Jack Speiden

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John G. F. "Jack" Speiden (March 4, 1900 − July 30, 1970) was an American stockbroker and ranch owner. Speiden fought in both World Wars, attended Yale and received a letter for football while playing on the hockey team, taught in China, worked on Wall Street, and bought a ranch. [1] He ran for Congress for the 2nd District of Arizona in 1956 [2] and 1958, [3] defeated by Stewart Udall both times. Charlie Ohrel, who inherited most of the information about Speiden, after his death, summed up his life with a humorous understatement; "He sure did give it a good shot." Speiden's ranch, the Jay Six Ranch, left a legacy of its own. The ranch played host to political figures like the young brothers Joseph & John Kennedy, and to senior statesman Barry Goldwater. The Kennedy brothers (Joe age 21 and John age 19) were sent out to the 40,000 acres (160 km2) Jay Six Ranch in 1936 so that Jack Kennedy could recuperate in the dry desert heat. It is reported that Speiden worked them both "very hard".

Stockbroker professional who buys and sells shares and other securities for both retail and institutional clients

A stockbroker, share broker, registered representative, trading representative, or more broadly, an investment broker, investment adviser, financial adviser, wealth manager, or investment professional is a regulated broker, broker-dealer, or Registered Investment Adviser who may provide financial advisory and investment management services and execute transactions such as the purchase or sale of stocks and other investments to financial market participants in return for a commission, markup, or fee, which could be based on a flat rate, percentage of assets, or hourly rate. Examples of professional designations held by individuals in this field, which affects the types of investments they are permitted to sell and the services they provide include Chartered Financial Consultants, Certified Financial Planners or Chartered Financial Analysts, Chartered Strategic Wealth Professionals, Chartered Financial Planners, and Master of Business Administration. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) provides an online tool designed to help understand professional designations in the United States.

American football Team field sport

American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, which is the team controlling the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the defense, which is the team without control of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and aims to take control of the ball for themselves. The offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs, or plays, and otherwise they turn over the football to the defense; if the offense succeeds in advancing ten yards or more, they are given a new set of four downs. Points are primarily scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.

Hockey is a sport in which two teams play against each other by trying to manoeuvre a ball or a puck into the opponent's goal using a hockey stick. There are many types of hockey such as bandy, field hockey, and ice hockey.

Early life

At sixteen, Speiden joined an American volunteer ambulance unit headed for France in World War I. The United States entered the war a year later in 1917. Speiden, already in France, promptly joined the Marines and was returned to the States to train at Parris Island, South Carolina, then back to France with the 2nd Division. When the war ended, Speiden entered Yale University. He played on the hockey team and received his letter as a fullback on the football team. After graduation, he still craved adventure, so he went to China with a Yale group. He taught English and economics at Changsha, deep in the interior of Hunan Province. He remained there for a year and spent the next year visiting Java, India, Malaya, Singapore, and Burma with fellow Yale alumni Ward Cheney and Stanley Woodward. During these travels he went hunding along with two American friends of his with the Nawab of Bhopal, quite probably Hamidullah Khan [4] After returning to the United States in 1924, Speiden embarked on a successful Wall Street career. That career came to an end with the depression and Wall Street crash of 1929. After a trip down to Honduras that same year, he caught a mysterious virus and was told to head west to the dry heat until his ailment was cured.

United States Marine Corps Amphibious warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines or U.S. Marines, is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for conducting expeditionary and amphibious operations with the United States Navy as well as the Army and Air Force. The U.S. Marine Corps is one of the four armed service branches in the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States.

Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island military base

Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island is an 8,095-acre (32.76 km2) military installation located within Port Royal, South Carolina, approximately 5 miles (8.0 km) south of Beaufort, the community that is typically associated with the installation. MCRD Parris Island is used for the training of enlisted Marines. Male recruits living east of the Mississippi River and female recruits from all over the United States report here to receive their initial training. Male recruits living west of the Mississippi River receive their training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California, but may train at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island by special request.

South Carolina State of the United States of America

South Carolina is a state in the Southeastern United States and the easternmost of the Deep South. It is bordered to the north by North Carolina, to the southeast by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the southwest by Georgia across the Savannah River.

Life in the West

Speiden recovered from the virus in twelve months. A chance meeting with Arthur Brisbane, the famous Hearst newspaper editor, in the spring of 1933, convinced him that he should make the American west his home. Brisbane told young Speiden that the country was rounding out the bottom of a business cycle and the smart thing to do was to invest in land commodities. Speiden took the advice which subsequently proved sound.

Arthur Brisbane American newspaper editor

Arthur Brisbane was one of the best known American newspaper editors of the 20th century as well as a real estate investor. He was also a speech writer, orator, and public relations professional who coached many famous businesspeople of his time in the field of public relations, particularly Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and John D. Rockefeller.

His boyhood had been spent in the back country of New Jersey and he had learned to ride almost before he could walk. The cattle business seemed natural enough, but he thought it best to break in gradually. He acquired a small registered herd of 60 cows which, with the aid of one cowboy, he ran as part of the 76 Ranch in Cochise County. He concurrently embarked on course of self-education. Speiden read every available book on animal husbandry and was greatly helped by the excellent Animal Husbandry Department of the University of Arizona. After several years of solid study along with practical experience, Speiden purchased what is now known as the Jay-Six Ranch near Benson, Arizona.

