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Jonathan Ogden Armour
Birth: Nov. 11, 1863
Milwaukee County
Wisconsin, USA
Death: Aug. 16, 1927
City of London
Greater London, England

Businessman, Major League Baseball Team Owner. The oldest son of Phillip Danforth Armour, who founded Armour and Co. J Ogden. Armour was born a few years after his father first established a meatpacking partnership and grain company in Milwaukee. By the end of the Civil War the Armour's had become millionaires due to Philip's success in trading pork contracts, betting a Confederate loss would cause prices to plummet. and reaping over $2 million when he proved correct. The money was used to expand the business to other cities and the elder Armour moved the family, and the company headquarters, to Chicago. In 1881 Jonathan entered Yale University, but dropped out shortly afterwords to go to work for his father. During the next decades he helped the company diversify and expanded internationally. He married Lolita Sheldon in 1891, just three weeks after meeting her, and in 1896 the couple had their only child, a daughter. Lolita Sheldon was born ill and spent time in an incubator, Later her father would summon a European doctor to their Chicago mansion for groundbreaking orthopedic treatments that were the first of their kind in the Western hemisphere. In the meantime, the Chicago stockyards, which were at the core of Armour's business, grew to become the largest in the world. In 1898 the company became the focus of "the Embalmed Beef" scandal, involving meat shipped to soldiers fighting the Spanish-American war. Some Army officers fighting overseas claimed many of their soldiers became ill after eating the meat supplied by Armour's company and that some had died, The scandal led to increased scrutiny of conditions at the Chicago meat packing plants and a Congressional investigation. When Philip Armour died in 1901 J Ogden took over as President of the diversified company.. During the next decades revenues grew from $200 million a year to over $1 billion. Some report during this time that John D Rockefeller was the only man in America richer than Armour. Despite his enormous financial success, Armour faced challenges, There was a vicious strike by union workers at his slaughterhouses in Chicago in 1904, The strike was broken after Armour hired non-union black and immigrant workers to replace striking workers. In 1906 Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" was published, with Armour only slightly veiled as one of the antagonists blamed for the horrible conditions workers faced in the meatpacking plants featured in the book. Two other major strikes effected operations significantly for Armour and Co. as well. The book and the reports of horrendous conditions from workers led to drastic reforms in the meatpacking industry. Despite the new regulations and restrictions Armour's company continued to prosper. Armour used his money on a variety of projects. He built a mansion and sweeping gardens on 1200 acres of land in Lake Forest, Illinois. Today, the mansion is part of Lake Forest Academy. He helped finance an Cal Rodger's effort to cross the continent by airplane in less than 30 days. In exchange for financing the groundbreaking flight Armour required that the plane be painted with the logo of his company's new grape soft drink. Rodgers missed the deadline but the trip drew enormous attention, He also donated $1 million to the Armour Institute, a research institute that had been founded in honor of his uncle. Today the school is known as the Illinois Institute of Technology. In 1916 Armour used some of his money to buy in to a struggling baseball team that he was a fan of watching. He convinced his friend William Wrigley to match his $50,000 and join with Charlie Weeghman to buy the Chicago Cubs. The new owners moved the team to Weeghman's Park. at the corner of Sheffield and Addison Now known as Wrigley Field, the team continues to play baseball games there today. After World War I, the loss of contracts with the Defense Department, the ensuing recession, and government efforts to bust up the meatpackers monopoly led to a spiraling of problems for Armour's holdings. At one point it was reported he personally lost $1 million a day for 130 consecutive days. He was forced to sell off his share of the Cubs and was pushed out as President of Armour. Virtually ruined, Armour moved to his summer home in Montecito, California and continued to hold stock in only one company. Armour's health began to decline and he died in 1927 . after contracting pneumonia while on a trip to London. At the time of his death Armour left just $25,000 from his bank account, stock holdings deemed worthless by some, and the Mellody Farms estate to his family,
The stock Armour held at the time of his death was Universal Oil Products Company. Years later the company's patents began to reap rewards, allowing his widow to regain her wealthy stature. (bio by: Don M) 
Family links: 
  Philip Danforth Armour (1832 - 1901)
  Malvina Belle Ogden Armour (1842 - 1927)
  Lola Sheldon Armour (1870 - 1953)
  Lolita Armour Higgason (1896 - 1976)*
  Jonathan Ogden Armour (1863 - 1927)
  Philip Danforth Armour (1869 - 1900)**
*Calculated relationship
Graceland Cemetery
Cook County
Illinois, USA
Plot: Ridgeland Section, Lot 13
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Saratoga
Record added: Jul 03, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 92994692
Jonathan Ogden Armour
Added by: Saratoga
Jonathan Ogden Armour
Added by: Saratoga
Jonathan Ogden Armour
Added by: Saratoga
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