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M a r i s t M a g a z i n e
C
ol. Oliver Hazard Payne was born in 1839
and named for Oliver Hazard Perry, the
U.S. naval offcer who became a national hero
when he defeated a British squadron in the
Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812. Growing
up in Cleveland, Ohio, Payne was a prima-
ry school classmate of John D. Rockefeller.
He attended Yale University, where he was a
classmate of William C. Whitney, and entered
the 124th Ohio Infantry as a frst lieutenant
in 1862, serving through the Civil War. After
being promoted to colonel, he was brevetted
brigadier general of volunteers in recognition
of his meritorious service during the war.
After the war, Payne became interest-
ed in iron manufacturing and oil refining
in Cleveland, founding Clark, Payne & Co.
In 1872, his company was purchased by
Rockefeller, and Col. Payne went on to serve as
treasurer of Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Co. and
to become one of the richest men in America.
In 1998,
American Heritage Magazine
placed
Col. Oliver Hazard Payne and His
Mansion on the Hudson
Col. Oliver Hazard Payne (above), the original owner of the mansion, served in the Civil War (left).
One of the wealthiest men of his era, he spent most of his later summers on his 330-foot yacht, the
Aphrodite
, shown above moored at his Hudson River estate.