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Word Count: 364
On 18 March 1859 several months before his 20th birthday -- Rockefeller goes into business for himself forming a partnership with a neighbor Maurice Clark Each man put up 2000 and formed Clark Rockefeller commission merchants in grain hay meats and miscellaneous goods At the end of the first year of business they had grossed 450000 making a profit of 4400 in 1860 and a profit of 17000 in 1861 The commission merchant business was very competitive and Clark Rockefellers success was due in large part to Rockefellers natural business abilities During the Civil War their business expanded rapidly Grain prices went up and so did their commissions Most of their selling was done on commission so Clark Rockefeller took no risks from price fluctuations Rockefellers style was very precise and calculated He was not a gambler but a planner He avoided speculation and refused to make advances or loans That is advancing a customer money on produce before they received the produce and wrote up a bill of lading Rockefeller was extremely hard working He traveled extensively drumming up business throughout Ohio and then would go to the banks and borrow large sums of money to handle the shipments This aggressive style built the business up every year However by the early 1860s Rockefeller realized that the future of the commission merchant business in Cleveland was going to be limited He had become convinced that the railroads were going to become the primary means of transportation for agricultural commodities This would be to the disadvantage of Cleveland because its position as an important Lake port was its primary transportation advantage He saw that the rising grain output of the Midwest and the Northwest of J J Hill would change the nature of the business for good The huge elevators on Lake Michigan and the flour-millers of Minneapolis would be the dominant players in the business Rockefeller came to
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