History of Hawkeye Oil Company/Hawkeye Convenience Stores


1920’s through early 1930’s –Ren Dean Finnigan and his son Galen owned the Buffalo Oil Company which operated gas stations in rural eastern Iowa.


1935 – Galen returned to Iowa and opened two gas stations in Cedar Rapids, Iowa under the name of the Super Service Oil Company.


1945 – After Galen’s death, John L Petersen (his brother-in-law) bought the Super Service Oil Company.


1948 – John Petersen changed the name of the company to Hawkeye Oil Company.


Throughout the 1940’s and 1950’s, Hawkeye operated gas stations, coal yards, and had an extensive home heating fuel oil business. In 1953, natural gas came to town and the fuel oil business began to disappear.


1954 – Hawkeye began to rapidly grow its gasoline business by operating two bay service stations throughout eastern Iowa.


1961 – John’s eldest son, Don Petersen, joined the business.


1969 – Hawkeye built its 1st convenience store on Johnson Ave in Cedar Rapids.


1972 – Gulf Oil, Hawkeye’s brand and supplier, ceased doing business in the Midwest, and Hawkeye purchased a portfolio of Gulf-owned gas stations and continued to grow its asset base.


Hawkeye operated unbranded from 1972 until 1974, when they partnered with the Union 76 brand.  During the late 1970’s, Hawkeye was closing or converting its two bay service stations.  In the early 1980s, Hawkeye closed its last two bay service station and was now exclusively a convenience store operator.


1995 – Don’s son, Marshall Petersen, returned to Cedar Rapids to join the family business.


1997 – Union 76 exited the wholesale/retail marketing business, and Hawkeye rebranded with the CITGO Petroleum Company.


1997 – Hawkeye introduced its own proprietary store brand, Hawkeye Convenience Stores. Over the course of the next 14 years, Hawkeye Oil Company operated as many as 14 Convenience Stores in the eastern Iowa market.


2006 – CITGO exited a large portion of the Midwest, and Hawkeye rebranded with the Sinclair Oil Company.


On June 30th, 2014, Hawkeye sold all 10 of the remaining Hawkeye Convenience Stores to Petroleum Services Company, LLC.


Petroleum Services Company owns and operates two bulk petroleum and oil warehouses in Coralville, Iowa and Kalona, Iowa, as well as Center Point Travel Plaza in Center Point, Iowa; the Corner Stop in Washington, Iowa, and West Side Petro in Kalona, Iowa.