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THE PERRYSBURG JOURNAL, FRIDAY, JANUARY 26, 1906. 3 k. . :vjk j t A ' ( h ' it - f , t : i - i COAL OIL JOHNNY;" KING OF SPENDTHRIFTS 'CAREER OF YOUNG MAN WHO SQUANDERED MILLIONS WITH IN SEVEN MONTHS. .A RECORD THAT HAS- John W. Steele, Who Acquired a World-Wide Reputa- Hon by Throwing Money to the Winds, Dies in Poverty in Pennsylvania Near Scene of the Source of His Wealth. Philadelphia. In nn unpretentious ihouso on a llttlo farm near Franklin; Hn tho northwestorn part of Pennsyl vania, there died tho other day a man who somo 40 years ago acquired a most unique and romarkablo distinc tion. This person was John W. Steele, better known as "Coal Oil Johnny," king of all tho spendthrifts ' tho world has ever known. It Is several years now slnco this onco famous character had passed out of sight of tho general public, but the record ho established in the few short 'months that ho was rolling In wealth will long be remembered. Has "Wealth "Untold. Insldo of 12 months, beginning at tho close of 1S63, John Steelo did per Tiap3 moro to advertise tho wealth of tiro Pennsylvania oil region than any other ten men. Ho advertised its wealth by spending It. A beardless "boy, ho woke ono morning to find hlm iself possessed of untold wealth in bulk mnd an income from oil royalties of 31,750 per day, Sundays included. He dld not know tho value of money, has not to this day any idea of how much money he had and spent, but it has "teen estimated at from $1,500,000 to :?4,000,000. Be tho amount tho first or last named, tho fact remains that in seven -months' time from his coming into -possession of this immense wealth he -went through it and wa3 broken. In aldo of a year from tho timo ho became a Croesus, ho was back at tho llttlo railroad station at Rouscville, Venan ,go county, hustling trunks at $40 a month. Ho has been hustling ever mince to keep up with the grocer's bill. Never was there a man who mado it rain money in such showers as did "Coal Oil Johnny" during his brief transit across tho horizon. It is claim ed that tho newly-rich Pittsburg mil lionaire would look liko a piker In his ependlngs when lined up alongside the 3tousevillo, Pa., wagon driver who was :ln a night elevated to tho millionaire -class. Tho entire cost of tho widely heralded "Scotty" special last sum mer would not have furnished "Coal Oil Johnny's" cigar lighters in those days of C4. Steele simply couldn't tspend his money fast enough until he -UIGi. -evolved tho idea of hiring peoplo to lielp him, and then well, tho rest was asy. Adopted by a Farmer. John Steele was born near Waterloo, "Venango county, Pa., in tho fall of 1841. Ho was left an orphan when but a few years of ago and when between eoven and eight years of ago was -adopted by Culbertson McClintock, a well-to-do farmer living on tho out skirts of what is now Oil City. McClin tock owned his own farm, since famed 1n oil history as "Tho McClintock "Farm." From it millions of dollars' worth of oil was taken years later. It was not for Culbertson McClin tock, however, to reap tho benefits of the oil. He died some threo years before oil was dlscovored on his placo, .and when his will was read it was found that ho had left tho farm to his wifo during her life, and it was then to go to John Steolo, his adopted son. Thoro was also an adopted daughtor, named Emily Scott, but sho doos not Appear to have been loft anything by JMcbiintock. Years lator, when Steele was rolling In wealth, ho gave to tha joVpW. S t 'elcl'T'c!! , s- $r& jfy ffi oz ' . -, I NEVER BEEN BEATEN young woman enough to mako her In dependent for life. Mrs. McClintock was a shrewd bus! nes woman and when oil was discov ered on her furra she drove tho closest bargains possible with tho producers. Tho pool under tho McClintock farm bado fair to bo lnexhausttblo and alio 'had little troubel In getting an almost fabulous sum In cash, reserving a big royalty on all oil brought from her farm. This was about three years after tho death of McClintock. But John Steele was not allowed to loaf becauso his foster mother then had money. lie was sent out