“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Downtown in Cleveland in Cuyahoga County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

John D. Rockefeller, 1839-1937 / The Standard Oil Company

John D. Rockefeller, 1839-1937 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Christopher Busta-Peck, April 12, 2009
1. John D. Rockefeller, 1839-1937
John D. Rockefeller, 1839-1937.
Born at Richford, New York, John D. Rockefeller moved to the Cleveland area with his family at age 14. He began his business career as a bookkeeper in 1855. From modest beginnings he became one of the richest men of his era by developing the world's largest oil corporation, the Standard Oil Company, which was founded here in the Flats of Cleveland. Rockefeller moved to New York City in 1884 but maintained two homes in Cleveland, returning often with his wife Laura (1839-1915). Although he was a controversial businessman, Rockefeller donated millions of dollars to Cleveland charities and institutions, and land for Rockefeller and Forest Hills parks. John and Laura Rockefeller are interred in Lake View Cemetery.

The Standard Oil Company.
Near this site in 1863 (the northwest corner of Main and River streets), John D. Rockefeller ventured into the new oil business with partner Samuel Andrews, refining kerosene for lamplight. Their first refinery, the Excelsior Works, was located about two miles upriver, south of Kingsbury Run. In 1870 Rockefeller, Andrews, and Henry M. Flagler
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chartered the Standard Oil Company. Technological innovation and aggressive business practices allowed the corporation to both improve a wasteful industry and control the oil market during its early boom years; Standard demanded shipping rebates from railroads and undersold competitors, who were either absorbed into the trust or forced out of business. The nature of these business dealings, common in the late 1800s, prompted the passage of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890.
Erected 2003 by the Ohio Bicentennial Commission, the Early Settlers Association of the Western Reserve and the Ohio Historical Society. (Marker Number 38-18.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceNotable Places. In addition, it is included in the Ohio Historical Society / The Ohio History Connection series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1855.
Location. 41° 29.767′ N, 81° 42.053′ W. Marker is in Cleveland, Ohio, in Cuyahoga County. It is in Downtown. Marker is on Merwin Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Cleveland OH 44115, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Moses Cleaveland’s “Capital Town” (within shouting distance of this marker); Moses Cleaveland Survey (within shouting distance of this marker); Ohio and Erie Canal
The Standard Oil Company image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Christopher Busta-Peck, April 12, 2009
2. The Standard Oil Company
(about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Alexis de Tocqueville (about 400 feet away); Industrialists & Early Skyscrapers (about 700 feet away); Rockefeller Building (about 700 feet away); Irish Famine Memorial (about 700 feet away); Hardware Industry (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cleveland.
Marker location, by the Cuyahoga River image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Christopher Busta-Peck, April 12, 2009
3. Marker location, by the Cuyahoga River
John D. Rockefeller image. Click for full size.
Rockefeller Archive Center
4. John D. Rockefeller
1895 photo by Davis and Sanford.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 29, 2024. It was originally submitted on April 12, 2009, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. This page has been viewed 5,011 times since then and 322 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 12, 2009, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.   4. submitted on February 29, 2024, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.

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Jun. 23, 2024