Ida Tarbell Biography

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Ida Tarbell Ida Tarbell was born in 1857, only two years before the birth of the oil industry; key event that would later have a major impact in Ida’s label of Muckraker. At the age of three; her father, Franklin Tarbell, moved his family to a small oil town in Rouseville. There, Ida spent her childhood attending Mrs. Rice’s home school and playing amongst the oil derricks. In the article "Pioneer Women of the Oil Industry," written in 1934, Ida speaks of the problems her mother and many other women had civilizing the oil towns. Around the year 1870 the Tarbells moved to Titusville; where a church and school were already established. There the Tarbell family built their permanent house, which still stands today. Ida was able to enroll in the Titusville high school, where she graduated with the highest honors 1875.…show more content…
Her first project was to write a biography of Abraham Lincoln, similar to the one she’d written about Madame Roland. The time Ida spent on “The Life of Abraham Lincoln” sparked Ida’s interest in politics and made her more patriotic. Ida Tarbell’s personal experience as a girl in the oil region led to another assignment; a history of the Standard Oil Company. As Ida began to share the details of the effect the Standard Oil Company Trust had on her family and hometown, her interest in her assignment began to grow. John Phillips (partner at McClur’s) convinced Ida to write an outline to show to McClure. McClure accepted the Ida’s idea. After many years of researching, Ida Tarbell had a detailed analysis of Standard Oil’s monopolies; which appeared in McClure's Magazine, beginning in November of 1902. Later to be published as a two-volume book in 1904. To Ida’s dismay, she was labeled a "muckraker" by President Theodore Roosevelt. “Muckraking” (making sweeping and unfair charges of corruption against public officials) was not her intention when publishing her book on The Standard Oil

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