World’s First Black Millionaire

Sarah Rector, born on March 3, 1902, became a well known millionaire at just 12 years old in 1914, shortly after being freed from slavery in 1906. Sarah was given an amount of land as the rest of the freed slaves, but unlike the poor agricultural and rocky land most had been given, Sarah’s land was truly golden. Sarah received over 160 acres of land valuing up to $556.60. Sarah’s land had been leased to the Devonian Oil Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The company’s best driller, B.B. Jones, discovered what was called a “gusher,” that allowed them to produce up to 2,500 barrels of oil daily. At this high rate of production Rector was raking in about $300.00 a day.

Things only got better from there as Rector let a close family friend by the name of  T.J. Porter to have full guardianship over her allotment, or land.  T.J made big things happen, starting off with Sarah’s allotment becoming a part of Cushing-Drumright Field in Oklahoma. In just one short month, this gained Sarah a whopping  $11,567.  This put a huge spotlight on Sarah who was only 12 years old. She had received numerous request for loans and even marriage. There was also a lot of criticism, saying that the child was being taken care of poorly and dressed in dirty rags, however, this was untrue. Sarah and her siblings all attended school, living in a beautiful and clean home, and also owned an automobile.

By the age of 18, Sarah returned from boarding school, and packed up herself and her family, and left Tuskegee and moved to Kansas City, Missouri. Sarah was still maintaining her millions of dollars and her now 2,000 acres of land, while owning a boarding house, a bakery and stocks and bonds. Sarah was married twice and had 3 sons. She was known for publicizing her luxurious ways of living.  Sarah died on July 22, 1967.

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