Oliver Hazard Payne
Oliver Hazard Payne (July 21, 1839 – June 27, 1917) was an American businessman, organizer of the American Tobacco trust, and assisted with the formation of U.S. Steel, and was affiliated with Standard Oil. He is considered one of the 100 wealthiest Americans, having left an enormous fortune. His estate at Esopus, New York, known as the Col. Oliver Hazard Payne Estate, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002 and is now the home of Marist College's Raymond A. Rich Institute for Leadership Development.
The son of businessman-politician Henry B. Payne and Mary Perry, he graduated from Phillips Academy Andover in 1859, then studied at Yale University where he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon. At the outbreak of the U.S. Civil War in 1861 he enlisted in the Union Army, though he could have afforded to pay someone to go in his place. In 1863, he became colonel of the 124th Ohio Infantry. He was Brevetted Brigadier General March 13, 1865. Upon the end of the war, he began his career, investing in iron and then oil refining. His oil interests were the first acquired by Standard Oil, and he became a trustee of that firm and acted as a lobbyist. He was charged with bribing members of the Ohio Legislature to attain a Senate seat for his father (before the U.S. Senate was directly elected), and with bribing the Democratic Party to name his brother-in-law United States Secretary of the Navy, though the charges were dropped.
He was the uncle of (William) Payne Whitney and Harry Payne Whitney. He was also the uncle of Congresswoman Frances Payne Bolton (1885–1977). He was named for Oliver Hazard Perry, a relative of his mother.
- Encyclopedia of Cleveland History
- Biography from Marist (Business activities)
- Biography from Marist (Civil War activities)
- Payne's Military Career
- Obituary at the New York Times, June 28, 1917
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