Norman M. and Dorothy Karasick
FROM THE PUBLISHER
The little town of Barnsdall,
Oklahoma home of Petrolite’s Bareco Wax Factory, developed around the
Barnsdall Oil Company refinery at Bigheart, Oklahoma. In fact, in 1922,
the name of the town was changed to Barnsdall in memory and honor of T.
N. Barnsdall, the world’s first truly independent oilman.
After T. N. Barnsdall’s death in 1918, his fortune went to his two
daughters, Aline and Frances. Each daughter received the equivalent of
$3 million as their share. Aline converted her fortune to cash and
invested mainly in tax free municipal bonds and lived off of and
invested the interest in revenue. Frances married Robert Law, an
official in the Barnsdall Oil Company.
Aline Barnsdall (1822–1946), was theatrical producer, political
consultant, and advertising genius. She is quoted as saying years ago,
"I haven’t that old fashioned thing called ‘women’s weaknesses’. There
is a new kind of woman in the world today." That was before the day of
feminism and "Women’s Lib."
Many gifted and famous people impacted Aline Barnsdall’s life. When
others shunned him, she supported Frank Lloyd Wright with commissions
and purchased from his art collection. Though Los Angeles accepted her
gift of Hollyhock House, objections from the American Legion and the
political establishment prevented the city from accepting all of Olive
Hill in the center of downtown Los Angeles.
Aline Barnsdall was a product of an innovative and tumultuous age that
witnessed the development of the railroad, telephone, automobile,
motion pictures, radio, airplane, women’s suffrage, labor battles,
depressions, and wars. She defied the Los Angeles establishment by
using billboards on Olive Hill to inform and educate the public with
news and views that the local newspapers would not publish. The authors
are presently working on a biography of Aline’s father, T.N. Barnsdall,
well known in the early day Oklahoma oilfields, especially in Osage
The Oilman's Daughter
By Norman M. and Dorothy Karasick