John D. Rockefeller And The Monopoly Of Standard Oil

By | April 26, 2019

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2/8/1924-Moravia, NY: The boyhood home of John D. Rockefeller, Near Moravia, is now being used as a domicile by convicts from Auburn Prison, NY, who are employed in repairing the "Rockefeller Highway." Source: (

John D. Rockefeller began his life much like any other average American of that day. But he did not remain just another average American. He began what became a very wealthy family fortune for not only him and his immediate family but those that would come after him.

Early Beginnings

He was born on July 8, 1839, in Richford, New York. His father, William Avery Rockefeller was a traveling physician and snake-oil salesman. In 1851, he and his family moved to Moravia, New York where he attended Oswego Academy. Two years later, in 1853, they moved again to Cleveland, Ohio where he attended high school until he dropped out and went to Folsom Mercantile College to take a business class. His first meaningful job was as an assistant bookkeeper at the age of 16. By the time he turned 20, he was working with a business partner as a commission merchant in goods like hay, meats, and grains. He had a gross income of $450,000 the very first year.   

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John D. Rockefeller. Source: (

The Oil Business

John D. Rockefeller was no foolish businessman. He did not take unnecessary risks but he had a good eye for a good opportunity. Such was the case when he saw a golden opportunity to get into the oil business. It was during the beginning of the 1860s when the production of oil was taking off in Western Pennsylvania. He built an oil refinery near Cleveland as part of his strategy, taking only two years to become the largest in the area.

With a few associates, he incorporated what was known as the Standard Oil Company in Ohio. In just a couple of years, they began buying out their competitors until they controlled almost all of the refineries in Cleveland. Their next move was to make profitable deals with the railroads to ship the oil, while at the same time, buying equipment to set up their own transportation. In that way, they were able to control every part of the oil business themselves. This caused competitors extreme distress.