Sarah Rector: The Young Girl Who Became a Millionaire

Sarah Rector’s story is an incredible one that defies belief. Born in 1902 in Oklahoma, she was a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, which meant that her family owned a parcel of land that was to be divided up and allocated to individual members as part of the US government’s process of taking over tribal land. Little did Sarah’s family know that the land they owned contained a vast oil reserve that would change their fortunes forever.

Headline from the Kansas City Star, September 6, 1913

The Oil Boom That Changed Sarah’s Life

In 1913, when Sarah was just 10 years old, oil was struck on her family’s property. The well was producing a staggering 2,500 barrels of oil a day, which meant that Sarah’s family began receiving royalties of $300 a day. In today’s money, that’s equivalent to around $7,800 a day or $2.8 million a year. The sudden influx of wealth meant that Sarah’s life was about to change in ways she could never have imagined.

The Youngest Millionaire in the World

With the wealth that came from the oil boom, Sarah Rector became the richest African American girl in the world at the time. She was also the youngest millionaire, and her newfound wealth brought her national attention. Sarah’s story became an inspiration to many, and her incredible rise to wealth and fame captured the imagination of people across the country.

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The Rector Mansion at 2000 E. 12th St.Headline from the Kansas City Star, September 6, 1913

The Challenges of Being a Child Millionaire

While many people might think that being a millionaire at such a young age would be a dream come true, for Sarah, it came with its own set of challenges. Suddenly, she was thrust into the limelight, with reporters and photographers constantly hounding her and her family. She became the subject of gossip and rumors, and people were always looking for ways to take advantage of her newfound wealth.

Sarah’s family also struggled to handle the sudden wealth. They were unprepared for the responsibilities that came with managing such a large sum of money. With no financial education or experience, they made some poor investments and fell prey to unscrupulous people looking to take advantage of them. Sarah’s father even lost a considerable amount of money in a failed business venture, and the family’s wealth began to dwindle.

The Philanthropy of Sarah Rector

Despite the challenges that came with her wealth, Sarah Rector remained a generous and kind person throughout her life. She donated money to numerous charitable causes, including the NAACP, the Red Cross, and the Tuskegee Institute. She also helped to fund the construction of a hospital in her hometown of Taft, Oklahoma.

Legacy of Sarah Rector

Sarah Rector’s legacy is one of resilience, strength, and generosity. Despite the challenges she faced, she never lost sight of the importance of using her wealth to make a positive impact on the world around her. Her story is a reminder that no matter how humble our beginnings are, we all have the potential to achieve great things.

Sarah Rector’s story deserves to be remembered and celebrated. It is a story of a young girl who became a millionaire overnight, but more than that, it is a story of resilience, generosity, and kindness. Sarah’s legacy is a reminder that we should all strive to use our resources and abilities to make a positive impact on the world around us, no matter how small or large our contributions may be.

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