William Rheem

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William S. Rheem (1862 – April 19, 1919[1]), aka W.S. Rheem, was an important civic figure in the politics of early Richmond, California in addition to being president of Standard Oil.[1]


Rheem arrived in Richmond after finding a spot for a new refinery to replace an existing and unexpandable location in Alameda.[2] He picked a spot in the Point Richmond District along the Potrero Hills and the Marshlands.[2] 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.[2] As the installations where completed William Rheem remained with the company as the superintendent of the Richmond Refinery.[2] 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.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Chevron Beginnings: W.S. Rheem, by Nilda Rego, Contra Costa Times, 01-18-2009, access date 02-19-2009
  2. ^ a b c d The Early Years 1902 - 1914, Chevron website, access date 02-19-2009