to work at driving wagons for tho oil men. Ho did not even have a team of his own, but hired out as a driver, and each Saturday night his earnings wero f brought homo and given to Mrs. Mc Clintock, who dumped them Into tho common hoard at the old farmhouse. Sho rapidly accumulated bank stocks and valuable properties in surrounding towns and cities u wall as In Now York and Philadelphia. But sho never hanged tho closo, penurious stylo of living to which she and her husband had been forced when they wero trying to pay for tho rocky farm on tho llttlo run which afterwards becamo world famed as Oil creek. Explosion Brings Millions. She never hired a servant and novcr moved from the little farmhouse, which soon became hemmed in by oil wells. Always insisting on doing her own housework, she came to her death In a most tragic way, whilo performing house duties. Early in 18C3 Mrs. Mc Gllntock rose ono morning beforo day break, as usual, to prepare breakfast for John Steelo beforo ho went out with his wagon. Sho mado tho last sad mistake of trying to light the fire with a can of coal oil with tho oft-ropeated result. There was an explosion and she, was burned to death. In an old and crude safe In tho cor ner of ono room In the little house there was found $05,000 in gold. Subsequent discovery proved this was tho savings of Mrs. McClintock for only a week or so. Tho exact amount of cash on hand at the death of Mrs. McClintock was never definitely known, but Is sup posed to have been far moro than $1,000,000. There wore, in addition, ex tremely valuables oil properties besides the McClintock farm which was at this tlmo belching forth royalties at the rato of $1,760 a day for tho McClintock heir, John Steelo. John quit working at once. Ho never went back to work aftor tho tragic death of his foster parent. Yot ho couldn't onter into tho full enjoyment of this money, for ho was not of ago, and tho proper authorities simply took the Immense estate in hand for tho fow short months which di vided tho young wagon driver from his millions. During this short tlmo Steolo showed somo good business Jurt"-nont. There wero hundreds who would have loaned him anything on his prospects, but to his credit bo it said ho did not go heavily into debt. Ho was pontont to wait until tho money came to him, and in the meantime, through tho prop er authorities, ho sold an atom of his big interests Just at tho time the oil boom reached tho crest. He disposed of tho two Lone Star wells to John Mawhlnnoy for $05,000 cash. This went Into tho common pool, which was Bwolling at an enormous rato, against tho day when Johnny Steolo should bo como of ago and como into his own. Squanders $100,000 in a Say. At last tho tlmo came, and an ava lancho of monoy rollod down on tho former poor driver, who, in his child hood days, had never had so much ss a quarter-to spond. Tho way In which no mado tho money fly caused evon tho oil region, then engaged In its mad chase for wealth, to sit up and tako notice. Thoro nover was a spender Ilka him beforo and fow have Imitated and nono equaled him slnco. His first draw on what was considered an lnex haustiblo supply of wealth was ?100, 000. "Gimme it In hundred dollar bills," ho said to tho cashier of tho Oil City bank, to which ho had walkod from hla homo up Oil creok, at Itousovllle. "I want to show somo of tho boys a good tlmo." And "tho boys" wero shown. Johnny Steele started down tho street with his thousand ?500 bills, nnd to ovory ono ho met hu presentod ono of tho bills. Thoso who hesitated and wanted to know why got two of tho bills. Ho had not gono far until somo of those E3U!klS&X o-t who had for months been waiting for this windfall got Steelo In tow and stopped his Indiscriminate giving they wanted It themselves. The history of that day will long be remembered In Oil Cuy. It was not yet dark when young Steele borrowed a fow thousands to continue tho day's spending. To Steele, with his now mil lions, borrowing was the easiest of things. In his later years ho would havo had iroublo In borrowing any thing, for his nnanclal star had long, slnco set. Downfall Laid to