Standard Oil Trust signed by H.H. Rogers, John D. Archbold, W.H. Tilford and transferred to J.D. Rockefeller - Stock CertificateInv# AG1918 Stock
Stock signed by John D. Archbold as secretary, W.H. Tilford as attorney, H.H. Rogers on back and transferred to J.D. Rockefeller. Printed by International Bank Note Co., N.Y. Portraits available upon request.
John Dustin Archbold (1848-1916) Capitalist. Speculator in Pennsylvania oil fields, 1866. When the South Improvement Co., whose membership included John D. Rockefeller, blocked the advance of Pennsylvania oil producers by obtaining railroad freight rebates, Archbold united the leading men of the Titusville region and defeated this strong Cleveland group. He then joined the Cleveland combination in working out a national organization to control the oil industry. John Dustin Archbold was a key executive in the growth and success of the Standard Oil Company. He became a Director of Standard Oil of Ohio Company in 1875 and by 1897 was functionally in charge of the company. As president (1896-1911) of Standard Oil Company of New Jersey (founded 1882) he was largely instrumental in building up that corporation’s business. From 1882 until his death he was dominant in Standard Oil Company policy, acted as spokesman for the company, and improved the product and it’s distribution. Over 30 years (1893-1914) he contributed funds (nearly $6,000,000) for 8 buildings at Syracuse University, including the full cost of the Archbold stadium (opened 1907, demolished 1972), Sims Hall (men's dormitory, 1907), the Archbold gymnasium (1909, nearly destroyed by fire in 1947 but still in use), and the oval athletic field. A bequest from his estate gave an additional $500,000 to the university. Among his other charities was the New York Kindergarten Association, for which he built its headquarters building, in memory of his deceased daughter, Frances Dana Wolcott, and for which he also provided an endowment fund of $100,000. His grandson, Richard Archbold, founded the Archbold Biological Station in 1941 In 1911, at the dissolution of the original company, he became president of Standard Oil of New Jersey.
Wesley H. Tilford (1850-1909) Wesley Hunt Tilford was born in Lexington, Kentucky, on July 14, 1850. He went to Columbia College where he studied for a couple of years, but the call of business was too strong to allow him to wait for his bachelor's degree. Attracted by the prospects of petroleum, Wesley gave up his college course, and entered as a clerk in the firm of his brother, Bostwick & Tilford, then doing business in Pearl Street. When the firm dissolved the two brothers joined in a partnership of their own under the title of John B. Tilford Jr. & Co., which did well from the start and continued to prosper until, at the period of the Eastern oil amalgamations, a substantial offer from the Standard Oil Company induced them to cast their fortunes with that vigorous organization. As has been said, those were busy formative times in the oil business, and the new recruit proved his mettle by the splendid success of his visit to the Pacific slope in 1878. He there organized the oil trade in California, Oregon, Colorado and the surrounding States. On his return to the East he was welcomed to a high place in the home office, taking charge of the vast transportation problem with vigor and effectiveness. And so, strong in the esteem and confidence of all his co-workers, he continued to the end. Tilford, one of the Vice Presidents of the Standard Oil Company, left behind him a notable record of over thirty years in the service of the Company and of some years before that in a petroleum business with which his family was connected. ln his time he had passed through all grades of the merchandising of petroleum, filling post after post with loyalty, credit and acumen. For nine years before his elevation to the Vice Presidency in 1908, he had filled the office of Treasurer of the Standard Oil Company, and from 1892 onward he had been a Director. Despite this long and prominent career, few outside the oil business knew him, so unobtrusive was he by nature. He was a man of few words but of great grasp of affairs, particularly strong in organizing qualities, and gifted with fine and accurate judgment. ln addition he was a man of wide information and varied reading. He was courtly, kind-hearted and charitable. Ordinary qualities sharpened by business experience may carry a man safely through the details of an established business easily filling its place in the commercial economy; but to win and retain a leading place in a business ever growing, ever reaching out, ever conquering new worlds and gaining and holding new markets, called for qualities far beyond the ordinary, and it is the testimony of his associates that he always deserved his promotions. This is high praise from men themselves the peers of the giants of business in all ages and all times.
Henry Huttleston Rogers (1840-1909) Henry Huttleston Rogers 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.
John Davison Rockefeller (1839-1937) Founder and one of the original partners of Standard Oil; Oil industry pioneer; Capitalist. At one time reputedly the world's richest man, Rockefeller began his career in Cleveland, Ohio as a successful merchant, prior to the Civil War. In 1863, he and his partners built a refinery which grew into a business that eventually absorbed many other Cleveland refineries and expanded into Pennsylvania oil fields to become the world's largest refining concern. During this time, he was able to expand his operations while others were failing due the talented people with whom he had surrounded himself, to the efficiency of his operations, and to a variety of what are now considered unscrupulous business practices for which he became famous. In 1870, Rockefeller organized the Standard Oil Company of Ohio in order to improve the efficiency with which his operations were being run. In 1882, in part to streamline operations, and in part to avoid state controls, Rockefeller took a step which had a profound significance for American business by creating the Standard Oil Trust. Under this arrangement, a board of trustees took the stock of both the Standard Oil Company of Ohio and of all of its subsidiaries, and ran the combination through the board's executive committee. By this time, public criticism of Rockefeller and his methods was running at near-fever pitch and, in 1892, the Trust was dissolved by the Ohio Supreme Court. The Trust was divided into some 18-later over 30-corporations before being folded into another holding company, Standard Oil of New Jersey (1899). In 1911, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered this latter company dissolved, declaring that it was "a monopoly in restraint of trade," and thus illegal under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. By this time Rockefeller had almost completely removed himself from business concerns, and was concentrating solely on his philanthropic projects. While the extent of his philanthropies are too numerous to list, among the most prominent are his founding of the University of Chicago (1889), the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (1901), the General Education Board (1902) and the Rockefeller Foundation (1913). It is estimated that Rockefeller gave away some $550 million during his lifetime.
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