Vickers Petroleum

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Vickers Petroleum Company
Founded1918 (1918)
FounderJack A. Vickers, Sr.
Defunct1980 (1980)
FateSold to Total Petroleum, Mobil Oil and Petro-Lewis
HeadquartersWichita, Kansas
Key people
ProductsPetroleum products
Vickers gasoline truck, c. 1954
First Vickers service station built 1954 in Haysville, KS.[1]

Vickers Petroleum Company was an oil company founded by John A. (Jack) Vickers, Sr. In 1918, Vickers established a refinery in Potwin, Kansas to process the output of recently discovered oil fields in Butler County.[2]

In 1954 the Vickers Petroleum Company ventures into the service station business. The first service station built was located in the City of Haysville, Kansas featuring a hybolic part loud roof design. This Vickers Petroleum Service Station is the only one remaining and was listed as a Kansas Historical structure on August 3, 2019.

Wichita Vickers basketball[edit]

By the 1950s, Vickers had 300 employees, controlled a chain of 300 service stations in an area from Iowa to Colorado, and fielded the Wichita Vickers, an Amateur Athletic Union basketball team playing in the National Industrial Basketball League. The team was successful, winning a share of the 1957-58 league championship. Dick Boushka, a member of the United States basketball team in the 1956 Summer Olympics, was a standout player. Vickers discontinued its team sponsorship in 1960 due to competition with the NBA for players, but Boushka remained with the company and became president of Vickers Petroleum in 1963.[3][4]

Purchase and breakup[edit]

In September 1968, Swift and Company announced its intention to buy Vickers and the related Bell Oil Company.[5]

By March 1, 1969, the acquisition had been completed, and Jack Vickers, Jr., was made a director of Swift.[6]

In 1973, Swift changed its name to Esmark and created a new subholding company, Vickers Energy Corporation.[7]

Vickers Energy was broken up and sold in 1980. Total Petroleum (North America), Ltd., 50% owned by French company CFP, purchased the refining and marketing assets of Vickers Petroleum, including a refinery in Ardmore, Oklahoma, pipelines, and 350 service stations. Mobil Oil purchased oil and gas producing unit TransOcean Oil. Doric Petroleum, a natural gas processor, was sold to Petro-Lewis Corp. Total continued to use the Vickers name in marketing until 1993.[8][9][10][11]

After the sale of the company, members of the Vickers family, including sons Jack, Jr., Robert, and Thomas, remained notable civic and business leaders in both Colorado and Kansas.[10][12][13]


  1. ^ "City of Haysville". City of Haysville. Retrieved 2019-01-14.
  2. ^ "Report of death of John A. (Jack) Vickers" (PDF). Wichita Beacon. 11 November 1940. p. 1. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  3. ^ Grundman, Adolph H. (2004). The Golden Age of Amateur Basketball: The AAU Tournament 1921-1968. U. of Nebraska Press. pp. 163, 212. Retrieved 23 September 2015. vickers petroleum.
  4. ^ "Dick Boushka". Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  5. ^ Reckert, Clare M. (27 September 1968). "Swift Is Seeking 2 Oil Companies". The New York Times. p. 69.
  6. ^ "Chairman of Vickers Named Swift Director". The New York Times. 1 March 1969. p. 47.
  7. ^ "S.E.C. Names N.Y. Office Chief". The New York Times. 30 March 1973. p. 58.
  8. ^ Atlas, Terry (27 August 1980). "Esmark will sell TransOcean oil, gas unit to Mobil". Chicago Tribune. p. 4-3. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  9. ^ Cole, Robert J. (22 August 1980). "Mobil high bidder for Esmark oil holdings". Lawrence (KS) Journal-World. New York Times News Service. p. 24. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  10. ^ a b "Jack Vickers". Colorado Business Hall of Fame. 2009. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  11. ^ "Total Petroleum to rebrand and restructure its stores throughout the Midwest". PR Newswire. 14 January 1993. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  12. ^ "KU Benefactor Vickers Dies from Cancer". Lawrence (KS) Journal-World. 11 August 1995. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  13. ^ Siebenmark, Jerry (6 March 2010). "Vickers known for his humor, dealmaking". Wichita Eagle. Retrieved 23 September 2015.

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