Showing posts from July, 2019

Francis I. duPont & Co. Genealogy: Part XVII

Walston & Co., Inc., Continued Death of the Founder (1964) Walston & Co., Inc. suffered a terrible blow on May 5, 1964, when its founder, Vernon Walston, committed suicide at his office at 72 Wall Street. On his way to work that morning, he had told his chauffeur, Gustav Puigdollers, that he was going to kill himself. When they got to the office, Puigdollers went to call Walston's wife. Walston was a big-game hunter and his office was full of trophies from his hunting trips and a double barreled shotgun. Walston went into his office, took the shotgun and shot himself through the mouth.
No note was left, but his associated noted that Walston has been looking "despondent" and speaking "incoherently." According to The New York Times, the day before Walston killed himself, he had a telephone interview with a Times reporter where, "speaking in an agitated voice, he expressed great dissatisfaction with the amount of stock the Walston firm was allocated …

Francis I. duPont & Co. Genealogy: Part XVIII

Walston & Co., Inc., Continued DuPont Walston (1973) Despite the positive prognosis of the firm's financials in 1964, the firm soon ran into difficult straits. In 1968, Glenn Miller had organized the common stock offering of Four Seasons Nursing Centers of America, "an Oklahoma-based corporation that built, leased and operated numerous nursing homes." When Four Seasons went bankrupt two years later, Miller and Gordon H. McCollum, another vice president and Four Seasons director, were indicted for fraud. They were charged in federal court for creating "fraudulently high earnings reports to dupe investors into paying artificially high stock prices for Four Seasons." The bankruptcy cost investors $200 million and was considered "One of the largest fraud cases ever uncovered." Miller and McCollum plead guilty in 1973.
Even though Walston & Co. was not named as a defendant in the fraud case, the Four Seasons debacle put the firm in a difficult pos…