Gamblers. One of thoso who early attached himself to young Steelo In the hour of his wealth was Seth Slo'cum, a gam bler, and to the work of Slocum frle.nds of Steele attribute his downfall. It wa3 not long until "Coal Oil Johnny," as j ho was now Known, was the biggest plunger of thorn all at the gaming ta ble. He seldom won and when he did ho would almost Invariably tos3 his winnings to the dealer or somo by stander, saying: "Buy yourself a new hat and havo a drink on Johnny Steele." But tho ox-dlnary roulette wheel or the faro deal was too slow for "Coal Oil Johnny." Ho wanted action, and wanted it in bunches. Ho seldom If ever played poker. "There's too much tlmo lost dealing and drawing cards," he used to say, when pressed to sit In a game. "It's too slow; it's an old ladles' game." Ono of tho favorlto stunts of "Coal Oil Johnny" was to walk Into a gam bling room with a few of his choice trlends and ask the proprietor to sell nim the place. Ho usually bought at a fearful figure, and then would take his place at tho dealer's chair and loan his friends money to play against him self. He didn't know much about deal ing faro, could scarcely tell whether a card won or lost for tho house, and so this was tho easiest of picking for tho sharks who had associated them selves with tho little king of spend thrifts. Tho news soon spread throughout tho world of thl3 modern lad of monoy and that he was easy. From tho north, south and east and from tho gold camps of California came gamblers with the old brace games for fleecing Johnny Steele. For him, 'tis now said, specially crooked faro boxes and rou lette wheels wero mado, for ho did not long remain In Ignorance of t.ho games and the tlmo camo when ho had to be shown that ho losi. on a turn of the card. Ho was always shown. Ills loslng3 at tho gaming table in tho first half of his moneyed career wore somo thing fabulous, Then ho Bcemcd to tire all at once of tho game and sought now Holds for enjoyment. Hone That Drank Champagne. Ono night at Bradford, Steele rodo down tho main street at full speed on a beautiful maro, for which he had paid $3,000, and through tho swinging doors of a saloon where 100 oil mon wero doing tholr best to emulate him in gottlng rid of their money, He did not know a soul, but that didn't mat tor, "I'm Johnny Steelo. Close tho doors and ovory one make a niBht of ft vltn mo. Glvo Boss a bottlo of champagne to start with." Boss was tho boautiful llttlo mare ho rodo, and immediately lntorcst was ccntored on tho horso whom her ownor said drank champagne. Boss, more over, was tho only sobor ono of tho outfit somo hours later, for Johnny Steelo surely mado good when ho start ed out to "make a night of it," and this was ono of them. "Nobody who hears my voice can spend a cont. I'm Johnny Steele," was tho favorlto cry of tho llttlo follow ns ho entered a resort, and there were always thoso within sound who at onco began to flguro Just how expenslvo they could mako tho hour with Steelo. Thoro Is yet to bo found the man who will say he over saw "Coal Oil Johnny" tako a cent oi chango from tho bar or anywhere else, for thnt mottor. Fo. such as tho young follow was no such things as dollars or small bills. Lights Cigars with $100 Bills. "What was considered tho height of his extravagance camo ono day when ho entered tho Oil Exchange at Brad ford to look around. Ho never dabbled in oil himself. "I want to sco my JTo-Uxvrcy monoy go," he nlwava said when asked to invest in somo seemingly luscious bit of a flyer in oil. Bat on this occa sion he came In from the street and stood unnoticed by many of tho oil king3 who were scrambling for a shade on tho market. One mlnuto in obscuri ty for "Coal Oil Johnny' was enough. The next moment he had clogged tho wheels of tho oil exchange. Ho stepped out where ho could be seen, selected a cigar from his vest pocket, pulled a roll of bills from another pocket, skinned off a $100 note, and folding it as a lighter struck a match and lit the $100 bill, then touched it to his cigar. After getting a good light from the century note, he watched it burn up, and threw away tho icgar. "Faugh! That's