A 1903 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law, Jacob France was a prominent attorney and Baltimore banker. He was founding director of The Equitable Trust Company, chairing the board from 1929 until his death in 1962. In addition, he served as chairman of the board of Mid-Continent Petroleum Corporation from 1946 until 1955. Deeply interested in the Maryland Historical Society, he served as a member of its Board as well as vice president and chairman of the finance committee.
Jacob France acquired the Baltimore County property just after World War I. He called it “Hidden Waters” because of several subsurface springs from which flowing streamlets were created and dammed to produce three small waterfalls. One particular pond was stocked with trout which Mr. France, an avid fisherman and Dr. Merrick fed regularly with Uneeda biscuits.