Last updated: August 25. 2013 9:09AM - 32 Views

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T?he history of the Lima Refinery and its predecessor, the Solar Refinery, is inextricably intertwined with the history of the Standard Oil Co.Standard Oil built the refinery in 1886 and owned it for 25 years. Standard Oil Co. of Ohio (Sohio), an offspring, owned it in whole or in part for an additional 56 years.Solar Refining Co. also was independent for a time.Standard Oil was a partnership formed in 1870, with John D. Rockefeller as a principal player. The partnership owned refineries in Cleveland, New York City, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.The name Standard Oil was chosen to promote the idea that the company’s products were of a known and consistent quality. Before that, petroleum products quality varied greatly, according to the book, “Standard Oil, The First 125 Years.”When oil was discovered in Lima, Rockefeller was interested despite his partners’ objection to the high-sulfur content of the crude oil being produced there. He bought land, established the Buckeye Pipe Line Co. to gather and store product, and began work on the refinery.Rockefeller became so confident his company could solve the sulfur problem that he pledged $3 million of his own money against any loss the Standard Oil Co. might suffer. Rockefeller’s bet paid off.Standard Oil Co. got so big it caught the attention of state and federal regulators. Eventually, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered that the company be broken into 34 separate and distinct operating units. Ownership was to be distributed to stockholders proportionally, according to “Standard Oil, The First 125 Years.”By December 1911, the breakup was complete. One of the 34 companies was Standard Oil Co. of Ohio (Sohio), a pared-down version of Rockefeller’s original company. Sohio began business with only one refinery in Cleveland, and marketing rights throughout Ohio.

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