a bad one," ho said, aa he tried another cigar, and also lit it with a now $100 bill. This tlmply paralyzed tho members of the big oil exchange. They had been uSed to making and losing fortunes In a day, but such wanton waste of money had never beforo como under their no tice. There was a lull in tho proceed ings and tho gang gathered round "Coal Oil Johnny." Then he was happy. Ho had attracted attention. "Got to do it, gontlemen. Got to do it. Can't spend my money fast enough, so I have to burn it up," ho said, as he strutted up to the main desk in tho big room. Tries to Buy Oil Exchange. "Say, how much will you tako for tho whole place. I'll buy. I want to own tho Oil Exchango for ono after noon," said "Coal Oil Johnny," really in earnest, and seomingly thinking ho could buy the place. "Whero's tho proprietor? Tell him Johnny Steolo is hero and wants to buy the place. I'll glvo it back to him to-morrow; make him a present of It." Such a proposition as buying tho Bradford Oil Exchango was impossible, but it was about tho only thing that John Steele over liked in thoso day3 that he couldn't buy. Veteran oil mon In western Pennsylvania yet ohlver when they think what might havo hap pened had such a thing as that pro posed by Steelo that day been possible. Had Steelo In his mad career of spend ing got control of the oil market ior oven ono day ho would have mado widespread trouble. His mania for spenulng at that tlmo had reached such proportions thnt ho would havo stop pod at nothing to gain additional no tlco, and with tho millions he thon had ho might havo cornered tho market. This offer to buy out the Bradford Oil Exchange was as near a3 "Coal Oil Johnny" evor camo to dabbling in tho fluid which had mado his fortune. Buys Hotel; Gives It Back. It was a fow days after this that Steolo again electrified tho upper oil country by ono of his purchases. Ho walked -into ono of tho leading hotols of the region, and seeking tho proprie tor said: "I like tho looks of this placo and I want to buy it. How much Is It, spot cash. I'm Johnny Steele and I have tho money," Tho propriotor of tho hotftl looked at tho beardless boy. It was his first meeting with him. It nail been used to tho bluffs of tho nowly rich in thoso days of mushroom fortunes, and ho named a sum that would havo mado a man of many times Stcolo's millions wlnco, but Steolo quickly said: 'Dono. I'll wrlto you a chock and you go down and got it cashod and drink yourself to death." Ho wroto tho check, declined a re ceipt for tho placo, nnd, handing tho proprietor his hat and coat, told h.m not to como back, and wont behind tho desk himself, acting a3 clerk. Ho en- Joyed this about an hour, thon left tho desk without anyono in charge, and wont to tho barroom, whero ho gavo tho barkeepers each two months' wages and told thorn to got out. Ho owned tho place and would run It himself. It took but a fow hours for tho lad of monoy to tiro of his costly toy, and, going out on tho strcot, he met an Im poverished acquaintance. "Billy," ho said, "tako this old ho tel. I bought it, but I'm tired of It. It's yours." About this tlmo "Coal OH Johnny" tired of the oil region and paid a flying visit to Philadelphia and Now York. Ho remained only a short time, but stories of his fearful and wonderful feats of spending money there camo back to Venango county. Ono of his Jokes was to hire as many cabs as would accommodate his friends, ono in a cab, and lead tho procession himself, sitting on the driver's seat with $100 bills In his hat, drive round the stroets of tho town until all wero tired, then "Coal Oil Johnny" would go along tho lino buying tho horso and cab from each astonished driver, then return and present each driver with his own rig again. End of His Career. But It was not long until tho monoy of "Coal Oil Johnny," liko all good things, camo to an ond. Liko a flash It had como to him and almost liko a flash the end came. In a llttlo over soven months from tho time ho camo into his vast fortuno he returned to Ilousevllle, a fow miles up Oil creek above Oil City, and asked for a job of any Bort. Ho was given the position of