New Jersey State of the United States of America

New Jersey is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States. It is located on a peninsula, bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, particularly along the extent of the length of New York City on its western edge; on the east, southeast, and south by the Atlantic Ocean; on the west by the Delaware River and Pennsylvania; and on the southwest by the Delaware Bay and Delaware. New Jersey is the fourth-smallest state by area but the 11th-most populous, with 9 million residents as of 2017, and the most densely populated of the 50 U.S. states; its biggest city is Newark. New Jersey lies completely within the combined statistical areas of New York City and Philadelphia. New Jersey was the second-wealthiest U.S. state by median household income as of 2017.

Cochise County, Arizona County in the United States

Cochise County is located in the southeastern corner of the U.S. state of Arizona. The population was 131,346 at the 2010 census. The county seat is Bisbee.

Animal husbandry Management, selective breeding, and care of farm animals by humans

Animal husbandry is the branch of agriculture concerned with animals that are raised for meat, fibre, milk, eggs, or other products. It includes day-to-day care, selective breeding and the raising of livestock.

When Speiden took possession of the ranch it was carrying upwards of 1000 head. The initial problem was to thin-out the herd and leave only registered stock. It was a slow tedious process. He realized that it was of the utmost importance to bring in the best possible breeding stock so he acquired bulls which were direct descendants of well-known strains as Royal Domino 2nd, Royal Triumph and Anxiety 4th − names which spell top quality to those in the business. The policy of weeding out the undesirables proved effective. At the ranch's peak, he had one of the most representative herds in the country. His cows were raised strictly for breeding purposes and not for the show ring, although they could have undoubtedly held their own against some of the blue ribbon winners of the day.

When Speiden took on John F. Kennedy and his brother Joe he paid them a dollar a day. At that point Speiden had two other employees. [5]

Speiden's passion for the improvement of breed carried into the quarter horse field, but on a much smaller scale. Again the emphasis was on quality. Although the venture was largely a hobby, it was obvious that a great amount of time went into selecting the best possible bloodlines. The results were gratifying as the Speiden colors were often first at the finish line.

The layout of the ranch was perfectly suited to the improvement of the breed and to the conserve of the range. The huge area allowed the cattle to graze on healthy, knee-high grass. Each year during the growing season, several of the fourteen pastures remained unused which gave the new grass an opportunity of coming in good and strong. This method of keeping the grass so high was both aesthetically beautiful and practical, as soil erosion was kept to a minimum and no deep gullies marred the landscape. These gorgeous grassy pastures extended up the mountain slope. The tall pine trees and cooler temperatures made a perfect summer retreat from the exhausting sun. A freshening stream satisfied the water problem and irrigated a lush peach, pear, and apple orchard.

The ranch's beauty and isolation did not go without notice. People from around the nation came to the ranch for varied reasons. Many came to the ranch for enjoyment and relaxation. Included on the list was Barry Goldwater "to find relaxation, or to toughen up".

In 1969 a gala dinner was held honoring Speiden's 25 years of contributions to Arizona. [6]

Speiden was made a member of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and for a time was the head of the Arizona Hereford Association. [7]

World War II

Speiden rose to the rank of Lt. Colonel while in the service during World War II. He also received the Bronze Star. [7]

Political involvement

Speiden not only ran twice as a Republican for Congress, but he was Pima County Republican Chairman in 1958, 1960 and 1961. [7]


Speiden married Caroline Bayard Stevens. His daughter Leith was a child from his previous marriage to Rachel Hammond.


According to an obituary, printed in the New York Times on August 2, 1970, John G. F. Speiden ("Arizona Ranchman") died the previous Thursday, July 30, 1970. Age 70. Cause of death was listed as drowning in his swimming pool. The article states that Mr. Speiden drowned in his pool, at his home.

A July 31, 1970 article in the Tucson Daily Citizen remarked on the passing of Speiden, and carried a statement from Gov Jack Williams which read, in part, that "Mr Speiden (was) a gallant gentleman and a courageous soldier and citizen, who has been lost to Arizona and the world" The newspaper noted that "survivors include Caroline Stevens Speiden, a Leith Klauber of Montreal, two sisters Countess Eleanor Davico of Milan Italy and Dr Katherine Caddick of London England and a grand-son."


Much of the information provided by an article in Arizona Highways from October 1953, Charlie Ohrel, and Neil Simonson.

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  1. "Jack Speiden Seeks Office". Prescott Evening Courier. April 19, 1956. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  2. United States House of Representatives elections, 1956
  3. United States House of Representatives elections, 1958
  4. Contosta, David R. (1988). A Philadelphia Family: The Houstons and Woodwards of Chestnut Hill. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 142.
  5. O'Brien, Michael (2006). John F. Kennedy: A Biography. New York: Macmillan. pp. 78–79.
  6. 1969 Tucson Arizona Citizen article on Speiden
  7. 1 2 3 "JOHN G. F. SPEIDEN, ARIZONA RANCHMAN". New York Times. August 8, 1970. Retrieved February 18, 2017.