New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Company issued to Henry H. Rogers - $1,000 BondInv# AG2230 Bond
Henry Huttleston Rogers (1840-1909) was born into a working-class family in Mattapoisett, Mass. He was the son of Rowland Rogers and Mary Eldredge Huttleston Rogers. Both parents had roots back to the pilgrims, who arrived in the 17th century aboard the Mayflower. His mother's family earlier had used the spelling "Huddleston" rather than "Huttleston," and Henry Rogers' name is often misspelled using this earlier version.
In 1861, 21-year-old Henry pooled his savings of approximately $600 with a friend, Charles P. Ellis. They set out to western Pennsylvania and its newly discovered oil fields. Borrowing another $600, the young partners began a small refinery at McClintocksville near Oil City. They named their new enterprise Wamsutta Oil Refinery.
In 1870, John D. Rockefeller formed Standard Oil Company of Ohio and started his strategy of buying up the competition and consolidating all oil refining under one company. It was during this period that the Pratt and Henry Rogers interests were brought into the fold. By 1878 Standard Oil held about 90% of the refining capacity in the United States.
In the early 1871-72, H. H. Rogers was working for Pratt and Company and other refiners became involved in a conflict with John D. Rockefeller, Samuel Andrews, and Henry M. Flagler and the infamous South Improvement Company. South Improvement was basically a scheme to obtain secret favorable net rates from Tom Scott of the Pennsylvania Railroad and other railroads through secret rebates. The unfairness of the scheme outraged many independent oil producers and owners of refineries far and new alike.
His final business achievement, working with partner William Nelson Page, was the building of the Virginian Railway from the coal fields of southern West Virginia to port near Norfolk at Sewell's Point, Virginia, in the harbor of Hampton Roads. For many years, it was labeled both an engineering marvel and the "richest little railroad in the world," forming part of today's rail network for Norfolk Southern.
While considered ruthless in business matters, Henry Rogers also had a much kinder and generous side. His hometown of Fairhaven, Massachusetts continues to enjoy his many infrastructure gifts. Rogers' late life friendships included such diverse persons as Mark Twain, Ida Tarbell, Helen Keller, and Booker T. Washington.
Rogers was a low-profile philanthropist with a widely hated public image as a robber baron. It was only after his death in 1909 that Dr. Washington felt he could publicly reveal that, over a period of more than 15 years, Henry Rogers had been funding over 65 small country schools and several larger institutions in the South for the betterment and education of African Americans. Dr. Washington not only credited Rogers with substantial aid and encouragement, but with instituting the then-innovative procedure of matching funds. Rogers felt that as well as extending the financial reach, their participation contributed to the beneficiaries' self-esteem and steps to self-sufficiency.
He was listed in a 1996 study as one of the 25 all-time most wealthy individuals in United States history.
A bond is a document of title for a loan. Bonds are issued, not only by businesses, but also by national, state or city governments, or other public bodies, or sometimes by individuals. Bonds are a loan to the company or other body. They are normally repayable within a stated period of time. Bonds earn interest at a fixed rate, which must usually be paid by the undertaking regardless of its financial results. A bondholder is a creditor of the undertaking.