J. Ogden Armour

J. Ogden Armour

American tycoon, owner of the company Armour and Company, inherited from his father, which he brought to the ranks of the largest food monopolies in the United States.
Date of Birth: 11.11.1863
Country: USA

  1. Early Life and Career
  2. The Amalgamated Meat Cutters Strike
  3. Legal Troubles and Decline
  4. Later Years and Legacy

Jonathan Ogden Armour: American Magnate and Owner of Armour & Company

Jonathan Ogden Armour was an American magnate and the owner of Armour & Company, which he inherited from his father. Under Armour's leadership, the company grew to become one of the largest food monopolies in the United States. Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Jonathan was the eldest son of Philip Danforth Armour, Sr. and Malvina Ogden. In the year of his birth, his father became a partner in the meatpacking company 'Plakington & Armour'. In 1865, the Armour family moved to Chicago, where Jonathan's father believed the company should be headquartered. When his partner disagreed, Armour resolved the conflict by buying out the other half of the company. It was then renamed 'Armour & Co' and began operating in Chicago.

Early Life and Career

Armour briefly attended Yale University but dropped out to assist his father in the family business. In 1884, Jonathan Armour became a full partner in the company. He married Lola Sheldon in 1892, and they had one daughter named after her mother. As his father's health declined, Armour took on more responsibilities within the company. In 1900, he tragically lost his younger brother, Philip Armour Jr., and a year later, Jonathan Armour became the president of the family company.

The Amalgamated Meat Cutters Strike

In July 1904, the 'Amalgamated Meat Cutters' launched a large-scale strike that significantly impacted meat suppliers in Chicago. Armour, like many of his competitors, refused to comply with the union's demands. To continue operations during the strike, he hired several thousand African American strikebreakers. This decision led to widespread unrest and riots in Chicago that lasted until mid-September. Jane Addams played a role in normalizing the situation by personally negotiating with Armour and facilitating a compromise.

Legal Troubles and Decline

In 1911, the federal government filed a lawsuit against Armour and nine other competitors, accusing them of violating the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Armour convinced his fellow defendants to abandon their legal defense, resulting in their acquittal. However, after the war, the company's sales plummeted, and Armour found himself burdened with debt. As the largest shareholder, he suffered significant losses when the company's stock prices fell. Despite his efforts, Armour was unable to restore the family business to its former glory, and he was removed from the presidency in 1923.

Later Years and Legacy

After leaving his position as president, Armour moved to California. In the summer of 1927, he traveled to London, England, where he contracted typhoid and pneumonia. Despite receiving medical care from renowned doctors, including Lord Dawson of Penn, King George V's personal physician, Armour passed away on August 16, 1927. At the time of his death, he had only $25,000 in liquid assets and approximately three million shares of 'Universal Oil Products Company' stock.