Town owes history to oil

PC_Standard Oil Refinery.tif

By MICHAEL BUSHNELL
Northeast News
April 10, 2013 


This early postcard shows the Sugar Creek Refinery, Standard Oil Co., near Kansas City, Mo. The Missouri River and the operations of the refinery can easily be seen on this postcard published by the Southwest news Company of Kansas City, Mo.

The land the refinery sat on was located some eight miles east of downtown Kansas City and was purchased from James Mallinson. The refinery began processing oil in 1904 and was staffed by Standard Oil employees from the Whiting, Ind., operation. One of the first residents of the area was Mike Onka who came from Indiana and worked at the refinery for many years.

Sugar Creek was officially chartered as a city in November of 1920, consisting of roughly 550 acres and 1,800 residents. For most of the 20th Century, the refinery played a huge role in the development of Sugar Creek as a city. Many of the refinery’s employees lived there and were involved in civic activities in the surrounding areas.

After the refinery closed in 1982, a number of lawsuits were filed against Standard Oil for wrongful death and extreme pollution of the Sugar Creek site. BP America settled the suits in 2009 paying out millions of dollars in damages to affected families. The refinery may have ceased operations, but the site is still used as a fuel depot by BP. Every June, residents host the annual Slavic Festival in Mike Onka Park. The event draws thousands and is a celebration of the town’s rich eastern European heritage.

Comments are closed.

  • Swope mystery lives on while park thrives

    September 20th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This card, titled “Entrance to Swope Park, Kansas City,” may have been sent by a prominent Kansas City architect of its day.


    Taming the streets of Kansas City

    September 13th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Print advertisements placed by the Oldsmobile Company in 1939 tout the new Olds “60” as the “car that tamed the Belgian Block,” referring to how well the car’s


    Innovative trucks drove Kansas City’s economy

    September 7th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Following Labor Day, we publish this rare Real Photo postcard and dedicate it to those who drive the wheels of our economy.


    Kelly Flour Mills workers would have celebrated Labor Day

    August 30th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News The Labor Day holiday is coming Monday, so here, with this Real Photo Postcard published in 1910, we pay homage to the greatest workforce on the face of


    Vanderslice made it big in the KC ice and coal business

    August 23rd, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This week, in celebration of the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote, we showcase an advertising postcard published for


  • Highest point in Kansas City housed corruption cleanser

    August 16th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This advertising postcard from The Westmoreland Company shows a residence at 74th and Mercier streets.


    Benton Circle: the early days

    August 9th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This week, we feature a card John Straley published between 1925-1930 titled “The Benton Circle,” shown in its original configuration at the intersection of St.


    Neighborhood school built on history

    August 2nd, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Located on the corner of Prospect Boulevard and Amie Court, Garfield Elementary School was one of the first ward schools in Kansas City.


    Troost Lake connects to streetcar, Mormon histories

    July 26th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Opening to the public in 1888, Troost Park and adjoining Troost Lake were the ideas of the Kansas City Cable Railway Company (later known as the Kansas City


    The wild waters of pre-levee Kansas City

    July 19th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Published by the North American Postcard Company of Kansas City, Mo., this week’s card is a Real Photo Postcard showing the West Bottoms area looking northwest toward the


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    East Patrol satisfied with SURGE operation in Northeast

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News September 25, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Focused law enforcement efforts in the Northeast last […]

    Northeast teens still being thanked for heroism during flash flood

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News September 23, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – A local man who nearly drowned last month […]

    Upcoming lane closures scheduled as I-435 construction nears end

    Northeast News September 23, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Construction work along I-435 is nearing completion. Between 9:00 p.m. on […]