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Rockefeller John Davison 1839-1937 American industrialist Rockefeller was born in Richford New York on July 8 1839 and educated in the public schools of Cleveland Ohio He became a bookkeeper in Cleveland at the age of 16 In 1862 he went into business with entrepreneur Henry Flagler and with Samuel Andrews the inventor of an inexpensive process for the refinement of crude petroleum In 1870 their firm Rockefeller Andrews Flagler changed its name to the Standard Oil Company often referred to as the Standard Oil Company of Ohio Rockefeller his brother William Andrews and Flagler ran the business In early 1872 Rockefeller helped form the South Improvement Company an association that unified many oil refiners in Cleveland with the Standard Oil Company Since Standard Oil used railroads daily to transport huge amounts of cargo Rockefeller was able to make a deal with railroad conductors that would profit both industries Railroad companies decided to set high freight rates but agreed to award substantial rebates for members of the South Improvement Company This plan prevented price wars among railroad companies and forced smaller oil refiners to go out of business if they didnt join the association After three months of much public protest the railroad companies and Rockefellers group cancelled their deal However most of Rockefellers competitors in Cleveland had already been forced to sell out to the Standard Oil Company By 1878 Standard Oil also owned the major refineries in New York City Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Pennsylvania In 1882 Rockefeller and his partners formed the first corporate trust Standard Oil Trust to merge many oil businesses throughout the United States into a single company Rockefeller soon controlled 90 percent of the oil refineries in the country Journalists small oil refiners and many others heavily criticized Standard Oil for monopolizing the industry In 1892 the Ohio Supreme Court ordered the Standard Oil Company of Ohio to separate from the trust and
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