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The Oilman's Daughter

by Norman M. and Dorothy Karasick

Hardcover, 268 pages, dustjacket

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 County.

The Oilman's Daughter
By Norman M. and Dorothy Karasick