John D. Rockefeller: Anointed with Oil

By Grant Segall | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 1

THE FIRST
FOOTHOLD

It was springtime in the mid-1840s, and the turkey hens were sneaking into the brush again on John D. Rockefeller's childhood farm. [I can still close my eyes,] he would write in his memoirs decades later, [and distinctly see the gentle and dignified birds walking quietly along the brook and through the woods, cautiously stealing the way to their nests.] Perhaps it took one to know one. The gentle and dignified John stole quietly and cautiously after a hen across the field. She noticed him, zigzagged awhile, then vanished into the brush. John, age seven or eight, stalked her again the next day. She vanished again. But the persistent hen had met her match. He eventually found her nest.

That was the beginning of John's first business venture. His mother had said he could raise the hen's babies and sell them. One by one, he slipped the eggs from the nest and put them in the barn, safe from the rats and foxes outside. Then he brought the hen inside to sit on them. When the eggs hatched, he tended the babies with care. He fed them curds, bread crumbs, and grasshoppers. He guarded them on walks. But he had no qualms about selling them in the fall. With the profits, he bought three more hens the next

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John D. Rockefeller: Anointed with Oil
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • Chapter 1 - The First Foothold 9
  • Chapter 2 - The Oil Business Head and Ears 23
  • Chapter 3 - Missionaries of Light 41
  • Chapter 4 - What Should Be Done? 57
  • Chapter 5 - I Can't Endure to See That Money Idle 73
  • Chapter 6 - Shall We Go On, Gentlemen? 87
  • Chapter 7 - Our Splendid, Happy Family Must Scatter 99
  • Chronology 116
  • Further Reading and Resources 118
  • Museums and Historic Sites 120
  • Index 122
  • Acknowledgments 126
  • Picture Credits 127
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