BP AMERICA, formerly the Standard Oil Co. (Ohio), which was the original Standard Oil Co. founded by JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER in 1870 along with his brother, William, HENRY M. FLAGLER , SAMUEL ANDREWS, and STEPHEN V. HARKNESS . Rockefeller entered the oil business full time in 1864 when he bought Andrews & Clarke Co., a firm which sold kerosene distilled from crude oil. Andrews remained associated with the company as it acquired the additional partners who would eventually charter Standard Oil Co. When organized in 1870, the company owned 2 refineries in Cleveland and had offices in the Cushing Block on PUBLIC SQUARE .
Rockefeller and his associates successfully stabilized the chaotic new oil industry by combining refineries and centralizing management. Standard Oil controlled 21 of Cleveland's 26 refineries by 1872, as well as major refineries in New York, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. Ten years later the company controlled 90% of the nation's refining capacity. In order to circumvent the company's Ohio charter, which prohibited company activity outside the state, a Standard Oil trust agreement was drawn up in Jan. 1882 giving 9 trustees all the stock of its 40 companies, including Ohio Standard. A successful lawsuit by the State of Ohio in 1892 forced dissolution of the trust in Ohio and prompted the 1899 reorganization of Standard Oil (New Jersey) as a holding company to receive the stocks previously held by the trustees. In 1911 the U.S. Supreme Court declared the holding company a monopoly in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act and ordered it disbanded. As a result, Standard Oil of Ohio became an independent company which controlled marketing operations in Ohio and owned an outmoded Cleveland refinery, but had no crude oil reserves and no pipelines. By that time, Ohio Standard had moved its offices from the Standard Block to a new building on E. 55th St.