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John Dustin Archbold

John Dustin Archbold (1848 – 1916) was an American capitalist and one of the United States' earliest oil refiners. He was the grandfather of zoologist Richard Archbold.

Contents

Early life

Archbold was born at Leesburg, Ohio, and educated in public schools. He moved to Pennsylvania by 1864.

Oil industry career

In 1864 he went to the north-west Pennsylvania oil fields and spent eleven years in the oil industry there. When John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company began buying up refiners in this oil rich region, many independent refiners felt squeezed out, and Archbold was among Standard's harshest and loudest critics.

However, Archbold was subsequently recruited by Rockefeller to Standard Oil where he became a director and served as its vice-president and president until its dissolution in 1911.

Syracuse University career

In 1886, Archbold became a member of the Board of Trustees of Syracuse University, and was the Board’s president from 1893 until his death in 1916. From 1893-1914, he contributed nearly $6,000,000 for eight buildings, including the full cost of the Archbold Stadium (opened 1907, demolished 1978; the Carrier Dome was built on this site), Sims Hall (men's dormitory, 1907), the Archbold Gymnasium (1909, nearly destroyed by fire in 1947, but still in use), and the oval athletic field. The entrance to the school's Hall of Languages building is inscribed "John D. Archbold College of Liberal Arts," but this is not the official name of Syracuse's liberal arts college.

Theodore Roosevelt scandal

Archbold was involved in a scandalous affair involving monetary gifts to the Republican Party. In 1912, he was called to testify before a committee which was investigating political contributions made by the Standard Oil Company to the campaign funds of political parties.

He claimed that President Theodore Roosevelt was aware of the $125,000 contribution made by Standard Oil Company to the 1904 campaign fund of the Republican Party, but President Roosevelt produced letters written by him which directed his campaign managers to return such monetary contributions if they were offered.

Personal life

The gravesite of John Dustin Archbold

He married Annie M Mills in 1870, and together they had four children:

  • Mary Lavina Archbold (b 1871)
  • Anne Archbold (b 1873)
  • Frances Archbold (b 1875)
  • John Foster Archbold (b 1877), father of zoologist Richard Archbold

Archbold is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, New York.

Legacy

The John D. Archbold Memorial Hospital, now the Archbold Medical Center in Thomasville, Georgia was donated in 1925 by his son, John Foster Archbold, and named in his father's honour. The John D. Archbold Theatre at Syracuse Stage (Central New York's only professional theater) is named after him.

Further reading

  • Chernow, Ron. Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. London: Warner Books, 1998.
  • Yergin, Daniel. The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991.

External links

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