Kenneth Craven Hogate · 1976
By Donna Neely
The man who later was to be called ‘Casey’ by presidents, governors, business leaders and a host of lesser folk that reacted exactly the same way in the warmth of his personality, was born in Danville, Indiana, on July 27, 1897. His father was Julian DePew Hogate, editor and owner of the Hendricks County Republican which he published for forty years. (1890-1931)
His mother, Etta Craven Hogate, had decided to name her son Kenneth Craven, because there was not a nickname derivative, so the story goes. But schoolmates turned K.C. in to “Casey” and it stuck.
Hogate was raised on a diet of printer’s ink and politics as he began his journalism career in his father’s shop. As a youth he was an agent for the Indianapolis News in Danville. He, reportedly, developed a greater circulation in proportion to the population than the News enjoyed in Indianapolis. He received his formal education in the Danville public school system, completing high school in 1914. During his senior year he won second place in the state oratorical contest.
Having lived and worked under his father’s influence made it seem only right that he should attend his father’s alma mater (1893) just twenty-five miles away. During his years at DePauw University, Hogate continued journalism pursuits as news editor of the daily student newspaper his sophomore year and editor-in-chief during his senior year. In addition to newspaper work, Hogate participated in yearbook, the YMCA cabinet, football, student council and debate. Summer vacations found him working at various small area newspapers.
While attending DePauw, he was selected for membership in two organizations which he was to remain active in the rest of his life, Sigma Chi and Sigma Delta Chi. Completing college in three and one-half years, Hogate was graduated in 1918, Phi Beta Kappa. At the time of his death, he held the highest scholastic honors on record at DePauw.
Upon graduation from DePauw, Hogate attempted to join the Army to serve during World War I. He was rejected because of his size (280 lbs.); so, he became connected with the Naval Reserve, but never saw active duty.
He worked a short time on the Vincennes Sun before making his debut in metropolitan news papering on the Cleveland Leader. Later, Hogate transferred to the Cleveland News only to find a still better advancement on the Detroit News as a reporter and copy reader.
It was at this time he married his college sweetheart, Anna Ruth Shields of Seymour, Indiana, on August 5, 1918. The young couple found housing in a Detroit duplex built by C.W. Barron, publisher of The Wall Street Journal. Hogate and Barron began a friendship which resulted in Hogate’s position as The Journal’s Detroit bureau chief. Barron was attracted to Hogate because of his “news” ability and a common realization they shared concerning the financial impact of the booming auto industry on Detroit. It was at this time Hogate decided to specialize in business and financial journalism.
Hogate began his bureau chief beat in 1921. He became the managing editor in 1923 and moved at that time to Scarsdale, New York. In 1926 he was appointed vice president of The Journal which was followed by another promotion to general manager in 1928. He served as president of Dow Jones, Inc. from 1933-1945 at which time he became chairman of the board of that corporation.
At the time of his death, he was not only serving as chairman of the board of Dow Jones, Inc., but also president of Barron’s Publishing Company, president of Dow Jones and Co., Ltd. of Canada and headed the entire Dow Jones system of publications and wire services as president of the Financial Press Companies of America.
Hogate’s career overtaxed his strength to the extent he never recovered. The Hogates traveled to Palm Springs, California, in February of 1947 in hopes Casey could regain his strength. However, he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage which resulted in his death ten days later on February 11, 1947.
He was survived by his wife, three daughters, Mrs. Allan W. Ferrin, Scarsdale, New York; Mrs. Theodore S. Bacon, Amhurst, Massachusetts; and Mrs. Charles E. Murry, New York; a brother, Donald D. Hogate, Washington, D.C.; and a grandson, Kenneth Hogate Bacon.
Upon his death, the Indiana State Legislature passed the following resolution:
Whereas, it has come to the attention of the Indiana State Senate that Kenneth Hogate, a native Hoosier, who arose to the high position of honor as president of The Wall Street Journal and head of Dow Jones and Company, Inc. has recently passed away, and, Whereas, Mr. Hogate was a native Hoosier, being born and reared in Hendricks County and arose to the high position of trust and honor in the field of finance and Therefore, be it resolved that out of the respects for his great and many achievements, the Senate hereby laments the passing of a distinguished son, Kenneth Hogate and hereby authorize this resolution to be upon the Journal and that a copy be forwarded to his mother, Mrs. Julian Hogate, of Danville, Indiana.
