09 Aug Recruiting the Globe Refinery to McPherson
This interesting history nugget is from the book That Great Heart: The Life of I.A. O’Shaughnessy Oilman & Philanthropist by Doug Hennes. “In 1931, the McPherson Chamber of Commerce approached I.A. O’Shaugnessy about building a refinery in the central Kansas town. It proved to be a perfect match, and it came at a very unusual time in our nation’s history.
During the height of the Great Depression, the building of the refinery would create 350 construction jobs. The chamber liked O’Shaughnessy-and the prospect of working with an aggressive and successful independent refiner with the potential to become the town’s largest employer. O’Shaughnessy appreciated both the chamber’s entrepreneurial generosity-it furnished a location a mile south of town for the refinery-and the opportunity to develop a full-service operation that would meet Globe’s refining needs for years to come.
He formed the Globe Oil & Refining Company of Kansas in 1932 to construct and operate the $1 million refinery, which would have a capacity of 10,000 barrels a day. Ground was broken on July 12, and construction took only six months. The facility’s one hundred new workers quickly adopted a tenacious bulldog as their mascot.” …
… The refinery opened in March of 1933 and the “Chamber of Commerce celebrated the opening with a five-hundred-person dinner the evening of March 14, 1933, in the town’s convention hall.” …
…. “O’Shaughnessy told the dinner audience “I am grateful for what the community has done for us. It is indeed great happiness for me to be here. As soon as you get in the county the Depression disappears. There is happiness and contentment here.”
The Globe Oil Refining Company was sold to the National Cooperative Refinery Association (NCRA) in 1943 and remained a McPherson landmark for many years. According to the CHS website, by 2011 the refinery was co-owned by CHS, and in 2015 it officially became the CHS Refinery at McPherson.
This incredible story started with the perfect connection. A recruitment effort with an unfathomable impact, and an amazing refinery that will continue to enrich our community well beyond our lifetime.