Rheem arrived in Richmond after finding a spot for a new refinery to replace an existing and unexpandable location in Alameda. He picked a spot in the Point Richmond District along the Potrero Hills and the Marshlands. A colossal facility was built at this site employing thousands of employees and drastically transforming a farming community of a few hundred into a company town of several thousand. As the installations where completed William Rheem remained with the company as the superintendent of the Richmond Refinery.Rheem Creek a small river in the Hilltop District and Rheem Avenue a street in the Central Richmond District are named in his honor. He died of a heart attack en route to Santa Cruz in a restaurant during a family road trip and outing.