John Rockefeller and Laura Spelman: Billions, austerity and 50 years of family idyll

John Rockefeller and Laura Spelman: Billions, austerity and 50 years of family idyll

Categories: Celebrities | Economy | History

John Rockefeller went down in history as the first dollar billionaire. At the time of the 2000s, he was the richest man in history. Forbes magazine estimated his fortune at $ 318 billion (in terms of the equivalent). 

However, there was no man in business more ruthless and tough. He was called Mephistopheles of Cleveland and Reverend Pastor Dollar. At the same time, for half a century he was tenderly devoted to his wife, and at night he wiped the tears of the children.

John Rockefeller and Laura Spelman: Billions, austerity and 50 years of family idyll

John Rockefeller and Laura Spelman: Billions, austerity and 50 years of family idyll

John Rockefeller and Laura Spelman: Billions, austerity and 50 years of family idyll

Rockefeller was born in a poor family, but from childhood he was attracted by a single goal: to become rich. The first makings of an entrepreneur appeared at a young age thanks to his father. Already at the age of seven, John safely bought sweets in the store, so that he could then sell them piece by piece to his sisters, thereby increasing his capital. 

Growing turkeys for sale, he scrupulously calculated the costs of their maintenance and possible income. He learned the subtleties of loan operations from his own experience, having lent $ 50 to a neighbor at the age of 13 at 7 percent per annum. 

John Rockefeller and Laura Spelman: Billions, austerity and 50 years of family idyll

At the age of 16, John Rockefeller, on the urgent recommendation of his parents, chooses three-month courses at a trade school instead of going to university. However, the billionaire himself has never regretted it, only dispassionately stated the undoubted benefits of rapid training in trade secrets.

After completing the courses, he got a job as an accountant's assistant for his only job as an employee. With all the passionate desire to get rich, John Rockefeller was an extremely religious man thanks to his mother, a devout Baptist, attended church with enviable constancy, was elected churchwarden at the age of 18 and managed to collect $ 2,000 to repay the mortgage on the building that his church occupied. 

John Rockefeller and Laura Spelman: Billions, austerity and 50 years of family idyll

John met Laura while studying at the courses. The girl's family was considered not poor, while her head actively fought for the rights of blacks. Laura herself, in addition to supporting her father in everything, also advocated for women's rights to education.

Laura was very devout and met all John Rockefeller's ideas about his future wife. Moreover, she was very similar in character to his beloved mother, had a practical mindset. Rockefeller noted: "Without her advice, I would have remained a poor man."

John Rockefeller and Laura Spelman: Billions, austerity and 50 years of family idyll

The lovers behaved decently: they attended church services, played music together from time to time, read enthusiastically. The girl accepted courtship favorably, but believed that they needed a strong financial foundation to create a family.

John accompanied the marriage proposal with the presentation of an engagement ring worth $ 118. In the fall of 1864, Rockefeller and Spelman became husband and wife. They made a honeymoon trip to Niagara Falls, and on their return they began to create their own family, which had to exist according to certain rules. 

John Rockefeller and Laura Spelman: Billions, austerity and 50 years of family idyll

John and Laura's compatibility was phenomenal. They were both distinguished by an extraordinary capacity for economy, modesty of requests and adherence to established dogmas. For Laura, the three pillars of happiness were family, home, and church. According to John, the basis of everything should be discipline, order, economy and accounting. 

Attending Sunday church service was an unshakable tradition. It could not be violated under any circumstances, even during travel or family holidays. 

John Rockefeller and Laura Spelman: Billions, austerity and 50 years of family idyll

Laura gave birth to five children, but one of the girls died in infancy. John turned out to be a gentle father, he jumped up to the crib of a crying baby before his wife, enjoyed working with children in rare moments of rest. Three daughters and a son were brought up in compliance with strict rules, once and for all established by the head of the family. Children learned to earn money from infancy. Any help around the house, good grades at school, work in your own garden were encouraged financially. However, offenses were invariably punished with a fine. 

It is impossible to imagine, but the children had one bike for all, as Laura was sure that this would teach them to share. 

John Rockefeller and Laura Spelman: Billions, austerity and 50 years of family idyll

In 1914, John and Laura Rockefeller celebrated the golden anniversary of married life. At the celebration on this occasion, John thanked God for his beloved, who had been by his side all his life. 

In recent years, Laura has been ill, almost never got out of bed. John had already transferred his affairs and therefore had the opportunity to be constantly at his wife's bedside. It's just amazing how this man combined a shark's grip in business and a touching tenderness for a friend of life. 

John Rockefeller and Laura Spelman: Billions, austerity and 50 years of family idyll

Laura Rockefeller died in 1915. In her memory, John founded a charitable foundation in her name, which is still active today. John Davidson Rockefeller lived after the departure of his beloved for more than 20 years, only two years short of the centenary. 

John Rockefeller and Laura Spelman: Billions, austerity and 50 years of family idyll

The house where John Rockefeller was born.

John Rockefeller and Laura Spelman: Billions, austerity and 50 years of family idyll

At the age of 18.

John Rockefeller and Laura Spelman: Billions, austerity and 50 years of family idyll

John Rockefeller with his son, 1915.

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