Rockefeller used questionable tactics to establish Standard Oil's dominance in the industry. One of the most controversial was his practice of demanding rebates from railroads. Because Standard Oil shipped such large amounts of oil by rail, Rockefeller demanded that the railroads offer him rebates, which in essence is a discounted rate. This policy gave Standard Oil a competitive advantage over other oil companies. Rockefeller's competitor's considered this practice and others he perpetrated to be unfair, which led to the him being described as a robber baron.
Rockefeller died of arteriosclerosis in 1937, two months before his 98 th birthday. All throughout his life, he knew (in his own words), “God gave me money” and so he embraced John Wesley’s saying, “Gain all you can, save all you can, and give all you can.” Or, as Ephesians 4:28 says, “Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need .” Thus, instead of scheming in business as his father had done, Rockefeller worked hard so that he could earn money so that he could in turn give to others.
On 10 January 1870, Rockefeller abolished the partnership of Rockefeller, Andrews & Flagler,  forming Standard Oil of Ohio. Continuing to apply his work ethic and efficiency, Rockefeller quickly expanded the company to be the most profitable refiner in Ohio. Likewise, it became one of the largest shippers of oil and kerosene in the country. The railroads competed fiercely for traffic and, in an attempt to create a cartel to control freight rates, formed the South Improvement Company offering special deals to bulk customers like Standard Oil, outside the main oil centers. The cartel offered preferential treatment as a high-volume shipper, which included not just steep discounts/rebates of up to 50% for their product but rebates for the shipment of competing products.