“For nearly 26 years he pursued this specialty with almost unlimited enthusiasm and energy, achieving unquestioned leadership in a field which he himself greatly broadened and brought to maturity.” (The Wall Street Journal)
In the midst of his early days with The Journal, Hogate found time to serve as national president of the Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi from 1921-1922. He was also one of the founders of the Deadline Club.
Membership in the American Society of Newspaper Editors, National Press Club of Washington, D.C. and the American Newspaper Publishers Association gave him the opportunity to develop such programs as the seminar series for newspaper groups sponsored by the A.S.N.E. at Columbia University.
“To Hogate, Newsweek magazine at the time of his death attributed the financial rescue of The Journal. To the current crop of Journal men he is the man who saved it from the rocks of depression.” Hogate overhauled The Journal being responsible for the establishment of the paper’s West Coast operation.
He rose quickly through the ranks of The Journal beginning as Detroit bureau chief in 1921, advancing to the New York base of operations as managing editor in 1923 and was appointed vice president in 1926. His next step up the ladder came in 1928 with a promotion to general manager. He held that position until 1933 at which time he became president of Dow Jones, Inc. His career from 1933 until his death involved more than the parent company than just The Journal proper.
Hogate was the guiding hand of a publication influencing the opinions of considerable businessman antagonistic toward the New Deal. The conservative bent Hogate gave The Journal never changed at the professional level, but he, himself, became somewhat of a medium on the personal level between the two camps.
When Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President in 1932 Hogate immediately sent a note to all editorial personnel in the publications he directed. ‘Criticize the new President’s policies and his Administration whenever it seems proper, but never criticize him personally.’ (The Republican, 1968)
“The years during which he held a key position in his field included the great expansion and speculation of the 1920’s, then the panic of 1929 and the depression and reform era of the 1930’s. Here he stood in the forefront of those sponsoring reform….”
Hogate was inducted posthumously into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame in 1976.
Hogate was not only a journalistic giant, but contributed much to the lives of all he met and knew. Loyalty and service to others were keys to his life. Arthur F. Driscoll points this out in a memorial to Hogate:
He was at all times a loyal American. He was loyal to his family. He was loyal to his college…He was loyal to his church. He was loyal to his village. He was loyal to his friends…I happened to be Chairman of the Non-Partisan Committee in 1937 when Casey Hogate was drafted to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Village. Casey was then only 40 years of age, with a young and growing family; editor of an important New York daily newspaper, with many duties, cares and calls upon his time. I well remember when I approached him and told him that he had been drafted to serve as Trustee of the Village. He had but one answer: ‘If I’m drafted I must serve. This is my town, my home and if it is my turn to serve, then serve I will.’ And he did. He never hesitated nor offered an excuse, nor questioned whether or not he had the time or the strength to do it.
Serving on the Board of Trustees from 1929-1941 at DePauw brought him back often to his home state. DePauw honored Hogate in 1941 as the first recipient of the Alumnus-of-the-Year Old Gold Goblet award. In 1968 DePauw honored his memory with the dedication of Hogate Hall, a $1.6 million women’s residence quarters.
He received an honorary doctor of laws from Atlanta Law School in 1939. As a Board of Grand Trustees member, he continued to serve his fraternity, Sigma Chi.
His community contributions were many. He joined the Town Club of Scarsdale, New York in May of 1925. From 1937-1941 Hogate was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Scarsdale. In 1941 he was elected mayor of the Village. Additionally, he served on the Board of Directors of the Scarsdale National Bank.
In 1937, Hogate was appointed to the Committee for the Study of the Organization and Administration of the New York Stock Exchange. Known as the Conway Committee, it recommended reforms which the Stock Exchange itself should make to meet the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington part way at a time when further governmental regulation seemed probable. Hogate became one of the chief draftsmen of the committee’s final report.
The work of Hogate and other committee members resulted in the first time election of a salaried full-time president for the Exchange. It also helped to broaden representation of both the public and regions outside New York on the governing committee. He was urged to have his name considered as a candidate for the presidency of the Exchange, but Hogate refused.
Hogate was also a member of the Bankers Club and Downtown Athletic Club of New York and the Columbia Club of Indianapolis. He held memberships in both the Methodist Church and St. James the Less Episcopal Church, Scarsdale, New York, where he served as Vestryman.