John Dustin Archbold

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John Dustin Archbold

Also Known As: "Jno D. Archibold"
Birthdate: (68)
Birthplace: Leesburg, Highland, Ohio, United States
Death: December 5, 1916 (68)
Tarrytown, Westchester, NY, USA (appendicitis)
Immediate Family:

Son of Reverend Israel Archbold and Frances Foster Archbold
Husband of Annie Archbold (Mills)
Father of Mary Lavinia van Beuren (Archbold); Anne Mills Archbold; Frances Dana Walcott and John Foster Archbold
Brother of William Archbold; James Edward Archbold; Phebe Maria Lockard; Charles Wesley Archbold; Mary Elizabeth Colter and 1 other

Occupation: President of Standard Oil NJ
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John Dustin Archbold

Vice President of the Standard Oil Trust;

Second President of the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey

John Dustin Archbold (1848–1916) was an American capitalist and one of the United States' earliest representatives of the Pennsylvania crude oil producers who soon allied with the Rockefeller oil refiner cartlel. There are many descendant Archbold lines, among which is that of the noted zoologist Richard Archbold.


Archbold was born at Leesburg, Ohio in 1848, and educated in public schools. He moved to Pennsylvania by 1864.

In 1864 he went to the north-west Pennsylvania oil fields and spent eleven years in the oil industry there starting as a salesman (is is reported elsewhere that he started as a shipping clerk {see p. 364 of Sketches in Crude Oil}). When John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company began buying up refiners in this oil rich region, many independent refiners felt squeezed out, and Archbold was among Standard's harshest and loudest critics.

However, Archbold was subsequently recruited by Rockefeller to Standard Oil where he became a director and served as its vice-president and president. Of the first nine trustees of the Standard Oil Company, formed in 1882, Archbold alone remained in this capacity until its dissolution in 1911 at the order of the United States Supreme Court. He then became president of the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, a position he occupied until his death.

In 1886, Archbold became a member of the board of trustees of Syracuse University, and was the board’s president from 1893 until his death in 1916. From 1893-1914, he contributed nearly $6,000,000 for eight buildings, including the full cost of the Archbold Stadium (opened 1907, demolished 1978; the Carrier Dome was built on this site), Sims Hall (men's dormitory, 1907), the Archbold Gymnasium (1909, nearly destroyed by fire in 1947, but still in use), and the oval athletic field. The entrance to the school's Hall of Languages building is inscribed "John D. Archbold College of Liberal Arts," but this is not the official name of Syracuse's liberal arts college.

In 1915 an attempt was made by anarchists to assassinate him. He died in 1916.

"On November 19, 1915, a powerful dynamite bomb was discovered at Cedar Cliff, the Tarrytown estate of John D. Archbold, President of the Standard Oil Company.[5] Police theorized the bomb was planted by anarchists and Industrial Workers of the World radicals as a protest against the execution of IWW member Joseph Hillstrom in Salt Lake City.[5][6] The bomb was discovered by a gardener, John Walquist, who found four sticks of dynamite, weighing a pound each, half hidden in a rut in a driveway fifty feet from the front entrance of the residence.[5][6] The dynamite sticks were bound together by a length of wire, fitted with percussion caps, and wrapped with a piece of paper matching the color of the driveway, a path used by Archbold in going to or from his home by automobile.[5] The bomb was later defused by police.[5]"

"Archbold papers"scandal:

Archbold was involved in a scandalous affair involving monetary gifts to the Republican Party. In 1912, he was called to testify before a committee which was investigating political contributions made by the Standard Oil Company to the campaign funds of political parties.

He claimed that President Theodore Roosevelt was aware of the $125,000 contribution made by Standard Oil Company to the 1904 campaign fund of the Republican Party, but President Roosevelt produced letters written by him which directed his campaign managers to return such monetary contributions if they were offered.

Personal life:

He married Annie M Mills in 1870, and together they had four children:

Mary Lavina Archbold (1871-1951)

Anne Archbold (1873-1968)

Frances Archbold (1875-1899)

John Foster Archbold (1877-1930), father of zoologist Richard Archbold Archbold, is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, New York.


The John D. Archbold Memorial Hospital, now the Archbold Medical Center in Thomasville, Georgia was donated in 1925 by his son, John Foster Archbold, and named in his father's honour. The John D. Archbold Theatre at Syracuse Stage (Central New York's only professional theater) is named after him.

Further reading:

Chernow, Ron. Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. London: Warner Books, 1998. Yergin, Daniel. The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991. History of the Standard Oil Company by Ida Tarbell

An excellent account of the Archbold Papers scandal is in Citizen Hearst

An interesting personal interview by Elbert Hubbard is at: (search on "Archbold")

J.D. Archbold's middle name, Dustin, came from the friendship between half sisters. One was his mother, Frances (Foster); the second, close in age, Polly Dorcas, married Reverend Migrill Dustin who became a close friend of Israel Archbold, John Dustin Archbold's father. Migrill and Israel went to seminary together.

•from a Palm Beach, FL "history" "President of Standard Oil when it dissolved in 1911, John D. Archbold began his career in western Pennsylvania’s oil fields as a critic of Rockefeller’s company before becoming a leading part of it.

Archbold’s $25 million estate or was it $100 million, which $15 million was believed made up of Standard Oil of New Jersey stock, was equally divided between his wife and their three children, Annie, John F., and Mary Archbold Van Beuren. After Mr. Archbold’s death, his widow married her late husband’s first cousin Judge Charles Dustin; in 1918, the couple moved to Thomasville where they lived next door to her son’s several thousand-acre plantation.

While Mr. Archbold lived in Tarrytown near the Rockefeller’s Pocantico estate, his children and grandchildren became part of the Thomasville – Palm Beach set.

His son John Foster Archbold built Chinquapin, a hunting preserve in Thomasville; there, he donated the funds for the Archbold Medical Center, named for the family’s patriarch.

To the south in Lake Placid, his grandson Richard Archbold established the Archbold Biological Station [4] featured in a previous New York Social Diary column. In Palm Beach, granddaughter Frances Archbold Hufty was an island presence for more than seven decades."

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John Dustin Archbold's Timeline

July 26, 1848
Leesburg, Highland, Ohio, United States
May 18, 1859
Age 10
Hanover, Licking, Ohio, United States
November 7, 1871
Age 23
Titusville, Crawford, Pennsylvania, United States
November 24, 1873
Age 25
New York, New York, New York, United States
October 16, 1875
Age 27
May 9, 1877
Age 28