1102 East 21st Street
Wichita, KS, 67214
Oil was discovered near Wichita in 1915 and this refinery opened around 1920 to process crude oil from those fields into usable products. I lived in Wichita for a brief period in the late 1960s as a child and have distinct memories of its odor and the sight of its flare.
Archibald L. Derby initially worked as a laborer on drilling crews in Pennsylvania and relocated to Kansas after oil was discovered near Wichita in 1915. In 1916 Derby and some colleagues took a chance drilling close to Stapleton number one, and their bet paid off. Derby founded the Derby Oil Company in 1920, which ultimately built this refinery in Wichita, and had a chain of service stations across four states. (Price 2005, 29). The refinery was held by Derby Oil from 1920 to 1955, Colorado Interstate Gas Company from 1955 to 1973, and Coastal Derby Refining Company from 1973 until 1993 (Kansas Department of Health and Environment, 2010).
Coastal merged with El Paso Corporation in 2001 and El Paso closed the facility in 2005 when they left the crude oil business. It's also probably safe to assume that there wasn't that much crude flowing out of Kansas by that point. Plans to demolish the facility were also announced in 2005 as part of the 21st Street Revitalization Program, but actual demolition does not seem to have taken place until May of 2008. At some point is was superfund site KSD000610543.
Historic photos of the facility are available on WichitaPhotos.org and PopArtMachine.com
Next: Winston Dam