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William Stamps II Farish Biography
William Stamps Farish II (1881 February 23 Mayersville, Mississippi to 1942 November 29 Millbrook NY)

Son of William Stamps Farish (1843-1899) and Katherine Maude Power (1860-1931, cousin of Jefferson Davis (For unknown reasons, his father is not usually counted in the sequence.)

He married Libbie Randon Rice in Houston on 1911 June 1. They had a son and a daughter. He was a founding member of American Petroleum Institute and was its president in 1926.

Farish, with others, founded Humble Oil in March 1917; it was eventually absorbed by Standard Oil/Exxon. In 1933 he became chairman of the board of Standard's New Jersey division, and in 1937 became Standard's general president.

Sometime in the 1930s, Standard Oil and IG Farben had come to an agreement that Standard would not compete in rubber in Germany whilst IG Farben would neglect oil in the United States. Certain valuable patents, such as that for making a gasoline or kerosene equivalent from coal, were shared. This arrangement became something of a legal and public-relations problem when Standard and Farben found themselves on opposite sides of World War II shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

In February 1942, Ass't Att'y Gen'l Thurman Arnold, Navy Sec'y Franklin Knox, and Army Sec'y Henry Stimson confronted Farish with the charge that, by continuing to favor Hitler in rubber deal and patent arrangements, Standard Oil had acted against US interests. They suggested a M$1.5 fine, which Farish rejected out of hand, essentially promising to turn off the US' oil supply. Arnold, Stimson, and Knox soon realized they had no power to compare with that of Standard and settled for a ‘no contest’ plea, which avoided a public trial, and a trivial fine of a few grand. Farish paid $1000, a quarter of one week's salary.

But the gov't wasn't finished yet. Arnold and Interior Sec'y Harold Ickes convinced Harry Truman to bring SO before his Senate Special Committee Investigating the National Defense Program. Truman relished rousting out these ‘traitors’…

SO executive. Sold oil and patents to the Luftwaffe during WW2 while his son of the same name was in the US Air Force. Exposure of the scandal probably left the grandson of the same name with the family fortune prematurely.

It is claimed the Auschwitz concentration camp was established as forced labour for the Standard-Farben plant nearby. If so, that would make Farish somewhat complicit in those crimes.
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