John Burr Gould (1792-1866)

John Burr Gould, of Roxbury, Delaware County, New York

Associated Houses

Gould Homestead

Roxbury

He was born at the Gould Homestead in the same year that his father leased the "unproductive" 150-acre dairy farm, two miles from what would become the hamlet of Roxbury in the Catskills. John was, described as, "a complicated and tragic figure". He was a first cousin of Captain Abraham Jennings and he was very aware that he was descended from several notable figures in Connecticut, just as he was very aware that both he and his father had fallen rather short of the pail. He inherited his father's dairy farm in 1823 and four years later married a well-to-do wife, Mary More, who moved into his 5-bedroom homestead. Their only son together, Jay Gould, was a sickly boy who was not suited to farm life but grew up to be one of the richest - and most reviled - men in America. After the deaths of his three wives in quick succession, his two sons were predominantly brought up by their sisters. In 1851, John swapped the farm for a house that came with a tin/metal/stove business in Roxbury, in which he was no more successful. He died at Roxbury, by which time Jay was a millionaire in New York.
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 26/09/2018 and last updated on 31/10/2020.
Dark Genius of Wall Street: The Misunderstood Life of Jay Gould, King of the Robber Barons (2008), by Edward J. Renehan Jr.