roustabout at tho llttlo railroad sta tion there, but he soon fled west to escape sightseers and newspaper men who camo from far and near to sro and talk with tho man who had spent millions in such a short tlmo. Ho lived for a long timo on a farm in Iowa, then moved to Kansas, whero ho re mained until a short tlmo ago. While spending the holidays with a friend in sight of the old McClintock farm ho was stricken with pneumonia, from which he died. Unlike millionaires of tho present day, Johnny Steele did not turn from his' wife In the days of his affluence. Nor did she, In the ensuing years of poverty, waver In her affection. When quite young he married Eleanor J. Moflltt, his childhood chum. Tho knot was tied just beforo tho immense for tuno was Inflicted on hlra, and In his wild days of money spending his love for her remained constant. There wero no unsavory scandals with women con nected with tho wild spending of John ny Steele, and all his wild pranks were played when away from Mrs. Steele. Sho alone couU rule him, and she ruled him with love. In vain sho tried to check his mad career of money show ering, condoled with him when It was all gone, but remained steadfast In her lovo for him through nil tho dreary, poverty-ridden years that followed. faithful, loving, tender to the ond. LOUIS PHILIPPE'S FALL. Excitement in tho French Canltal "When tho laonarch Was Deposed. Ono morning toward the end of February, 1848, I sat quietly in my attic chamber working hard at my tragedy of Ulrlch von Hutten, rolates a writer In McClura's, when suddenly a- frlond rushed breathlessly into tho room, exclaiming: "What, you sit ting hero! Do you not know what has happened?" "No, what?" "Tho French havo driven away Louis Phil ippe and proclaimed a republic." I throw down my pen and that was tho end of my IHrioli von Hutten. I nover touched tho manuscript again. Wo tore down tho stairs into the street to tho market sipisro, tho ac customed meeting placo for all tho student societies after their midday dinner. Although it was still fore noon, tho market was already crowd ed with young men, talking excitedly. There was no shouting, no noiso, only agitated conversation. What did wo want there? This probably no ono knew. But slnco tho French had driven away Louis Philippe and pro claimed tho republic;, something, of course, nvist happen hero, too. Somo of tho students had brought tholr raplors along, as if it wero necessary at onco to mako an attack or to de fend oursolvos. Wo woro dominated by a vaguo feeling that a great out break of elemental forces had begun, as it an earthquake was impending of which we had folt tho first shock, and wo instinctively crowded together. Thus wo wandered about in numerous bands to tho "Knnlpo," whero our restlossncss, however, would not suf for us long to stay; then to other pleasure resorts, where wo fell into conversation with all mannor of strangors, to find In them tho samo confusod, astonishod and expectant state of mind; then back to tho mar ket square, to boo what might bo going on there; then again somewhere olso, and so on, without aim and end, until finally lato in tho night fatlguo com pelled us to find tho way homo. Linen suits and collars and belts that aro laid in tho sun to dry aftor ironing will be much stiffor than If drlod on U&a. PAIN IN THE JOINTS ; RhoumotloTorturos Conso Whon Or. Williams' Pink Pills Mako Now Blood. Tho first sign of rhonmatism is fre quently a pain nnd swolling in ono of tho joints. If not combated in tho1 blood, which is tho seat of tho disease, tho poison spreads, affcctlngothor joinUi and tissuos. Sometimes rheumatism at tacks tho heart and Is quickly fatal. Tho ono romedy thnt has, cured rheumatism so thnt it stays cured is Dr. Williams' Pink Pills. Thoso pills oxpol tho poison from tho blood nnd' restore tho system, bo thnt tho poisonous matter Is passed off ns naturo Intended. Mrs. I. T. Pitcher, of No. 180 Mon mouth strcot, Newark, N. .T., suiTored for abent threo years from rheumatism boforo sho found this euro. Sho says: "It began with a quocr feeling in my fingers. In n little timo it scorned ns though tho finger