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The true northerner. [volume] (Paw Paw, Mich.) 1855-1920, March 03, 1905, Image 2

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Cbc Zxvtc northerner: pnw paw, Mcblflan JfrlfcaE, 3arcb 3, 1905
Government Orders an Investigation Which Will Lay
Btxre the Methods of the Oil" Octopus John
D, Rockefeller ond the Pixrt He PIolVs
in the Game-In Fifty Yevrs
He Has Become the World's
Greatest Potentate,
Unless it is a case of clouds without
rain, ami storm without wind, and cy
clone without any twister, the tempest
which is gathering about the great
Standard Oil octopus is going to give
that many tentacled trust something
else to do in the near future besides
crushing out competition, forcing up
the price of oil, sucking in the profits,
and declaring the regular quarterly divi
dend of 13 per cent, to its greedy stock
holders. A good many people are beginning to
think that the Standard is the key log
in the trust jam, which is dam
ming up the commercial, industrial
and financial streams of the coun
try, and destroying the individ
ual rights of the common people, and
that if the dynamite of equitable law,
and perfect publicity, can be touched
off, under this key log, so as to com
pel it to yield to a reasonable adjust
ment and just control, all the other
trust logs will lloat harmlessly down
the stream of the national life, and the
danger of unlawful combination will be
But however that may be. certain it
is that a war cloud of ominous propor
tions is arising upon the horizon of
the Standard Oil company's sky. It
began to gather in Kansas, that home
of the cyclone, and has spread until
from Texas to New York and from
the Indian territory through the
prairie states of Illinois. Iowa and In
diana to the capital city on the Po
tomac, the ominous mutterings of the
coming storm have been heard. Had
the Standard only had to deal with the
situation in Kansas it would have
been the merest child's play, the most
amusing diversion, to have in time
crushed all opposition and forced the
people and the state into submission.
John D. Rockefeller has been laugh
ing up his sleeve and serenely waiting.
It has amused him to read in the pa
pers that the Kansas legislature had
appropriated $4lu.(no for the estab
lishment of a state refinery to buck
against his JjyO.oou.noo company. He
has been annoyed, perhaps, at the ef
fort to meddle with his pipe lines, but
he has felt confident that the end
would come in victory for him and the
establishment of his company in the
state on firmer basis than ever before.
He has mapped out a campaign of
waiting. This great financier, this
$r.r,,.o0,0o0 money bags, can afford to
wait, for his dollars work while he
sleeps, and he can keep busy banking
the $."0.000.000 yearly income from his
Investments while the jxor Kansans
tee their $110,000 refinery a sink hole
Into which to pour the wealth of the
state and the independent producers
there brought to a state of sub
mission where they will be willing to
make peace at Rockefeller's own
terms, and if reports are to be credited
Rockefeller's terms are never generous
except to tho interests of Rockefeller
fclmself. Ho 13 never atisfied, it is
said, unless he can buy at ruinously
luw prices and sell at figures which
tell the story of a lair (?) prolit of
several hundred per cent.
Kansas Fires the First Gun.
Kansas seems to be always doing
things which other states are afraid
to do, or never think of doing, and she
has fired the first gun in this tre
mendous war, and, as Lincoln's call
to arms in '01 was met by the cry
from the different states: "We are
coming, Father Abraham, loo.ooo
strong." so the sound of Kansas' first
shot at the oil octopus has aroused
the nation, and on every hand, and
from unexpected directions, reinforce
ments are coming to the aid of plucky
The Government to Use Its Probe.
The most important of all develop
ments in this fight has been the action
of congress in ordering the department
of commerce and labor to begin in
vestigation of the business of the
Standard Oil company, and as an evi-
dence of the thoroughness with which
the work will be done, the note of
President Roosevelt to Mr. James R
Garfield may be quoted. It is terse, and
businesslike: "Act vigorously on the
resolution at once." And if the way
in which Mr. Garfield's department
has handled the beef trust investiga
tion, and brought matters and condi
tions before the interstate commerce
commission, which promise ill for the
beef trust, is any indication of the
spirit and thoroughness with thich
the investigation of the Standard Oil
business will be conducted, Mr. Rocke
feller may well begin to fidget in his
chair and recall unpleasant memories
of how Frank S. Monnett. the attor
ney general of Ohio, forced the
Standard to abandon its trust form
of organization, leave the sta e and
take refuge in its present form of a
New Jersey corporation.
Monnett Deals Standaid a Blow.
