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HARKNESS, STEPHEN V.

HARKNESS, STEPHEN V.

HARKNESS, STEPHEN V. (18 Nov. 1818-6 Mar. 1888), financier who provided crucial support for the STANDARD OIL CO., was born in Fayette, N.Y. and apprenticed to a harnessmaker after his formal education ended at 15. When his apprenticeship ended at 21, he moved to Bellevue, Ohio. Moving often in the 1850s, Harkness soon left harnessmaking for other ventures. In 1855 he established a distillery in Monroeville, Ohio, and by 1860 was a leading businessman, organizing a bank in 1860, and in 1864 forming a partnership with Wm. Halsey Doan to supply crude oil to refineries. His fortune made, Harkness sold his Monroeville enterprises in 1866 and moved to Cleveland. Although retired from daily involvement in business, he continued to invest, most successfully in Standard Oil. Harkness invested between $60,000 and $90,000 in the firm's forerunner, Rockefeller, Andrews & Flagler, and in 1870 became a charter member of Standard Oil Co. He was a director of the firm until his death. From 1869-72, Harkness owned one third of the Union Elevator firm with GEO. W. GARDNER and Geo. H. Burt. In 1876 he built the Harkness Block at Euclid and Willson (E. 55th). He was a director of Euclid Ave. Natl. Bank and Ohio River Railway Co., and president of Iron Belt Mining Co. and Cleveland Arcade Co. Harkness married twice--to Laura Osborn in 1842 and to Anna M. Richardson in 1853.