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Wallace Libby Hardison (26 August 1850 – 10 April 1909) was one of the founders of Union Oil.
Hardison was born in Caribou, Aroostook County, Maine, the youngest of eleven children. He followed his brother, James Henry Hardison, to the oil fields of Western Pennsylvania. At first, they worked as field hands, but eventually befriended Milton and Lyman Stewart. After John D. Rockefeller had effectively taken control of the Western Pennsylvania oil fields, Lyman Stewart and Wallace Hardison went to Santa Paula in Southern California in 1883 to develop the newly discovered oil fields there. The original venture was called Hardison & Stewart Oil Company. A few years later, Stewart and Hardison joined forces with Thomas Bard and Paul Calonico to form the Union Oil Company.
Hardison eventually sold out his share of Union Oil and invested a portion of the proceeds in a Peruvian gold mine called the Santo Domingo.
"Wallace Hardison was a massive man with bristling, black mustaches, an elastic, impatient stride, and a restlessly brilliant mind. Desk work and details were not for him, and he loved the hurly-burly of the oil fields almost as much as he loved good horseflesh. Quick to act, and quicker still to make decisions requiring action, he was genial, friendly, outgoing, impulsive, and generous to a fault. Espousing the Universalist faith, he lacked Stewart's compulsive piety."[this quote needs a citation]
- Willard, Charles Dwight (1899). A History of the Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles, California, p. 265. Kingsley-Barnes & Neuner Company.
- Marius Vassiliou (2009). The A to Z of the Petroleum Industry, p. 478. Scarecrow Press, Inc.
- Porter, Florence Collins & Trask, Helen Brown, eds. (1913). Maine Men and Women in Southern California, p. 78. Kingsley, Mason & Collins Company.
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