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Affidavits of George 0 Baslington

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AFFIDAVITS OF GEORGE 0. BASLINGTON In the spring of 1869, they (Hanna, Baslington & Company) began the construc tion of refining works just above the Atlantic depot on the west side of the Cleveland and Columbus Railroad track, and invested in the construction of the works about $67,000, which works were completed so as to commence the refining business about the first of June, 1869, and from that time up to about the first of July, 1870, the works had netted a profit of $40,000 over all expenses of running said works, being about 6o per cent. on the capital invested per annum, and from that time on up to the first of April, 1872, said firm cleared $21000, being about 3o per cent. per annum on the investment from the time that said firm commenced business.

Some time in February, 1872, the firm received a message from the Standard Oil Company requesting said firm to have an interview as to the disposal of the refining works of said firm; that they were indisposed to enter into any arrangement for the disposition of said works because the investment of capital in said works had proved abundantly profitable to their satisfaction and they had no disposition whatever to part with the works; but upon investigation they were somewhat surprised to find that the Standard Oil Company had already obtained the substantial control of the different refineries in the City of Cleveland; that it had obtained such rates of trans portation of crude and refined oil from the different railroads that it was impossible for them to compete with it, and upon an interview which was had by Mr. Hanna and affiant with Mr. Rockefeller who was at the time president of the Standard Oil Company. Mr. Flagler, the secretary of the company, being present, Mr. Rockefeller in substance declared or said that the Standard Oil Company had such control of the refining business already in the City of Cleveland that he thought said firm of Hanna, Baslington & Company could not make any money; that there was no use for them to attempt to do business in competition with the Standard Oil Company.

Affiant further says that after having had an interview both with Mr. Watson, who was the president of a company called "The South Improvement Company," and Mr. Devereux, who was the general manager of the Lake Shore Road, he became satisfied that no arrangement whatever could be effected through which transportation could at least be obtained on the Lake Shore Road that would enable their firm to compete with the Standard Oil Company, the works of said Hanna, Baslington Company, being so situated that they could only obtain their crude oil through the line of the Lake Shore Road. And finding that the Standard Oil Company had such

special rates of transportation that unless the firm of Hanna, Baslington & Company were enabled to bring as much oil as the Standard Oil Company, that it was impossible for said firm of Hanna, Baslington & Company to obtain a fair competing rate with the Standard Oil Company. They at least came to the conclusion that it was better for them to take what they could get from the Standard Oil Company and let their works go.

And affiant further says that under these circumstances they sold their works to the Standard Oil Company, which were on the day of the sale worth at least $100,000, for $45,000 because that was all they could obtain from them, and works too which in cash cost them not less than $76,000, and which with a fair competition would have paid them an income of not less than 3o per cent. per annum on the investment.

Affiant further says that at the interviews which he had with Mr. Rockefeller, Mr. Rockefeller told him that the Standard Oil Company already had control of all the large refineries in the City of Cleveland and there was no use for them to undertake to compete against the Standard Oil Company, for it would only ultimate in their being wiped out, or language to that effect.—(November 1, 1880.) George 0. Baslington being duly sworn (November 12, 1880) says: That the firm of Hanna, Baslington Sr Company, the first year they were in business, made profit amounting to a little less than $40,000 and from the end of the first year up to the time of the sale to the Standard Oil Company they made no profit at all. At the time of the sale the firm reserved the privilege of running the works to close up and run them up to about April 1, 1872, and during that time they made profit to the amount of about $21,000. At the time my former affidavit was drawn by Mr. Tyler, I stated these facts to him.

In the sale of the works to the Standard Oil Company we were given the option to take cash or to take stock in the Standard Oil Company at par. We decided to and did take cash, and one reason that influenced us to take cash was that we were fearful that refining oil at Cleveland might not be successful, and if so, the cash was better than the stock, and affiant wanted the cash to enable him to embark in other