This will not be the first time tho
Standard has been investigated. Three
times the trust has been up before leg
islative commissions and has once
been taken before the courts. The
legislature of New York delved into
the affairs of the monopoly in 1SL7,
with the Hepburn committee Con
gress taekVd it in 1SSS with tho
Bacon committee, and again in IS'jO
with tho industrial commission. Rut
the most severe shaking up It has re
ceived in its history was that given it
by Monnett, and though it was a bit
ter pill for the Standard to swallow,
it had the grim satisfaction at the next
election of defoatingMonnettfor reelec
tion as attorney general, and forcing
him into private life.
Monnett Is "as familiar with tho
Standard Oil business as anyone out
side of tho company Itself, and Kan
sas has turned to the one man who
has given Standard a black eye.
Tho Ohio man Is now at Topeka and
will aid in tho fight. He will assist
tho Kansas Oil Producers association
in preparing data to bo submitted to
Commissioner Garfield.
Lawson, eager to get into the fight,
has sent word that to help tho investi
gators he will go to Washington bare
foot in -the snow, if necessary.
At New York, District Attorney
Jeromo is preparing to bring proceed
ings against tho directors of tho
Standard in an effort to indict them
for conspiracy as defined in section
ICS of tho penal code.
Secretary Hitchcock, head of tho in
terior department, and cx-Stcretary
Hoko Smith aro being drawn into tho
fight, too, through tho blanket lease of
1,500,000 acres of oil lands in Indian
territory granted to tho Standard lor
ten years by Smith in 1SUG Mr.
Hitchcock says this deal is a public
scandal, and Mr. Smith replies that
tho field had not been tested and that
there was little hope of finding oil.
Rut the upshot of it all may bo that
the Standard may lose part or all of
its valuable Osage leases.
Even Paul Morton may not escape
the investigation of Standard Oil
methods in Kansas. Charges have
been filed against the Atchison, To
peka & Santa l'e Railroad company
alleging that this company, by raising
rates until they were prohibitive, as
sisted the Standard in driving an in
dependent refiner out of the business,
and in the same way conspired to
make the producers completely depen
dent 111011 the Standard's pipe line.
These acts are alleged to have taken
place while Secretary Paul Morton
was in charge of the Atchison's traffic.
When the lower house of congress
oYdered unanimously the investigation
of tho Standard, it had a marked ef
fect upon the stock of tho company, a
decline of 20 points being noted in a
few days. The stock has been held at
6.50 and it dropped to 0.UO, with an
uneasy feeling prevailing.
It certainly looks as though tho
Standard Oil ship had drifted upon
troublous waters, and that all the oil
of Its thousands of storage tanks
j throughout the world would not bo
suincieiii io quiet ine rising waves
which may yet wash over its decks
and bring disaster.
We speak of the Standard Oil com
pany and we think of the man who Is
the brains and sinew, yes, and money,
too, of the gigantic corporation John
D. Rockefeller, who began 50 years
ago with nothing and to-day counts
his wealth in the hundreds of millions.
He Is by all odds the richest man in
the world. How did he get within
his grasp all this wealth? What of
the man and what of his methods?
In discussing Rockefeller and his
millions in a recent issue of the New
York World. Karl Mayo dec lares that
nothing in the career of this man has
been accidental except the place of his
birth, which occurred at Richland. N. Y.,
in IS.'il). and about which presumably he
had nothing to vay. The means by
which he rose to wealth was the com
bination of an idea with an opportunity.
Oil happened to be the opportunity, but
if the marvelous richness of the oil fields
never had been discovered' the .idea
would have been applied to some other
business and Rockefeller still would
have been one of the country's richest
We think of trusts as a development
of th last ten or twenty yenrs. but
Rockefeller long before this, yea. 20
years prior, grasped the idea and blazed
the way for the other trusts that have
followed in the train of the Standard.
The control of industry, elimination of
competition, community of interest, reg
ulation of output, consolidation under
a single control, all were a part of his
plan. He led the Standard Oil to Its
present eminence over a rocky road
which has since become smoot h by much
traveling. What was exceptional and
unheard of then has become ordinary
and matter of fact.
