Mulgrew Oil Co. was founded in May 1893, by Thomas J. Mulgrew when he purchased a coal yard on the Dubuque waterfront. The company started out providing coal to Mississippi River packet boats and sold coal to industrial companies and to residents to heat their homes. In 1901, an ice business was added as a companion to the coal business, allowing the delivery of ice to customers in the summer and coal in the winter. The ice block business remained active until the late 1950s. The company continued selling packaged ice until that business was sold in 1984. In 1927, the company began selling oil and petroleum products using Skelly Oil Co. as its first supplier. Mulgrew Oil Co. has switched oil suppliers several times over the years; however in 1983, the company merged with Arbee Oil Co., which was the local Amoco distributor. Amoco, now BP, is the only company in the Midwest that has its own refinery and pipeline serving the Midwest which ensures a consistent, high quality product. The company has been run by four generations of the Mulgrew family. Jim Mulgrew, the current owner, began working in the family business full time in 1987. In 1995, Jim took control of the company and currently operates as its President.
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