William Rockefeller

William Rockefeller

William Avery Rockefeller, Jr. (May 31, 1841-June 24, 1922), American financier, was a co-founder with his older brother John D. Rockefeller of the prominent United States Rockefeller family. He was the son of William Avery Rockefeller, Sr. and Eliza (Davison) Rockefeller.


Rockefeller was born in Richford, New York, and in 1853 his family moved to Strongsville, Ohio. As a young pupil in public school, he was inspired and motivated by his teacher-mentor, Rufus Osgood Mason, whom Rockefeller later named "A Rockefeller Patron".

In 1865, he entered the oil business by starting a refinery. In 1867, his brother's partnership of Rockefeller & Andrews absorbed this refinery, and in 1870, the company became Standard Oil.

Rockefeller joined in forming the Amalgamated Copper Company, a holding company that intended to control the copper industry. Amalgamated controlled the mines of Butte, Montana, and later became the Anaconda Copper Company.

Rockefeller served as the company's New York representative until 1911 when Standard Oil of New Jersey was dissolved by the United States Supreme Court. He also had interests in copper, railways, and public utilities, and built up the National City Bank of New York, now part of Citigroup.

In 1886, Rockefeller bought property along the Hudson River from General Lloyd Aspinwall, and turned it into an ostentatious mansion named "Rockwood Hall". The property was subsequently located within the Rockefeller family estate of "Pocantico", in Westchester County, New York (see Kykuit).

He married Almira Geraldine Goodsell in 1864. His son William Goodsell Rockefeller married Elsie Stillman, daughter of National City Bank president James Stillman, and they were the parents of James Stillman Rockefeller.

He died in 1922 in Tarrytown, New York, and was interred in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Sleepy Hollow, New York. He was considered far more personable and receptive than his more conservative older brother.

The New York Times in discussing a trust he set up for his born and yet-to-be born great-grandchildren states that "The original William left a gross estate of $102,000,000, which was reduced to $50,000,000 principally by $30,000,000 of debts and $18,600,000 of inheritance and estate taxes."("New York Times", Aug 5, 1937, page 1 "Estate of William Rockefeller Increasing $1,000,000 a Year")

Amalgamated Copper Company Scam

Rockefeller, along with Henry Rogers, devised a deceptive scheme which made them a profit of $36 million. First, they purchased Anaconda Properties from Marcus Daly for $39 million, with the understanding that the check was to be deposited in the bank and remain there for a definite time (National City Bank was run by Rockefeller’s friends). Rogers and Rockefeller then set up a paper organization known as the Amalgamated Copper Company, with their own clerks as dummy directors, saying the company was worth $75 million.

They then had the Amalgamated Copper Company buy Anaconda from them for $75 million in capital stock, which was conveniently printed for the purpose. Then, they borrowed $39 million from the bank using Amalgamated Copper as collateral. They paid back Daly for Anaconda and sold $75 million worth of stock in Amalgamated Copper to the public. They paid back the bank's $39 million and had a profit of $36 million in cash. So, by deceiving Daly, the bank, and the public, Rockefeller and Rogers had made Amalgamated Copper a $36 million profit before the company was even operating. Facts|date=November 2007


#Lewis Edward Rockefeller (1865–1866)
#Emma Rockefeller McAlpin (1868–1934) married Dr. David Hunter McAlpin
#William Goodsell Rockefeller (1870–1922)
#John Davison Rockefeller (1872–1877)
#Percy Avery Rockefeller (1878–1934)
#Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge (1882–1973) married Marcellus Dodge

External links

* [http://books.bloatedtoe.com/olivers-war.html Read about Rockefeller's decade-long fight with a poor Adirondack Civil War veteran]

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