Remembering Yesteryear: Sarah Rector- The youngest African American oil tycoon

February 6, 2016


Remembering Yesteryear: Sarah Rector- The youngest African American oil tycoon

Dilemma X would like to take this time to remember Sarah Rector.

Below are newspaper articles that will take you on brief journey back into history.
Should she have become the first African American billionaire? See for yourself.


Sarah Rector

Sarah Rector age 12
Age 12

Sarah Rector was born to Joseph and Rose Rector on March 3, 1902, near Twine, Oklahoma on Muscogee Creek Native American allotment land. Both Joseph and Rose had enslaved Creek ancestry, and both of their fathers fought with the Union Army during the Civil War.

In 1907, the Dawes Allotment Act divided Creek lands among the Creeks and their former enslaved people with a termination date of 1906. Rector’s parents, Sarah Rector herself, her brother, Joe, Jr., and sister Rebecca all received land.

In February 1911 Rector’s father leased her allotment to the Devonian Oil Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1913, however, her fortunes changed when wildcat oil driller B.B. Jones struck oil. Sarah Rector became the wealthiest young African American in the nation.

Rector died at age 65 on July 22, 1967, her wealth was diminished, but she still had some working oil wells and real estate holdings. Sarah Rector was buried in Taft Cemetery, Oklahoma.

Sarah moved to Kansas City, Missouri. By this point Rector, who now owned stocks and bonds, a boarding house and bakery and the Busy Bee Café in Muskogee, Oklahoma, as well as 2,000 acres of prime river bottomland, was a millionaire.

The family moved into what would be known as the Rector Mansion. Rector married Kenneth Campbell, and the couple had three sons, Kenneth, Jr., Leonard, and Clarence. Her marriage to Campbell ended in 1930, and in 1934 she married William Crawford.

History in the news
Click the images below to enlarge for better viewing. Click your return arrow to return to this Dilemma X topic.

1887 February 6 Dawes Indian Allotment

1906 May 27 Indian Land Oklahoma


$475 in 1913 would equal $11,372 in 2015
$1 million in 1913 would equal $23,941,111 in 2015
1913 October 7 Sarah Rector


$171,000 in 1913 would equal $4,093,930 in 2015

1913 November 5 Sarah Rector

1913 November 8 Sarah Rector

1915 September 17 Sarah Rector

$188,000 in 1915 would equal $4,411,801 in 2015
1915 November 17 Sarah Rector

$18,000 in 1915 would equal $422,406 in 2015
1915 December 25 Sarah Rector

1916 December 22 Sarah Rector

$1 million in 1918 would equal $15,696,490 in 2015
1918 April 12 Sarah Rector

1918 April 17 Sarah Rector

1918 May 2 Sarah Rector 02

1918 May 2 Sarah Rector

Click image to enlarge
1918 May 16 Sarah Rector


$2,625 in 1918 would equal $41,203 in 2015
1918 May 19 Sarah Rector

1920 March 4 Sarah Rector

1920 August 12 Sarah Rector

1922 July 22 Sarah Rector

1922 November 10 Sarah Rector

Sarah Rector

1961 November 23 Sarah Rector

The Rector House today in Kansas City
Rector House

Rector House today

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