Henry Huttleston Rogers

American businessman (1840–1909) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Henry Huttleston Rogers (January 29, 1840 – May 19, 1909) was an American industrialist and financier. He made his fortune in the oil refining business, becoming a leader at Standard Oil. He also played a major role in numerous corporations and business enterprises in the gas industry, copper, and railroads. He became a close friend of Mark Twain.

Quick facts: Henry Huttleston Rogers, Born, Died, Occupati...
Henry Huttleston Rogers
Born(1840-01-29)January 29, 1840
DiedMay 19, 1909(1909-05-19) (aged 69)
Children5, including Mary Huttleston Coe

Rogers' success in the oil industry began with Charles Pratt in 1866, when he invented an improved process by which naphtha was separated from crude oil during oil refining. John D. Rockefeller bought his and Pratt's business in 1874, and Rogers rose rapidly in Standard Oil. He designed the idea of a very long pipeline for transporting oil, as opposed to using railway cars. In the 1880s, he broadened his interests beyond oil to include copper, steel, banking, and railroads, as well as the Consolidated Gas Company that provided coal gas to major cities. By the 1890s, as Rockefeller was withdrawing from the oil business, Rogers was a dominant figure at Standard Oil. In 1899, Rogers set up the Amalgamated Copper trust, based in Butte, Montana, that dominated an industry in high demand as the nation needed wire to build its electric networks. His last major enterprise was building the Virginian Railway to service the West Virginia coal fields. After 1890, he became a prominent philanthropist, as well as a friend and supporter of Mark Twain and Booker T. Washington.

His biographer states:

A strange dualism characterized Rogers. Pitiless in business deals, in his personal affairs he was warm and generous, and at sixty, according to Tarbell, "by all odds, the handsomest and most distinguished figure in Wall Street." ...Rogers delighted in outwitting his contemporaries and in exercising power that comes from great wealth. However, he flourished just as the Gilded Age was giving way to the Progressive Era, and therefore his drive to power was frustrated by reforms and changes to more acceptable management styles that the twentieth century was ushering in.[1]