Frank Billings Kellogg

Frank Billings Kellogg set the pace in excellence in much of life in the United States in and through his professional legal career.  Our family claim to relationship to him is his being my half sixth cousin, twice removed.  Our ancestors in common are Joseph Kellogg and his first wife, Joanne Foote, who are the fifth great grandparents of Frank.  Joseph Kellogg and his second wife, Abigail Terry are the seventh great grandparents of mine.

President Theodore Roosevelt, whom Kellogg had come to know and to visit occasionally at the White House, asked Kellogg to prosecute a paper company as a special attorney of the U.S. government.  Kellogg's legal victory was complete. He won another antitrust victory against E. H. Harriman and the Union Pacific Railroad, and a third in 1911 against John D. Rockefeller and the Standard Oil Company in one of the most dramatic legal battles of the pre-World War I era. In 1912 he was named president of the American Bar Association.   President Theodore Roosevelt is the fifth cousin to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, my half eighth cousin. 

On May 15, 1911, the United States Supreme Court rendered the decision to break up the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, having been judged in violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust laws.  That famous company was started by Mr. John Davidson Rockefeller, who is the second great grand nephew of Johann Philip Rockefeller and Catherina Sharp Rockefeller, my third great grand uncle and aunt.

President Taft, the President then in office, said in messages to Congress and in public speeches about the Standard Oil case that he had declared himself earnestly in favor of retaining the economy and efficiency of combination and of destroying merely those practices which unduly restrained inter-State commerce and stifled competition.  William Howard Taft is the father-in-law of Eleanor Kellogg Chase, my 7th cousin, once removed.

The New York Times newspaper article details much about the Supreme Court decision.

It is quite interesting to me to see all of our family relationships to various key characters in the drama of this, one of the most significant legal actions taken in the history of the United States.  We had family members who: started the company, who made Presidential recruitment to prosecute the company, who served as the actual prosecuting attorney to lead the case, and Presidential support for the results of the case.  That's quite a family affair, I say. 

Here's a little more about Attorney Kellogg and his subsequent fame as a Nobel Peace Prize winner. 



D. A. Sharpe, 805 Derting Road East, Aurora, TX 76078