BellStores Barnesville opening nears

Submitted to the Enterprise
Sixty years after the Hartley Company of Cambridge opened a new Shell Oil service station at the corner of E. Main and South Arch streets, the business at this location is undergoing a second transformation.

Sixty years after the Hartley Company of Cambridge opened a new Shell Oil service station at the corner of E. Main and South Arch streets, the business at this location is undergoing a second transformation. Workers are currently converting the Starfire service station/convenience store at 204 E. Main Street into a BellStores convenience and Marathon Oil service station operation.

The Barnesville location was in the group of Starfire stations owned by Hartley sold to Massillon-based Campbell Oil Company last fall. Hartley operated 16 Starfire convenience and gas locations, and distributed wholesale fuels to 15 company-owned and dealer-operated locations

"We are excited to expand our reach into Southeast Ohio with the acquisition of these retail assets. We are also pleased to bolster our BellStores' footprint in some great markets," said Campbell Oil and BellStores' President and CEO Brian Burrow at the time of the sale. "The Hartley Co. has been a family-owned company for over 100 years, and its commitment to values and customer service makes these stores a perfect fit for us. We strive every day to promote an elevated level of convenience to our customers, and we look forward to doing just that as we serve the families in these communities."

With the conversion of the Hartley assets, BellStores owns and operate 74 locations in 21 Ohio counties that employ more than 1,200 people.

Campbell Oil, the parent company of BellStores, was founded in 1939. Chester K. “Chet” Campbell started delivering gasoline and kerosene by horse-drawn wagons, setting up shop on Lincoln Way in Massillon, Ohio. One of Campbell Oil’s first services entailed filling kerosene pot lanterns for road construction.

The company opened its first convenience store in 1985. A decade later, BellStores, Inc. (a subsidiary) was formed to operate convenience stores. The first official “BellStores” location was opened in 1996 in Alliance.

In advance of the opening, voters on November 3, Barnesville village voters in Precinct 115 approved a local option allowing for Sunday sale of Beer between 10 am and Midnight at the store by a tally of 287 to 154.

Check in again next week when we explore the 1960 development and opening of the modern Shell Station at this location.