A Family-Owned Oil Dynasty Continues to Thrive in Wichita
In 1920, W.L. Hartman founded Hartman Oil Company in Wichita, KS. His timing and business acumen were perfect since a major strike in 1915 set the stage for wildcat development in Kansas. This was what the early years of the oil industry was really all about. Wildcatters were savvy risk takers looking for the next big strike, and they often became wealthy while having a lot of fun. Hartman Oil quickly became a major player. And so did Willis Hartman, who became an inductee to the Kansas Oil Museum’s Hall of Fame.
During the company’s early years, Wichita’s downtown core was the center of the local oil industry. Hartman owned the Bitting Building which was a gathering place for oil insiders during the true heyday of the oil producing activity in Kansas; oil giants like Vickers, Derby, Blair, Hartman, Knightley, O’Shaunessy, and Garvey were regulars who stopped by for a haircut in the lobby and to catch up on industry gossip. It was an exciting time in Wichita.
As one of the largest producers in the state, Hartman Oil Co, Inc. is an independent oil and natural gas company engaged in the development, acquisition, and operation of oil and gas properties in the mid-Continent region. The company is headquartered in Wichita, Kansas and has field offices in Garden City, Ness City, Great Bend, and Pratt, Kansas. The company currently operates in excess of 600 wells in Kansas and Oklahoma, with the majority of them being 100% owned by the company.
Hartman Oil is still going strong under the leadership of Willis E. “Wink” Hartman, the sole stock holder. In spite of the ups and downs of the oil industry in general, the company has maintained steady growth and continues to be a source of pride to the Wichita community.