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Oil Refining in Wheeling, 1886

- from The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, September 14, 1886.


Isaiah Warren & Co.'s Fine Plant - The Oil Outlook

Wheeling is an oil centre. To the east of her lies the marvelously productive Washington field; to the southwest is the Macksburg field; north are the Smith's Ferry wells, and all around her lies undeveloped territory which in the opinion of experts is as promising as anywhere. In this central location, with the facilities for transportation unsurpassed, Isaiah Warren & Co., have the nucleus of a gigantic business which all circumstances indicate as an outcome of the future. The refining of carbon oil in Wheeling dates back to the fall of 1862, when the firm of Warren & Son, composed of Matthew and Isaiah Warren began the refining of carbon oil in this city.

They erected at first 3 stills of 15 barrels capacity each - total, 45 barrels. These were replaced in a couple of years by 3 larger still, of 50 barrels each - total, 150 barrels.

Their present distilling capacity is 2,200 barrels per week. The market price of crude oil, when they went into the business, was $14 per barrel or 55 cents per gallon. The price of coal oil, as it was then called, was $1 12 per gallon.

Crude at present costs a refiner about $1 25 per 42 gallons, and carbon oil is sold at 7 1/2 cents for State test, to 11 c for finest grade of Water White 160 degrees fire test oil.

Their highly esteemed brand of "Sunlight Oil" has been in use over twenty years, and is a full guarantee that the oil covered by this famous brand is unrivalled as to safety, and yields a very brilliant, steady and soft light.

Warren's Chemical Works

In connection with his oil refining business, Mr. Warren has adjoining his oil barrel shops a manufactory of chemicals, especially the salts of ammonia. Until recent times the waste water of the city gas works was run into the creek to pollute the water and air. Mr. Warren contracted for the use of this waste, and from it secures a valuable product. His contract was recently extended. The arrangement is a source of some revenue to the city, and adds to the production of her industries considerably in the course of a year.


The West Virginia Stencil Works, established about twelve years ago on Market street, near Wheeling creek, and now operated by A.T. Castor, does an extensive business in manufacturing marking plates, burning brands and rubber stamps, which supply the demand of a wide section of country. 

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