Leonard Walter Jerome

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Leonard Walter Jerome

Birthplace: Pompey, Onondaga County, New York, United States
Death: March 03, 1891 (73)
Brighton, The City of Brighton and Hove, UK
Place of Burial: Kings County, New York
Immediate Family:

Son of Capt. Issac Jerome and Aurora (Murray) Jerome
Husband of Clarissa Jerome
Father of Clarita "Clara" Frewen (Jerome); Jeanette Porch; Camille Jerome and Leonie Blanche Leslie
Brother of Allen Murray Jerome; Thomas Atwater Jerome; Addison Gardiner Jerome; Aaron Brainard Jerome; Mary Jerome and 6 others

Occupation: Industrialist, Financier, American Millionaire
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Leonard Walter Jerome

It has been stated in some writings that Leonard W. Jerome was one of the original proprietors, but that must be a mistake, for the directory of 1845, which was got out in August of that year, gives his name as an attorney, in partnership with his uncle Hiram K. Jerome, Lawrence R. Jerome, a younger brother, being a clerk in their office at that time. The paper was published at the outset by Josiah M. Patterson & Co., but the Jerome brothers, one after the other, went into the firm soon afterward and in a short time became the exclusive owners. ... The Jerome brothers also migrated thither and Leonard became prominent in the world of finance, of society and of sport, laying out the track that was named after him and doing much to promote the interests of horse-racing; his daughter became Lady Randolph Churchill, the mother of the Winston Churchill.

son of Isaac and Aurora Murray Jerome, husband of Catherine Hall. Leonard Jerome was heartbroken over the death of his favorite brother, Lawrence. the two had married sisters, lived in adjoining houses, made, lost and risked fortunes together; they were not only men of the same blood but of kindred natures. the new york times obituary said "the merriest spirit in all the world goes when Lawrence Jerome crosses the dark river."

from the book "jennie" by ralph g. martin


Leonard Walter Jerome is a Grandfather of Winston Churchill and his New England Ball Project is at the link:


Leonard Walter Jerome and Floyd Bliss Hanson are 6th Cousins 3 Times Removed.

Leonard Jerome was the son of Aurora Murray (1785 – 1867) and Isaac Jerome (1786 – 1866). Isaac was a descendant of Timothy Jerome, a French Huguenot immigrant who arrived in the New York Colony in 1717. Jerome was born on a farm in the Central New York town of Pompey, near Syracuse. He originally enrolled in Princeton University, then known as the College of New Jersey, as a member of the Class of 1839, before leaving for Union College, where he studied law and set up a practice in Rochester, New York. He later moved to New York City, where he became a stock speculator and promoter.

Career Jerome was a flamboyant and successful stock speculator. He made and lost several fortunes, and was known as "The King of Wall Street". He held interests in several railroad companies and was often a partner in the deals of Cornelius Vanderbilt. He was a patron of the arts, and founded the Academy of Music, one of New York City's earliest opera houses.

During the New York Draft Riots, Jerome defended the New York Times office building with a Gatling Gun. Although he had significant holdings in the Times, he was not the majority shareholder as is sometimes erroneously claimed.

The Jerome Mansion, on the corner of Madison Avenue and 26th Street, had a six-hundred-seat theatre, a breakfast room which seated seventy people, a ballroom of white and gold with champagne- and cologne-spouting fountains,and a view of Madison Square Park. It was later sold and housed a series of private clubs. The mansion was torn down in 1967.

Sporting activities Jerome was an avid sportsman. He enjoyed yachting with his friend, William K. Vanderbilt. They shared a special passion for thoroughbred horse racing and helped found the American Jockey Club.

In the late 1860s, Jerome was part of several hunting trips in the American West. These trips were guided by Buffalo Bill Cody.

In 1866, Jerome bought the estate and mansion of James Bathgate near Old Fordham Village in what was then rural Westchester County, but is now The Bronx. Jerome and financier August Belmont, Sr. built Jerome Park Racetrack on the Bathgate land; the first Belmont Stakes was held there in 1867. Jerome and his brother Lawrence had a wide boulevard made from Macombs Dam to the track, which city authorities attempted to name "Murphy Avenue" after a local politician. This incensed Jerome's wife so much that she had bronze plaques saying "Jerome Avenue" made up and bolted into place along the road, forcing the city to accept the name. The racetrack was acquired and demolished by the city in 1894, to make way for Jerome Park Reservoir. The Bathgate mansion served as a summer home for the Jerome family. In the early 1900s, the mansion was razed and replaced by the Kingsbridge Armory.

Jerome became a resident of Brooklyn. He, Vanderbilt, and other investors founded the Coney Island Jockey Club which in 1884 built the Sheepshead Bay Race Track.

Marriage and family Jerome married Clarissa Hall (1825–1895) in Palmyra, New York on 5 April 1849, and they had four daughters together. One daughter, Camille, died at age eight. The other three – Jeanette, Clarita, and Leonie – became known, in some quarters, as "the Good, the Witty and the Beautiful". Leonard Jerome's wealth afforded his daughters the opportunity to spend much time in Europe, where they associated with the aristocratic elite of the day. All three married British or Anglo-Irish husbands:

Lady Randolph Churchill (née Jeanette Jerome; known as Jennie) married Lord Randolph Churchill (1849–1895), younger son of the Duke of Marlborough, and was mother to Winston Churchill and John Strange Spencer-Churchill. Clarita Frewen (née Clarita Jerome), known as Clara, married Moreton Frewen (1853–1924), fifth son of Thomas Frewen MP, a charming spendthrift who ran up huge debts trying to operate a ranch in Wyoming, and through gambling, sports, and women. They had two sons, Hugh and Oswald, and one daughter Clare Sheridan. Leonie, Lady Leslie (née Leonie Jerome) married Sir John Leslie (1857–1944), an Irish baronet, whose family estates covered 70,000 acres. They had four sons. For many years, she maintained a liaison with Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn. Jerome was also rumored to be the father of the American opera singer Minnie Hauk. He also had an affair in the 1860s with Mrs. Pierre Lorillard Ronalds, then separated from her husband. Mrs. Ronalds later lived in London, where she remained a friend of Jerome's daughter Jennie.

Leonard Jerome died at the age of 73 in Brighton, England. He is buried in the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.

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Leonard Walter Jerome's Timeline

November 3, 1817
Pompey, Onondaga County, New York, United States
April 15, 1851
Age 33
Rochester, New York, USA
January 9, 1854
Age 36
Kings County, New York, United States
November 1855
Age 37
Kings County, New York, United States
August 15, 1859
Age 41
Paris, Île-de-France, France
March 3, 1891
Age 73
Brighton, The City of Brighton and Hove, UK
August 5, 1891
Age 73
Kings County, New York