Mr. Rockefeller does believe in th
industrial system which he represents
and which he has (lone so much to fur
ther. His commercial creed is founded
upon the theory of'the survival of the
"We are better able to run your busi
ness than you are. We will pay you a
fair price for it and will conduct It our
selves, but we will provide for you
by paying you a salary to manage it (or
to do whatever work you are best fit
ted for), and you will thus have a cer
tainty to depend upon Instead of the
uncertainty and the possibility of losing
your entire business which exists under
the competitive system. Therefore, you
will be better off than before. We will
be better off because wo can m ike more
money on a smaller margin of profit
if we handle all tho business. The
public will be better off because, through
the economies of management on a large
scale, it can secure its necessities at a
lower or at least at a more regular price
than before.
"The fact that we make big fortunes
for ourselves by this process is not un
just, for we have demonstrated that we
are more capable than the rqst of you
by getting control of the business.
Therefore wo are entitled to a gi eater
reward, but we feel it our duty to help
you by applying a part of our wealth
to objects that will bo for tho public
This Is the argument that John D.
Rockefeller used in conversation with
his friends at the very time when ho
was securing control of the oil refin
ing business and which he has repeated
since. It is expressed more baldly hero
and with more self-assurance, but thH
is what it amounts to. In an industrial
community ordered by Rockefeller the
shrewdest Intellects would control and
as a corrollary It would follow that their
control would bo for the general good.
As has been expressed In happy phrase
It Is a system of benevolent industrial
Standard Oil Interests $250,000,000.
While anything like an exact com
putation of John If. Rockefeller's wealth
is Impossible, there Is obtainable so tin
data that give interesting glimpses of
its staggering total. Some seven or
eight years ago one of the Standard Oil
leaders. In speaking of the fortunes of
some of the men most prominently
Identified with that company, was
quoted as expressing the opinion that
John I). Rockefeller's share of this
great aggregation of wealth was then
$150,000,000 and that his income from It
was from $12,000,000 to $15,000,000.
This statement had reference of
course only to that part of Mr. Rockefel
ler's wealth derived from his oil Inter
ests or represented by his holdings In
the Standard Oil company and the nu
merous subsidiary companies engage !
In the distribution of oil or in the utili zation
of its many by-products. It was
made, too, before the great Increase in
prices which in the past half dozen years
has added probably one-third to tho mar-
!.et value of these holdings. At a con
servative estimate, therefore, this
branch of Mr. Rockefeller's fortune,' In
cluding the Increase yielded by his In
come during the Intervening period,
nust represent not less than $250.
000,000. It is pretty well authenticated, how
ever, that for the past decade Mr. Rocke
feller's yearly Income has been steadi
ly rising from $30,000,000 at the begin
ning of the period to a point at least
two-thirds greater than that at the
present time, and that, during the pre
ceding ten years, it grew from $10,000,000
to $30,000,000.
Lives the Simple, Frugal Life.
Mr. Rockefeller and his family are
modest In habit and expenditure. They
are perhaps the most notable devotees
of the simple life among our multi
millionaires. If we assume that $2. 0mm..
ni'O were expended every year in living
mh1 in charity, it will be seen that th
nrtural growth of this income withorr
courting its compounding power
throu h Invr-t rvr rts must haxer'1.1""
nearly $::mumhU!0o to theotal. Rut this
vast sum has not been allowed to ac
cumulate in vaults and strong boxes
Practically every dollar of it has been
invested where it hns enrned other dol
lars. Many of them, directed by tho
i:een trading instlvet of their owner
b'vf multiplied themselves threefold
within the past dozen years. One of the
" -nnbives of aggregated wealth is thrt
:t enables its prssrsrr In times of
nv.r or depression to purchase vohnl lo
''?,rrt jfs cheaply nd by the s'rirle
-"fPss of holding then until letter
,!mes to renlie a multiplied return on
he jnvestmeut.
Thre-FoJd Profit in Iron.
Mr. Rockefeller Ins done this in p-anv
'Mo,anceg. A notable case v. as that of
'lis iron ore properties. During the do
rrssion of he bought, rheanlv for
"sh. the ore lards of Lake Superior rd
hn Minnesota mi its. He Improved the
iiing en'iiomnt built grent docks ant1
'nvested In h"'Te rrn carriers on the
T"at lVes. When the era of hi--'i
Hops "inie alone or the pros per :t."
wa'-e 1D00 and the T'rfled States Steel
''rporation was c-r-rled Mr. Rnr.-p-''llrr
sold out. Tfcp 2r,.or,0.000 which
Tt Ro'Vofel'er b one form orar-
'rr of steel hcViirs may be said to
v resent p Inter-:! e:'tirf'V profits rn h -;
' ' estTr.en.t of " dM-ni ears ago. It
"derstnod tha 1" "-'-'it'on to his lnte--'ss
in the r-!?"'i S?tfs Ftei crron.
