Charles Dow and Edward Jones met when both worked for the Providence RI Journal. In 1879, they moved to New York to work for John Kiernan’s News Agency, which was the only financial news service in the country at the time.
Kiernan had been in business for a decade by then and amassed quite a fortune. But when Dow and Jones arrived, Kiernan was just beginning to think about a political career and concentrating on his business less and less.
Charles Bergstresser was already working at Kiernan when they arrived. Bergstresser didn’t feel like Kiernan treated him fairly. In 1882 he convinced Dow and Jones to leave Kiernan and found their own financial news agency. It couldn’t have happened without Bergstresser.
“Buggy,” as they called him, was the most important partner. He was a great reporter. Edward Jones said that he could “get a wooden Indian to talk and tell the truth.” He showed star quality early in his career by landing an interview with J. Pierpont Morgan.
He was also an innovator. In those days, the news agency delivered bulletins to their clients on handwritten sheets, called “flimsies.” Bergstresser invented a way to hand-write 35 copies at a time. In 1889, he was the one to name their new newspaper “The Wall Street Journal.”
Perhaps most important, Bergstresser was the partner with the money. We don’t know why his name didn’t appear in the firm name. Perhaps he thought he would be a more effective reporter that way. We know that the three partners considered “Dow, Jones, and Bergstresser” and “Berger, Dow, and Jones.” We don’t know why or how they chose the name they did.
We do know that Dow Jones, and the Wall Street Journal as we know them would not have happened without a third, silent partner, Charles Bergstresser.
Think About This
Charles Bergstresser was one of the founders of Dow Jones.
Charles Bergstresser left his previous employer to found Dow Jones because he thought he was not treated fairly.
Charles Bergstresser used his savings to fund Dow Jones.
Charles Bergstresser was a star reporter.
Charles Bergstresser was an innovator.
We don’t know why Charles Bergstresser chose to be a silent partner at Dow Jones.