In 1932, Emory T. Clark opened the first Clark's Super Gas station in Milwaukee. A general contractor by trade, he opened this first station after his original customer could not pay his loan. From there, Emory T. Clark grew his brand throughout the upper Midwest, as well as founded Clark Oil. By the late 1970s, Clark Oil had established a strong market presence and a reputation for the sale of high-quality gasoline at discount prices. At its peak, Clark Oil operated and supplied 1,500 gas stations in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
During the 1980s and 1990s, Clark Oil underwent several ownership changes, during which the company expanded its retail and refining operations—including the purchase of several refineries. Like many other independent oil companies, the company also faced a series of financial setbacks. But the recognizable Clark brand continued to represent local merchants selling quality fuels at good prices.
In late 2003, a team of oil industry veterans and other investors acquired the Clark gasoline brand and other key properties originally owned by Clark Oil. The newly formed Clark Brands, LLC focused on providing comprehensive branding and payments processing solutions for independents who wanted an alternative to the major brands.
Today, Clark Brands offers a local focus with a national look across the United States, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.