'on hr,,"e,'er poS 'rrv larire hop!
J1" In the f.nei-vnma Steel (c,n- v
Vn he H n r"""pe-d factrr l" th
"""irs of the fW-rido Fuel and inn
Verv rMich the st me story as hh
rof.table in-eytnieif jn iron-ore lam s
'o:ild be told of h's eonrppflon with the
'"'id and zinc mines which were trai s
"erred to the trust at a profit that ran
into millions.
In the discussion about the affairs of
the Amalgamated rnpper company th
:ame of Rockefeller has been mentioned
frequently, but it has been explicitly de
rbd by the legal representatives of
standard Oil that John I). Rockefeller
ha any interest in this company, in
which his brother, William, and his
close associate. If. H. Rogers, have bee'i
the leading spirits. This statement a
accepted at its face value in Wall street,
where it is known that John I). Rocke
feller has heavy investments in a much
more profitable company, the Amcrica'n
Smelting and Refining.
Other industrial companies in which
he is largely concerned aro the Ameri
can Linseed Oil company, two of the big
express companies, the sugar trust and
the various organizations known collec
tively ks the to bp ''."j trust.
Not a Railway Han, But
John I). Rockefeller is not known as
a railway man. While there are Van
derbilt, Hill, Morgan and Harrlman
systems, there is no combination of
roads known as tho Rockefeller system.
Nevertheless Mr. Rockefeller Is the larg
est Individual holder of railroad securi
ties in the country. He is heavily inter
ested In tho Gould roads Missouri Pa
cific, Missouri, Kansas Texas, Texas
& Tadfic and Wabash and It is through
Lis backing and assistance that George
Gould has been able to fight his way I
successfully against the powerful com-,
bination of railway interests In bringing j
his lines eastward toward the Atlantic t
seaboard. Rut in addition to this he Is
a heavy holder of the stocks and bonds,
more particularly the bonds, of almost
every one of the big eastern lines, as
well as of Northern Securities and of
half a dozen of the big roads running
out of Chicago. Probably not less than
$30,000,000 of his wealth Is Invested In
railways. And It should be borne In j
mind that practically all these holdings
were bought when their market rating
was much less than It Is to-day. i
The solidity and power that come from
the backing of unlimited millions are (
valuable assets for a bank or trust com
pany. A number of the most Important
of these Institutions in New York and
other cities have prospered through the
magic of connection with the Rocke
feller name. Certain of these, like the
National City and Hanover banks, of
New York, the First national of Chi
cago and the two largest banks in Cleve
land, are known as Rockefeller institu- t
Hons. !
The Country's Richest Banker. j
These are by no means the measure
of Mr. Rockefeller's banking interests.
A well-informed Wall street financier
showed me a list recently of f0 banks
and trust companies, all of which aro
reputed to be more or less under the
Rockefeller influence. If John I). Rock-,
efeller had nothing but his bank hold
ings he would be known as the coun
try's richest banker and would have a
fortune equaled ny lew in the United
Oil, steel, railroads, banks and trust
companies have not been equal to the
task of providing occupation sufficient
for all the fast-multiplying Rockefeller
millions. Within the past ten years
especially a great many of them have
gone Into a particularly lucrative form
of investment city lighting and trac
tion companies. Whether $10,000,000 or
$25,000,000 more nearly represents John
D. Rockefeller's investments of this sort
in and about New York it is impossible
to say, but the amount is likely to bo
near the latter figure, while he has other
50.000000 YEARLY. 12 000.000 YEARLY 4.00(10M.rEARLY 3650.000 YR 2ltf00Q N? ft2000.OOO.TK
large sums similarly invested in New
England and the central west.
Two important items of John D.
Rockefeller's fortune are frequently
overlooked in making computations of
his wealth. These are his holdings of
real estate and mortgages and of gov
ernment and municipal bonds. Roth are
so vast that if we undertook to follow
out the threadc that lead to them they
would take us to every part of the Unit
ed States and across the Atlantic.
