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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Port Arthur in Jefferson County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

The Port Arthur Refinery

 
 
The Port Arthur Refinery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dawn Bowen, October 12, 2008
1. The Port Arthur Refinery Marker
Inscription.  The eruption of the Lucas Gusher at the Spindletop oil field in January 1901 established Texas as a major oil source and signaled the beginning of a significant economic boom to the state. The new town of Port Arthur benefited tremendously from its proximity to the oil field.

In early 1901, a consortium of men from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, formed the J.M. Guffey Petroleum Company to finance and develop an industry for the oil from its Spindletop leases. In need of refining facilities and a sales organization, the consortium chartered the Gulf Refining Company on November 10, 1901, and built a refinery at Port Arthur for the purposes of making the crude oil into a usable commodity.

Early products of the refining company included gasoline, kerosene and engine oil. In 1907, assets of the J.M. Guffey Petroleum and Gulf Refining Companies were merged into the Gulf Oil Corporation. At the end of 1910, Port Arthur was the company's lone refinery until a second was built in Fort Worth the following year.

Innovative production, refining and retailing techniques after World War I kept the company on solid economic footing. Expansion
The Port Arthur Refinery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dawn Bowen, October 12, 2008
2. The Port Arthur Refinery Marker
continued after World War II, and by 1955, Gulf Oil was the nation's largest producer of ethylene. By 1960, the Port Arthur facility was refining 270,000 barrels of crude oil per day into 600 different products.

Gulf Oil became part of Chevron in 1984. In 1995, Clark Refining took ownership of the Port Arthur plant, and in 2000, Clark's name was changed to Premcor. Upholding an excellent safety record, the Port Arthur refinery has been a significant factor in the city's development as a major petrochemical center.
 
Erected 2001 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 12562.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce.
 
Location. 29° 51.548′ N, 93° 58.165′ W. Marker is in Port Arthur, Texas, in Jefferson County. Marker is on State Highway 87 0.6 miles south of State Highway 82, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Port Arthur TX 77640, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Early Oil Tanker Service (approx. ¾ mile away); The Kansas City Southern Railway in Port Arthur (approx. 2 miles away); Port Arthur-Beaumont Interurban Railway (approx. 2.3 miles away); South County Office Building (approx. 2.4 miles
The Valero Refinery in Port Arthur image. Click for full size.
By Dawn Bowen, October 12, 2008
3. The Valero Refinery in Port Arthur
away); Francis John (Frank) Trost (approx. 2.4 miles away); Gates Memorial Library (approx. 2.9 miles away); a different marker also named Gates Memorial Library (approx. 2.9 miles away); Port Arthur College (approx. 2.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Port Arthur.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 11, 2018. It was originally submitted on October 24, 2008, by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,077 times since then and 29 times this year. Last updated on June 11, 2018, by Brian Anderson of Atascocita, Texas. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 24, 2008, by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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Jul. 10, 2020