Edward D. Jones
Jones was born in St. Louis on July 29, 1893. His mother, Georgia, died shortly after his birth. His father, Eli, worked in Central and South America. Jones lived with various family members for a large part of his childhood because his father was away working. The family moved often. He spent his early years in Chattanooga, Panama, before graduating from Bellefontaine High School in Bellefontaine, Ohio, in 1913 and from New York University in 1916.
He served two and a half years in the U.S. Navy during World War I, then launched his financial-services career as a bond salesman for N. W. Halsy & Company in New York City with a single building, the Woolworth Building, as his first territory.
Later, as a field representative for New York-based Blair & Co., Edward Jones moved to Ohio, then to St. Louis, where he left the company because of a dispute about his proceeds from a sale.
In 1922, he founded Edward D. Jones & Co. in St. Louis.
In 1923, Jones married Ursula Griesedieck. They had four children, Ann, David, who died as a child, Martha and Edward D. "Ted" Jones. His marriage to Ursula brought him more than marital responsibilities. The Griesedieck family owned breweries, and Ursula's branch of the family tree produced Stag Beer. Before the ratification of the 21st Amendment, repealing prohibition, Jones persuaded the family to take the company's stock public. When his father-in-law died around 1945, Jones was named president and chairman of the board of the company. He divided his days, working at Edward D. Jones & Co. in the morning and at Griesedieck in the afternoon. He sold Stag Beer's assets in 1954.
Jones turned over the management of the Edward D. Jones & Co. to his son, Ted, in 1968, but he continued to insist on being the first person in the office every day until his death in 1982 at the age of 89. At that time, Edward D. Jones & Co. had grown to 495 branches in 33 states.