While Mr. Rockefeller's real estate
holdings would amount to probably
$10,000,000, such investment does not
prove a very attractive venture for the
astute financier. He prefers to let the
other fellow own tho real estate and he
hold the mortgage. The city of Cleve
land is an example of this. He owns
valuable property there Forest Hills
and his Tarrytown (N. Y.) estate is
truly baronial in its magnificent propor
tions, but these are nothing In com
parison to his mortgage holdings. In
Cleveland he holds a $100,000 mortgage
on the principal hotel, a mortgage for
a like amount on a large wholesale busi- i
ness. and banking and street railway
holdings which would bring the total to
fl5.0oo.oon in the Ohio city alone.
Rut Cleveland is rot the only city In
the United States that is doing a good .
part of its business on John I). Rocke-
feller's money and paying him well for j
the privilege. New York. Chicago, Pitts
burg and Ruffah.r. re rases in point. j
Will Be World's First Billionaire.
Of Mr. Rockefeller's holdings In gov
ernment and municipal bonds It were
Idle to speculate. His beneficent atten
tions have been bestowed on other fields,
too. that are not Included in any of the
above classifications, such as that of
the big Insurance companies, steamship
and telegraph and building corporations
and other things, as the department
store advertisements say, too numerous
to mention.
Taking into account all these wide-
spread Interests, it Is not difficult to
figure out that John 1). Rockefeller la
ilready possessed of upward of $050,
300,000, or that, with the power which,
his vast wealth gives him of buying
cheaply when prices are at rock bot
tom and when financial stress compels
the holders of particular properties to
let them go, he will become a full
fledged billionaire within another ten
rears, if he lives so long. Indeed, the
accumulation of his yearly income of
$'i0.000,000. or thereabouts, will carry
him to that point without any allowance
for the appreciation of the properties in
which his money is Invested such as is
certain to occur.
If one were to construct a table show
ing chronologically the growth of Mr.
Rockefeller's fortune It would read about
as follows:
isor ' $3,000
1S70 C0.000
1 75 !!.".'........' 5.000.000
l V" ' ' 1 oo.ooo.ooo
1 SD0 .' .".'."..'.'."...'....' 200.000. Of i0
1 900 '.'.'.'...'. 4 00.000,000
1 90." .... .' 550,000,000
The World's Greatest Potentate.
From the purely financial point of
view, however, Mr. Rockefeller is easily
the world'sgreatest potentate. The
czar of Russia enjoys an annual income
of about $12,000,000; Emperor William,
as king of Prussia, receives a little less
than $1,000,000; the emperor of Austria
Hungary, $3,875,000; King Edward. $2.
225.000, and the king of Spain. $2,000,000.
In the expressive phrase of Wall street.
King John, as emperor of oil, king of
steel, banking and railroads, and
prince of several lesser dominions,
could buy and sell them all. If he had
to earn his present wealth at the rate
of two dollars a day. which many of his
employes receive, it would take him
something more than 80,000 years to
accomplish the task, or considerably
longer than we have any record of in
human history. It is not merely the
number of John I). Rockefeller's mil
lions, astounding as Is their total, tha
Is most impressive. It is the power
which they convey. By reason of his
ability to reward and punish, to maka
and unmake values, to bestow riches or
ruin, he is almost absolute master not
only of those enterprises in which he
holds a major monetary interest, but In
all those to which he cares tcS turn his
attention in any way. The enterprises
in which he holds investments aggre
gate a capitalization of over $5,000,
000.000. Though he owns outright but a
tenth of this, he can sway the destinic3
of every company involved if he so de
sires. Certainly the world never has seen
such a fortune as this, accumulated In
50 years by the efforts of one man who
has possessed no advantage, except such
as he was able to impose through the
cunning of his brain over any one of
50.000,000 of his fellows, but who never
theless has levied tribute notonly on his
countrymen but. on residents of the re
moteness of China, India and Africa who
never have heard and never will hear
his name, who has worsted opponents
of business resorrces as vast and busi
ness consciences ns elastic as his own,
and who holds to-day the greatest Indus
tries and most powerful financial Insti
tutions In the country In tee hollow of
his hand, the unre.sk-4!: subjects of his
Telling Time by the Scales.
"I happened to be in a butcher shop up
in Harlem the other afternoon," said
Mr. Edward Morgan, the assistant post
master of New York, "when In came a
woman of ample proportions and unmis
takable Hibernian extraction. The
scales were the old-fashioned kind, with
a round brass dial, on which a pointer
swung around to indicate the pounds.
"After she had waited some time her
eye happened to light on that dial, and
she Jumped like a deer as she almost
" 'For the love o' Hlven, give me that
mate, quick. It's 5ix o'clock.' N. Y.

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