John Pew emigrated to the United States from Scotland in 1796 and settled in Mercer, Pennsylvania, where he became active in the Presbyterian Church. His grandson, Joseph Newton Pew, established a series of oil and natural gas companies in Titusville, Pennsylvania, and Ohio during the late 19th century which eventually grew into the Sun Oil Company. After Sun was established in 1890, Joseph Newton Pew began grooming his sons and nephews to take over the business. Pew's personal interests included the Presbyterian Church and Grove City College, where he was Chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1895 until his death in 1912. His heirs continued to support both the Church and the College until the late 20th century.
Arthur E. Pew was J.N. Pew's oldest son. After graduating from Princeton in 1896, he worked with his father in expanding the market for Sun's lubricating oils. Arthur was named vice president of the Sun Company of New Jersey at its formation. He held executive positions with the other family businesses: president of the Powhatan Coal Company, vice president of the Linden Oil Company and the O'Connell Oil Company, and secretary-treasurer of the Beaver Valley Railroad Company. Ill health forced Arthur Pew to resign in 1912, and he died four years later.
J. Howard Pew, the second son, spent his early career at the Marcus Hook refinery. He was instrumental in developing the Sun Red line of lubricants (1901) and Hydrolene (an asphalt, 1903). In 1906 he was named vice president of the Sun Oil Company, and four years later he became manager of Marcus Hook. He succeeded his father as president of Sun in 1912, a position he was to hold until 1947. During World War I he established the Sun Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company. He helped to found the American Petroleum Institute in 1919 and served on the board of the National Association of Manufacturers. He continued his father's strong support of the Presbyterian Church, Grove City College and conservative political causes.
Joseph N. Pew, Jr., the youngest son, graduated from Cornell in 1908. He became vice president of Sun in 1912 and chairman of the board in 1947. He assisted in the formation of Sun Shipbuilding and was general manager of the Linden Oil Company and vice president of the O'Connell Oil Company. He was active in Republican Party politics and was chairman of the Republican National Committee in the late 1930s and 1940s. With his brother, J. Howard Pew, he established the Glenmede Trust Company and the Pew Memorial Trust.
J. Edgar Pew was the nephew of J.N. Pew, Sr. He began work at 16 in his uncle's Peoples' Natural Gas Company, and in 1896 he took charge of sales and marketing at Sun's Toledo refinery. In 1898 he made his first trip to Texas, returning following the large Spindletop strike in 1901. After the Glenn Pool strike of 1905, he expanded the company's activities into Oklahoma, forming the subsidiary Twin State Oil Company in Tulsa in 1909. He remained in the southwest until 1930. J. Edgar Pew led the movement to standardize oil field equipment and worked to improve drilling technology.
Arthur E. Pew, Jr., attended the U.S. Naval Academy and MIT. In 1921 he began work at the Marcus Hook refinery, becoming chief engineer in 1926 and vice president in charge of all three refineries in 1930. He was deeply involved in Sun's adoption of the Houdry cracking process, and when the Houdry Process Corporation was formed in 1931, he was vice president.
John G. (Jack) Pew, the son of J. Edgar Pew, was born in Beaumont, Texas, in 1902. He spent much of his early career in the southwest as assistant to the vice president in charge of production. When his father died in 1946, Jack Pew became president of the Sun Pipe Line Company and vice president in charge of production for the Sun Oil Company and moved to Philadelphia. He retired in 1968 and returned to Dallas.
From the description of Papers, 1817-1965. (Hagley Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 122396829
|creatorOf||Pew family. Papers, 1817-1965.||Hagley Museum & Library|
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|Business and politics|
|New Deal, 1933-1939|
|Petroleum industry and trade|