joints hnd lumps out them and I could not get my gloves on. "Thou it grow worso nnd spread to my kuccs. I could not stand up and I could not alecp nights. My suffering was moro than I can describe I took a. great deal of medicine, but nothing ovon gavo mo roliof until I tried Dr. Williams' Pink Pills. " I read nn ncconnt of a. euro in a caso that was exnetly liko niiuo nnd my bus band got mo somo of tho pills. I took them for threo wcoks beforo I really felt bettor but they finnlly cured mo. " Mr. Pitcher, -who is a veteran nnd a membor of E. D. Morgan Post, No. 307 of Now York, substantiates his wife's Btatcmont and says that sho now walks without difficulty, wherens n year ago ho was coinpolled to push her nbout in n wheeled chair. Both Mr. nnd Mrs. Pitcher aro onthnsiastio in tholr prniso of Dr. "Willimns' Pink Pills. For further information, address tho Dr. Williams Mcdicino Company, Sche nectady, N.Y. SIOEC HEMMME Positively enred by mesa iiiitio rins. They also relievo Dis tress from Dyspepsia, In digestion and Too Hearty Eating. A perfect rem edy for Dizziness, Nausea, Drowsiness. Bad Tasto In tho Houth, Coated Tongue, Pain in tho Bldo. TORPID IJVElJ. Ihar regulate tbe Bowels. Purely Vegetable. SMALL PILL, SMALLDOSE, SMALL PRICE, Genuino Must Bear Foe-Simile Signature REFUSE SUBSTITUTES. LEABUED OF WRITEBS. Paul Hoyso Is accredited with belns one of the most famous living German novelists, who Is almost as well known In America as In tho Fatherland. Mary A. Fisher, of Now York, will wrlto a novel and dovote tho proceeds of tho sale to tho support of a home, nonsectarlan, and to caro for thoso "who havo labored In literature, art. education, or any of tho various pro fessions." Mrs. Schuyler Crownlnshleld, wifo of the admiral, has written several stories, and recently has mado her first effort at a stage production which deals with tho revolutionary war and has been recently produced In Now ,Voik and aroused enthusiasm. Emll Zerkowltz, tho noted Hungarian author, who has been commissioned as special envoy by his government with the purpeso of establishing Important commercial relations between that coun try and this, rocently arrived in New Yoik. Ho has a boy named' Gcorgo Washington Zerkowltz, who was born on February 22, 1903. It is stated that Winston Churchill Is to receive the sum of ?40,000 down and royalties for his biography of his father, tho lato Lord Randolph Churchill. Peoplo marvel how he has found tlmo to wrlto It, considering what a busy man ho is. When John Morley wroto the ltfo of Gladstone, for which ho received $50,000, It took him threo years to complote it, and ho practically shut himself up for that period, keeping right away from pub lic life. THE LITTLE WIDOW. A Mighty Good Sort of Neighbor to Havo. "A llttlo widow, a neighbor of mino, persuaded mo to try Grape-Nuts when my stomach was so weak that It would not retain food of any othor kind," writes a grateful woman, from San Bernardino Co., Cal. "I hnd been 111 nnd confined to my bod,wlth fever and nervous prostration for threo long months after tho birth of my second boy. We wero In despair until tho llttlo widow's advico brought rolicf. "I liked Grapo-Nuts food from tho be ginning, nnd In an incredibly short time it gavo mo such strength that I was able to leave my bed nnd enjoy my threo good meals a day. In 2 months my wolght increased from 95 to 113 pounds, my nerves had stoadlod down, and 1 felt ready for anything. My neighbors wero amazed to sco mo gain so rapidly, and still more so whon thoy heard that Grapo-Nuts alone had brought tho chango. "My 4-yoar-old boy had eczema, very bad last spring, and lost his appetite entlroly, which mado hlra cross and peevish. I put hlra on a diot of Grape Nuts, which ho relished nt once. Ho improved fiorn the beginning, tho ec zema disappeared, and now ho Is fat nnd rosy, with a delightfully soft, dear skin. Tho Grape -Nuts diet did it. I will willingly answer all inquiries." Name given by Postum Co., Battle Creek, Mich. There's a reason. Bead tho little book, "Tho Rad to Wellvllle," inpk . : CARTERS train Lb flgILE.S.. CARTERS WlTTLE HIVER 1 Plj-S.