Skip to main content

Standard Oil Trust signed by John D. Rockefeller & Henry M. Flagler - 1880's dated Autograph Stock Certificate

Inv# AG1007   Stock
State(s): New York
Ohio
Years: 1880's
Color: Green and Black

Stock signed on the front by J.D. Rockefeller and H.M. Flagler. 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.

Very Rare! Portrait and biography included with stock.

John Davison Rockefeller Sr. (July 8, 1839 – May 23, 1937) was an American business magnate and philanthropist. He has been widely considered the wealthiest American of all time and the richest person in modern history. Rockefeller was born into a large family in upstate New York that moved several times before eventually settling in Cleveland, Ohio. He became an assistant bookkeeper at age 16 and went into several business partnerships beginning at age 20, concentrating his business on oil refining. Rockefeller founded the Standard Oil Company in 1870. He ran it until 1897 and remained its largest shareholder.

Rockefeller's wealth soared as kerosene and gasoline grew in importance, and he became the richest person in the country, controlling 90% of all oil in the United States at his peak. Oil was used throughout the country as a light source until the introduction of electricity, and as a fuel after the invention of the automobile. Furthermore, Rockefeller gained enormous influence over the railroad industry which transported his oil around the country. Standard Oil was the first great business trust in the United States. Rockefeller revolutionized the petroleum industry and, through corporate and technological innovations, was instrumental in both widely disseminating and drastically reducing the production cost of oil. His company and business practices came under criticism, particularly in the writings of author Ida Tarbell.

Henry Morrison Flagler (January 2, 1830 – May 20, 1913) was an American industrialist and a founder of Standard Oil, which was first based in Ohio. He was also a key figure in the development of the Atlantic coast of Florida and founder of the Florida East Coast Railway, much of which he built through convict leasing. He is known as the father of Miami and Palm Beach, Florida.

Flagler was born in Hopewell, New York, the son of Isaac Flagler, a Presbyterian minister and his wife, the widowed Elizabeth Caldwell (Morrison) Harkness. She had brought two sons to the marriage with Flagler from her previous marriage to the widower Dr. David Harkness of Milan, Ohio. His son by his first marriage, Stephen V. Harkness, became Elizabeth's stepson. Together David and Elizabeth had a son Daniel M. Harkness before his death. He was of paternal German descent from the Palatinate region. The immigrant ancestor was Zacharra Flegler who first settled in Walworth, England and then left for America arriving in New York in 1710 eventually settling in Dutchess County. It was a grandson Solomon Flagler, who first used the different spelling of the surname. Solomon had eleven children including Isaac, Henry's father.

Flagler attended local schools through eighth grade. His half-brother Daniel had left Hopewell to live and work with his paternal uncle Lamon G. Harkness, who had a store in Republic, Ohio. He recruited Henry Flagler to join him, and the youth went to Ohio at age 14, where he started work in 1844 at a salary of US$5 per month plus room and board. By 1849, Flagler was promoted to the sales staff at a salary of $40 per month. He later joined Daniel in a grain business started with his uncle Lamon in Bellevue, Ohio.

Standard Oil Trust

In response to state laws that had the result of limiting the scale of companies, Rockefeller and his associates developed innovative ways of organizing to effectively manage their fast-growing enterprise. On January 2, 1882, they combined their disparate companies, spread across dozens of states, under a single group of trustees. By a secret agreement, the existing 37 stockholders conveyed their shares "in trust" to nine trustees: John and William Rockefeller, Oliver H. Payne, Charles Pratt, Henry Flagler, John D. Archbold, William G. Warden, Jabez Bostwick, and Benjamin Brewster.

“Whereas some state legislatures imposed special taxes on out-of-state corporations doing business in their states, other legislatures forbade corporations in their state from holding the stock of companies based elsewhere. (Legislators established such restrictions in the hope that they would force successful companies to incorporate—and thus pay taxes—in their state.)”  Standard Oil's organizational concept proved so successful that other giant enterprises adopted this "trust" form.

By 1882, Rockefeller's top aide was John Dustin Archbold, whom he left in control after disengaging from business to concentrate on philanthropy after 1896. Other notable principals of the company include Henry Flagler, developer of the Florida East Coast Railway and resort cities, and Henry H. Rogers, who built the Virginian Railway.

In 1885, Standard Oil of Ohio moved its headquarters from Cleveland to its permanent headquarters at 26 Broadway in New York City. Concurrently, the trustees of Standard Oil of Ohio chartered the Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey (SOCNJ) to take advantage of New Jersey's more lenient corporate stock ownership laws. Read more at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_Oil#Standard_Oil_Trust

Read More

Read Less

Condition: Excellent

A stock certificate is issued by businesses, usually companies. A stock is part of the permanent finance of a business. Normally, they are never repaid, and the investor can recover his/her money only by selling to another investor. Most stocks, or also called shares, earn dividends, at the business's discretion, depending on how well it has traded. A stockholder or shareholder is a part-owner of the business that issued the stock certificates.

Item ordered may not be exact piece shown. All original and authentic.
Price: $4,130.00