From Poverty To Becoming A Millionaire Oil Baron

Samuel Reason | October 22nd, 2018

Sarah Rector was born in 1902 in Oklahoma on Muscogee Creek Indian allotted land to two parents who both came from enslaved ancestry. In 1907 when Oklahoma passed a law that ordered the Creeks land to be divided between the Creeks and also their former slaves.

This meant that Sarah Rector and all her family members receive allotted sections of land, the land given to former slaves were usually of poor agricultural quality and very rocky. Sarah was given 160 acres and this at the time was valued at $556.50.

With the interest of simply being able to pay the annual $30 tax bill, her parents leased her land to the Devonian Oil Company of Pittsburgh, but in 1913 everything changed. An oil driller B.B. Jones suddenly produced what is called a “Gusher” and started to fill up 2500 barrels a day. Rector was now at the age of 12 receiving $300 dollars per day. Rector’s parents quickly changed her guardianship to a white man named T.J. Porter who was a family friend and her allotment became part of the famed Cushing Drumright Field.

Suddenly Rector’s newfound wealth became known, she was now an oil baron, some months alone she was receiving over $11,000. And as soon as her identity became public even at the age of 12 she was receiving requests for marriage, money gifts or loans. Papers were publishing smear stories that her money was being mismanaged and that she lived in rags, which was not true at all. Rector and her siblings were going to a school and lived in a modern five-room cottage.

By the age of 20, she owned stocks and bonds, a boarding house, a bakery and a cafe all in Muskogee, Oklahoma. And not to mention over 2,000 acres of prime river bottomland, she had avoided all the scams and attempts of mismanaging her estate, successfully becoming a millionaire oil baron.

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