On December 8, 1945, H.C. Edwards signed a marketing agreement with what later became CITGO Petroleum Corporation. Early in 1946 H.C. Edwards, Jr. and T.B. Flippo opened a service station at the intersection of North Locust Avenue and Weakley Creek Road in Lawrenceburg. In October of that year they reopened the bulk plant on North Military Avenue. Each of the three invested $3,500.00; most of which was used to purchase a bobtail truck to deliver petroleum. Flippo-Edwards Oil Company supplied service stations, farm accounts, home heating, and industrial customers with fuels, lubricants, tires, batteries, and accessories.
In 1955 H.C. Edwards, Jr. purchased the business interest of T.B. Flippo. In 1967 a Texaco consignee operation was purchased in Columbia, TN from W.R. Ridley. Edwards then bought Texaco’s assets in Lawrenceburg and began marketing Texaco products.
During the oil embargo of the early 1970’s many of our lessee dealers went out of business. Allocation forced the renewal of marketing relationships with CITGO. In 1971 South Tennessee Oil Co., Inc. was started to market unbranded motor fuels. In the 1970’s the company positioned itself as a major player in the packaged lubricant business.
In the mid 1970’s the company converted five service stations to convenience stores for a tenant wishing to emulate the 7-11 concept of gasoline and groceries. Short Stop Stores proved unsuccessful and their management left us with the stores and their debt. South Tennessee Oil Co., Inc. stepped in and began salary operating Quik Mart Convenience Stores in 1976.
In 1978 a second Texaco consignee was acquired, based in Shelbyville, TN and serving a 5 county area. Through the 1980’s and 1990’s the primary focus of the business moved from supplied accounts to salaried operations as the Quik Mart chain was grown. Several supplied accounts were purchased and brought under the South Tennessee Oil Co. umbrella. Bulk lubricant and packaging operations were added as well.
In 2000 the company acquired Estes Oil Company in the Quad Cities of Northwest Alabama. This venture added six supplied accounts and ten salaried units, one being a high volume truck stop. The companies continue to upgrade the image of retail facilities to maintain its leadership in this market. In early 2002 Edwards Oil Co. of Lawrenceburg, Inc. sold it’s lubricant marketing inventory and assets exiting this business activity. In 2008 all branded motor fuels business was consolidated under the Shell brand.
Today Edwards Oil Co. and South Tennessee Oil Co. serve more than 16 counties in Southern-middle Tennessee and Northwest Alabama with Shell petroleum products. We operate 39 Quik Mart Convenience Stores and serve 6 dealers with motor fuels. We are one of the top 20 marketers in the Motiva organization (Shell East of the Mississippi River and Texas). Real estate management, trucking, and maintenance are ongoing priorities. Oneal Stanford serves as General Manager, Petroleum (since 1969). Doug Holden serves as General Manager, Retail (since 1976). Jonathan Edwards serves as President and CEO.