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George Jay Gould I
George Jay Gould I (February 6, 1864 – May 16, 1923) was a financier and the son of Jay Gould. He was himself a railroad executive, leading both the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad (DRGW) and the Western Pacific Railroad (WP).

Early life
George was born on February 6, 1864, the eldest son of Jay Gould (1836–1892) and Helen Day Miller (1838–1889). His father was a leading American railroad developer and speculator who has been referred to as one of the ruthless robber barons of the Gilded Age, whose success at business made him one of the richest men of his era.

Railroad management
Upon his father's death George inherited the Gould fortune and his father's railroad holdings, including the DRGW and the Missouri Pacific Railroad. While in charge of the DRGW at the turn of the 20th century, he sent surveyors and engineers through California's Feather River canyon to stake out a route for the railroad to reach San Francisco, California. Through legal wranglings led by E. H. Harriman, who at the time led both the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific Railroads, Gould was forced to set up third-party companies to manage the surveying and construction to disguise his role. The route that Gould's engineers built became the WP mainline.

In later years, the DRGW and WP would work together on trains that were passed off to each other in Salt Lake City, Utah, including the prestigious passenger train, the California Zephyr.

Gould transcontinental system
The Gould transcontinental system was a system of railroads assembled by George Jay Gould I and the Fuller Syndicate in the early 1900s. This was Gould's attempt to fulfill a goal of his late father, financier Jay Gould. Due to financial troubles following the Panic of 1907, the system was never completed as a fully transcontinental line.

At its peak the system stretched from San Francisco to Pittsburgh, and comprised the following railroads:

Western Pacific Railway
Rio Grande Western Railway
Denver and Rio Grande Railroad
Missouri Pacific Railway
Wabash Railroad
Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad
Wabash Pittsburgh Terminal Railway
(Gap between Pittsburgh and Connellsville, PA)
Western Maryland Railroad

Fuller Syndicate
The Fuller Syndicate was a group of American financiers that invested in railroads in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The group was organized by investor Edward Laton Fuller, President of the International Salt Company, and led by George Jay Gould I. Gould, the President of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad and the Missouri Pacific Railroad, had acquired control of several railroad companies in an attempt to build a transcontinental rail network c. 1900. Other members of the syndicate included Myron T. Herrick, former Governor of Ohio and U.S. Ambassador to France; Winslow S. Pierce, General Counsel of the Gould organization; Joseph Ramsey, Jr., president of the Wabash Railroad; and Alvin W. Krech, vice president of the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad.

The syndicate acquired control of the Western Maryland Railway and the West Virginia Central and Pittsburg Railway in 1902, and Ramsey became president of these companies in 1903. They acquired the George's Creek and Cumberland Railroad in 1907. Following the Panic of 1907, Gould and the syndicate became financially overextended in 1908 and the railroads entered receivership.

Personal life
He married Edith Mary Kingdon (1864–1921), a stage actress, and had the following children:

Kingdon Gould, Sr. (1887–1945) who married Annunziata Camilla Maria Lucci (1890–1961).
Jay Gould II (1888–1935) who was a tennis player and who married Anne Douglass Graham, a descendant of Hawaiian royalty.
Marjorie Gould (1891–1955) who married Anthony Joseph Drexel II, grandson of Anthony Joseph Drexel through Anthony Joseph Drexel, Jr.
Helen Vivien Gould (1893–1931) who married John Graham Hope DeLaPoer Horsley Beresford, 5th Baron Decies (1866–1945).
George Jay Gould II (1896-1963) who married Laura Carter.
Edith Catherine Gould (1901–1937) who married Carroll Livingston Wainwright I (1899–1967; their son was Stuyvesant Wainwright) and after a divorce married Sir Hector Murray MacNeal.
Gloria Gould (1906–1943) who married Henry A. Bishop II, and after a divorce married Walter McFarlane Barker.

George Gould also had a mistress, Guinevere Jeanne Sinclair (1885-1978), and had the following children with her:

George Sinclair Gould (1915-2003)
Jane Sinclair Gould (1916-1948)
Guinevere Gould (1922-1968)

After the death of his first wife, Edith Kingdon Gould in November 1921, George Gould married Guinevere Jeanne Sinclair on May 1, 1922. Then with the three children in tow, they moved to England.

Death and burial
He died of pneumonia on May 16, 1923, on the French Riviera after contracting a fever in Egypt where he visited the tomb of Tutankhamen, which the press attributed to the "Curse of King Tut's Tomb". He was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in New York. His estate was valued at $15,054,627 but after debts were paid it was worth $5,175,590 in 1933 dollars.

Gould's estate in Lakewood Township, New Jersey is now the site of Georgian Court University.


1864 Birth of George Jay Gould on February 6
1880 US Census with George Jay Gould in Greenburgh, New York
1884 (circa) marriage to Edith M. Kingdon
1900 US Census with George Jay Gould in Lakewood, New Jersey
1921 Death of Edith M. Kingdon, his wife
1922 Marriage to Guinevere Jeanne Sinclair, his mistress
1923 Death of George Jay Gould on the French Riviera, May 16

George Jay Gould I Overview
Born: February 6, 1864
Died: May 16, 1923 (aged 59)
Location of death: French Riviera
Spouses: Edith Kingdon (m. 1885; her death 1921)
Guinevere Jeanne Sinclair (m. 1922; his death 1923)

Helen Vivien Gould
Kingdon Gould I
Jay Gould II
Marjorie Gould
George Jay Gould II
Gloria Gould
Edith Catherine Gould
George Sinclair Gould
Jane Sinclair Gould
Guinevere Gould
Jay Gould
Helen Day Miller
Edwin Gould I (brother)
Helen Miller Gould (sister)
Anna Gould (sister)
Frank Jay Gould (brother)
Howard Gould (brother)

See also:

Jay Gould

Denver & Rio Grande Western

Western Pacific

Famous Railroad Personalities

WP logo

George Jay Gould I

Library of Congress

Gould as depicted in Vanity Fair, September 1894. Gould had bought Vigilant, the winner of the previous year's America's Cup, and was racing it in England.

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Gould and his family at the wedding of his sister, Helen Miller Shepard in 1913.
Gould as depicted in Vanity Fair, September 1894. Gould had bought Vigilant, the winner of the previous year's America's Cup, and was racing it in England.

Gould and his family at the wedding of his sister, Helen Miller Shepard in 1913.

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