Mr. Beach and his brother, Dale Beach, set up their offices in an old Masonic Hall on the corner of Third and Commerce streets in downtown Clarksville, TN. Starting with a payroll of four—a bookkeeper, two salesmen and a repairman—they sold gasoline, oil, tires, and automobile accessories of all kinds. There were no such things as service stations in those days; instead, the brothers gave curb-side sales and service.
In the next decade, the Beach brothers moved on to the next step in the developing automobile industry by opening one of the first service stations in town. This was a Pan-Am gasoline station. Soon thereafter, World War II brought both hard times and the beginning of a new boom period. With materials needed for the war effort, the government rationed gasoline and tires, severely cutting back on the Beach brother’s market. Both Oscar and Dale Beach, however, survived this time through their business acumen and an influx of new customers brought in by the newly built Camp Campbell.
In the following years, the company changed from a single-outlet retailer to a wholesale supplier for several service stations. Gasoline and related petroleum products were shipped by large transport trucks and delivered to American Oil Co. retailers throughout Clarksville and Montgomery County. During this time, Oscar Beach brought his son, Jack Beach, into the business. In 1965, Jack purchased the company from his father, and in 1973, the company was officially renamed Beach Oil Company.
Five years later Jack purchased 20 acres on the new Highway 76 Connector Rd. and relocated the business from its Madison Street home. This year was an important milestone for the company because it became incorporated and received a 50-year service award from Amoco Oil Co. It was also during this time that, Jack’s sons, John and William, upon graduating from Austin Peay State University, joined their father to become the third generation to work in the petroleum business.
During the 1980s, after the advent of self-serve gasoline, Beach Oil Company, like so many other petroleum companies, ventured into the convenience store business. The first company-operated convenience store opened in 1981 after William convinced his father that he would assume responsibility for the store’s day-to-day operation if Jack would make the financial investment. Beach Markets were then born. After the success of this first convenience store, Beach Oil Company continued to expand through the acquisition of existing stores while building new ones.
With the unexpected and untimely death of Jack Beach in 1988, William took over the helm of Beach Oil Company and in 1991 purchased the business from his family. Through its continued success, Beach Oil Company has expanded its wholesale and retail operations as well as ventured into other businesses, including bulk lubricants. To accommodate this growth, in 2007 Beach Oil Company underwent a major bulk plant renovation. Today this state-of-the-art facility includes 80,000 gallons of indoor bulk lubricant storage and approximately 180,000 gallons of underground fuel storage while meeting all State and Federal environmental regulations.
Now, more than 85 years since Oscar Beach first decided to branch into the infant auto industry, William Beach presides over a sophisticated oil distributorship that depends more on computers than curb-side service. Today we are a bit bigger and more diverse, but in many ways we are still the same. Although much has changed since 1919, a commitment to quality, service, and integrity has remained a core value of Beach Oil Company. We’re still on the vanguard of the fuel and lubricants business, and most importantly this is, and has been, a business led by hard working family members who have created a place where employees are proud to work, vendors are proud to serve, and customers are proud to patronize.