Oliver Burr Jennings
Early life and family
Jennings was born in 1825 in Fairfield, Connecticut, to Abraham Gold Jennings and Anna Burr. At a young age he came to New York to learn the dry goods business. In 1849 he headed West to seek his fortune in the California Gold Rush. He set up a general mercantile store in San Francisco with Benjamin Brewster and amassed a considerable fortune by outfitting prospecting camps along the coast and around Sacramento.
On December 13, 1854, he married Esther Judson Goodsell (1828–1908) in Fairfield. Her sister Almira Geraldine Goodsell (1844–1920) was the wife of Standard Oil co-founder William Avery Rockefeller, Jr. (1841–1922). They had five children:
- Annie Burr Jennings
- Walter Jennings (director of Standard Oil Company of New Jersey; president of the Jekyll Island Club, 1927–1933)
- Helen Goodsell Jennings (married Dr. Walter James, president of the Jekyll Island Club, 1919–1927)
- Emma Brewster Jennings (married Hugh Dudley Auchincloss, Sr.; mother of stockbroker Hugh Dudley Auchincloss, Jr.)
- Oliver Gould Jennings (married Mary Dows Brewster, daughter of Benjamin Brewster and Elmina Hersey Dows; father of businessman Benjamin Brewster Jennings)
In 1862 he returned to New York with the intention of retiring from all business activities. However, as a consequence of his relation by marriage to William Avery Rockefeller, Jr. he became interested in the affairs of the Standard Oil Company. In 1871, when Standard Oil was incorporated in Ohio, Jennings was one of the original stockholders. Of the initial 10,000 shares, John D. Rockefeller received 2,667; William Rockefeller, Henry Flagler, and Samuel Andrews received 1,333 each; Stephen V. Harkness received 1,334; Jennings received 1,000; and the firm of Rockefeller, Andrews & Flagler received 1,000.
Jennings served as a director of Standard Oil of Ohio and then as a trustee of the Standard Oil Trust that resulted from the company's reorganization in 1882.
- Ward, George Kemp (1910). Andrew Warde and His Descendants, 1597-1910. A.T. De La Mare. pp. 117, 189.
- "Oliver Burr Jennings". The New York Times. 1893-02-13. p. 4. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
- Men of Progress. New England Magazine. 1898. pp. 402–3.
- McCash, June Hall (1998). The Jekyll Island Cottage Colony. University of Georgia Press. p. 220. ISBN 978-0-8203-1928-5.
- Dies, Edward (1969). Behind the Wall Street Curtain. Ayer. p. 76.
- "All in the Family; Provisions of the Will of Oliver Burr Jennings of this City". The New York Times. 1893-02-26. p. 4. Retrieved 2008-12-10.