Early Years :
John Davison Rockefeller was born on July 8, 1839, in Richford, New York, the second of six children. His father owned farm property and traded in many goods, including lumber and patent medicines. His mother, who was different of his father's fun-loving ways, brought up her large family very strictly. After living in Oswego, New York, for several years, the family moved to Cleveland, Ohio, in 1853, when it was beginning to grow into a city. John graduated from high school there and excelled in math .
After graduation Rockefeller attended a commercial college for three months, soon after he found his first job at the age of sixteen as a produce clerk. In 1859, at age nineteen, he started his first company, Clark and Rockefeller, with a young Englishman. They grossed (money earned before expenses) four hundred fifty thousand dollars in the first year of trading. Clark did the fieldwork while Rockefeller controlled office management, bookkeeping, and relationships with bankers.
Rise & Fall of The Monopoly :
From the start Rockefeller showed a genius for organization and method. The firm prospered during the Civil War (1861–65), when Confederate forces clashed with those of the Union. With the Pennsylvania oil strike (1859) and the building of a railroad to Cleveland, they branched out into oil refining with Samuel Andrews, who had technical knowledge of the field. Within two years Rockefeller became senior partner; Clark was bought out, and the firm Rockefeller and Andrews became Cleveland's largest refinery.
With financial help from S. V. Harkness and from a new partner, H. M. Flagler (1830–1913), who also secured favorable railroad freight rebates, Rockefeller survived the bitter competition in the oil industry. The Standard Oil Company, started in Ohio in 1870 by Rockefeller, his brother William, Flagler, Harkness, and Andrews, had a worth of one million dollars and paid a profit of 40 percent a year...