning Star and Evening Press. It was there that he met Edward Jones, although it would be several years before Dow Jones & Company, Inc. was formed. In 1877 Mr. Dow moved to the Providence Journal, where he got his initial exposure to financial journalism. He filed a series of reports from Colorado examining the impact of gold and silver discoveries on the West. Mr. Dow relocated to New York City in 1879 and later joined the Kiernan News Agency, a firm that delivered handwritten news to banks and brokerage houses. By coincidence, Mr. Jones had also left the Providence Star for the Kiernan Agency. In November 1882, Messrs. Dow and Jones left Kiernan to form Dow Jones & Company. Their first office was at 15 Wall Street, adjacent to the stock exchange. With the assistance of Charles M. Bergstresser, another former employee of Kiernan who later became a Dow Jones partner, news was gathered, handwritten and rushed by messenger boys throughout the financial district. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, comprised of 12 ‘smokestack’ companies, made its debut May 26, 1896. Twelve years earlier, Mr. Dow's initial stock average, containing 11 stocks (nine of which were railroad issues) appeared in Customer's Afternoon Letter, a daily two-page financial news bulletin that was the precursor of The Wall Street Journal. The first edition of The Wall Street Journal appeared July 8, 1889. Mr. Dow was editor. He maintained an active role in Dow Jones and the Journal, frequently writing editorials, until 1902, when failing health led him to sell the company to Clarence W. Barron, whose descendants continue to have a controlling interest in it. Mr. Dow died in his Brooklyn home Dec. 4, 1902. Survivors included wife, Lucy, whom he married in 1881, and a stepdaughter.
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