John D. Rockefeller and Standar Oil
Uploaded by masone4718 on Dec 05, 2006
Entrepreneurship—a bold and risky undertaking—is a multifaceted entity. Throughout our years of schooling we are taught of the “American Dream” and entertained with stories of those who perfected it. The life of John D. Rockefeller, founder of the Standard Oil Company, is a paragon of entrepreneurship. Over a forty-year period, Rockefeller built Standard Oil into the largest company in the world, and for a time reigned as the richest man in the world.
John D. Rockefeller was born on his family’s farm at Richford, New York, on July 8, 1939. John was the second of six children of William and Eliza Rockefeller, and they lived in modest conditions. When he was a boy, the family moved to several different locations, before permanently settling in Ohio in 1853. His father was a traveling salesman, who sold products that can most aptly be described as dubious and questionable, such as “cancer cures.” Moreover, he was a philanderer and a bigamist, and he was often gone for extended periods of time. Because of this, John’s mother Eliza persistently struggled to maintain a semblance of stability at home. While pursuing his public education, John and his brother William lived in a house near their school. He joined the Erie Street Baptist Church, becoming a deacon at the age of nineteen and a trustee and the age of twenty-one.
Rockefeller had essentially no education. At fifteen, he entered Central High School in Cleveland, but dropped out less than a year later. In 1855, he took a business course at Folsom Mercantile College, completing the six-month course in fewer than three.
After completing the business course, he spent six weeks searching for a job. He was eventually employed as an assistant bookkeeper by Hewitt & Tuttle, a small firm of commission merchants and produce shippers. A few months after starting work at Hewitt & Tuttle, he was promoted to the cashier and bookkeeper. In 1859, he had saved enough money to form a partnership in the commission business with another young man, Maurice B. Clark. In that same year, oil was discovered at near Titusville in western Pennsylvania, giving rise to the petroleum industry. The city of Cleveland became a major refining center shortly after, and in 1863 Rockefeller and Clark entered the oil business as refiners. After gaining...