Wynnewood's history with oil

Published: January 28, 2013
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At a glance

Wynnewood's long history with oil

Wynnewood was established in 1887 as a stop on the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway. Through the early 1900s, the town served as a market for surrounding farmers and boasted an opera house and the popular Eskridge Hotel, which still stands.

In 1922 and 1923, the Texas Pacific Coal and Oil Co. built an oil refinery on the southwest edge of town, which Kerr-McGee Corp. bought in 1945. Wynnewood's one stoplight sits at the town's main downtown intersection of Dean A. McGee Avenue and Robert S. Kerr Boulevard.

In 1995, faced with the prospect of the refinery being dismantled and sold, city officials were able to find a new buyer, Gary-Williams Energy Corp., of Denver. That company, in turn, sold the refinery in December 2011 to CVR Energy Inc., for $525 million. Shortly after, activist investor Carl Icahn purchased the Sugar Land, Texas-based company.


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