A Genealogy of the Barnum, Barnam and Barnham Family

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A One-Name Study for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname

Notes for Jerome DeWitt BARNUM

From the National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 51, pp 623-624: Barnum, Jerome DeWitt, publisher, was born in Syracuse, N.Y., Sept. 20, 1888, son of Theron E. and Caroline (Sears) Barnum. After receiving his preliminary education at public schools in his native city, Jerome D. Barnum attended Cornell University in 1908-09. Meanwhile, in 1907 be began working as a reporter for the Syracuse Post-Standard. He became the paper's advertising manager and advanced to the post of business manager in 1912, the position in which he remained until 1916, the year be was named publisher of the paper, was elected treasurer, and became part owner. He published the newspaper until 1942, when it was sold and he retired. He was responsible for founding a Sunday edition of the Post-Standard in 1917. With nearly 55,000 papers sold daily in 1917, the paper had a daily circulation of some 75,000 in 1942, and by the latter year it had a Sunday circulation of more than 88,000. During the 1920's Barnum was also publisher of the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle. In addition to his newspaper work, he served as a director of the Syracuse Trust Co. (later the Marine Midland Trust Company of Central New York). Particularly active in public and professional affairs, in 1932 he was chairman of the National Council on Professional Education for journalism. In the same year he served as a member of the Winter Olympic Games Committee. From 1930 to 1965 he was a member of the Saratoga Springs (N.Y.) Commission, a body responsible for the activities of resort and racing facilities in Saratoga Springs. At one time he headed the New York State Citizens' Committee and at another time was a trustee of the Empire State School of Printing, Ithaca. Through his newspaper, Barnum was instrumental in bringing to Syracuse in 1935 the Annual American Bowling Congress Championship Tournament and in 1940 the Annual Women's International Bowling Congress. A personal friend of Richard E. Byrd, he supported the admiral's polar expeditions, and Barnum Peak in Antarctica was named in his honor. Barnum was active on behalf of the Finnish Relief Fund in 1939-40, and during the Second World War be served as chairman of the Office of Technical Information of the US Army Air Forces and as chairman of the Onondaga County Consolidated War Council. Active also on behalf of the Navy Relief Society, in 1942 he received the only certificate of commendation that was given by the society in the State of New York. Long a member of the American Newspaper Publishers Association, he served as president of that organization during 1935-37 and for thirty years was chairman of its postal committee. In the latter capacity be was instrumental in securing the extension of rural free delivery service to newspapers after the First World War. A life trustee of Clarkson College, that institution conferred an honorary D.Sc. degree upon him, and he was the recipient of an honorary M.A. degree from Syracuse University in 1921. He was a Iife member of the New York State Publishers Association (pres. 1928-31) and a member of Chi Psi, Phi Delta Phi, the University and New York clubs of New York City, and the Century and the Onondaga Golf and Country clubs of Syracuse. His religious affiliation was with Saint Paul's Episcopal Church, Syracuse, where he was a vestryman. Politically a Republican, he served in 1954 as chairman of arrangements for that party's convention in the State of New York. He was married in Syracuse, June 28, 1916, to Eleanor, daughter of Charles Mabie Crouse of that city, a capitalist, and had three children: Jerome DeWitt, Theron Crouse, and Lucia Jane, who married Oliver Slane Wilson. Jerome D. Barnum died in Syracuse, N.Y., Jan. 16, 1965.
From the New York Times, January 17, 1965: J. D. Barnum, 76, Publisher, Dies. Former Head of A.N.P.A. and Syracuse Post-Standard. Syracuse, Jan. 16 (AP) -- J. D. Barnum, former publisher of The Syracuse Post-Standard and president of the American Newspaper Publishers Association from 1935 to 1937, died today at his home after a short illness. He was 76, years Old.
Mr. Barnum was president of the New York State Publishers Association from 1928 to 1932.
He was a native of Syracuse and joined The Post-Standard as a reporter in 1907. Three years later he became manager He served as publisher from 1916 until 1942, retiring when the Newhouse newspaper group purchased The Post-Standard.
Mr. Barnum studied at Cornell University and was awarded several honorary degrees from New York state colleges He was chairman of the National Council on Professional Education for Journalism and a member of the 1932 Winter Olympic Games Committee.
Survivors include his widow, Mrs. Eleanor Crouse Barnum; a daughter, Mrs. Lucia B. Wilson of Milwaukee, and two sons, Jerome D. Barnum Jr. of Pasadena, Calif., and T. Crouse Barnum of Fayetteville.
Funeral arrangements are not complete.
Advocate of Press Freedom
As president of the American Newspaper Publishers Association, Mr. Barnum emphasized the importance of maintaining the freedom of the press.
"The refusal of the newspaper," he said in an address In 1936, "to be licensed or to conform to any code which did not preserve the constitutional guarantees of freedom will stand out in the history of journalism as a notable achievement for democracy."
"A press free from governmental restraint," he said in an address before the publishers association the following year, "Is essential to the maintenance of liberty in this country."
In the nineteen-twenties and nineteen-thirties, Mr. Barnum headed the postal committee of the publishers association and fought attempts to increase second class postal rates affecting the press.
Gave Annual Farm Dinners
For 30 years Mr. Barnum gave annual dinners In Syracuse at which New York state farm leaders heard the Governor and other officials discuss farm problems.
He served on the Saratoga Commission. which developed and guided the state spa, for 30 years.
Mr. Barnum was a supporter of the Antarctica Expedition of Rear Adm., Richard E. Byrd in the late nineteen-twenties, and Barnum Peak there was named in his honor.
In World War II he served as chairman of the Office of Technical Information of the Army Air Force and was active in stimulating the sale of Treasury bonds. He had also been chairman of the Onondaga County Consolidated War Council and active in the Navy Relief society.
From The New York Times, October 27, 1943. Barnum in Air Force Post.
Washington, Oct. 26 (AP)—Jerome D. Barnum, publisher of The Syracuse Post-Standard, was named today by the War Department as chief of the Office of Technical Information of the Army Air Forces. The office collects and distributes specialized information concerning the air forces, and acts in an advisory capacity to the commanding general and his staff on public relations policy.
From The Syracuse Post Standard (NY) of June 23, 1948: Mr. & Mrs. Jerome DeWitt Barnum have as guests, Mr. & Mrs. Jerome D. Barnum, Jr., and daughter, Serena Sears Barnum, and son, Jerome D. Barnum, 3d of San Marino, California; Mrs. Oliver Wilson of Chicago, Ill., Mr. & Mrs. Theron Crouse Barnum, Diana Barnum and Theron Crouse Barnum, Jr., of Ithaca.

From The Political Graveyard: Index of Politicians: Barnum, Jerome D. — of Syracuse, Onondaga County, N.Y. Republican. Delegate to New York state constitutional convention 38th District, 1938. Presumed deceased. Burial location unknown.

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