Hunter Oil was founded by J. Ray Hunter May 1st, 1955. Hunter's franchise contract with Gulf Oil Corporation was dated 5-1-55 (12:01 A.M.). Hunter had worked as a salaried representative for the six years prior to getting the Gulf distributorship. He had to start from scratch because the previous Gulf distributor dropped Gulf and took almost all of the customers with him to Phillips 66.
J. Ray, with great support from Gulf Oil, built 12 modern full-service service stations in the Sanford and Siler City areas. For the first 20 to 25 years Hunter Oil grew in the service station era with good sales of gasoline, distillates, lubricants and TBA (Tires, Batteries and Accessories). Tobacco curing and heating oil sales were also very good in the early years. In 1974, the Siler City area was brought into the Hunter Oil territory.
Then, about 1980, Hunter oil became a full jobber and purchased the Sanford real estate and marketing equipment owned by Gulf Oil. A few years later, all of the Gulf Oil Corporation stock was bought by Chevron. All Gulf Oil assets in North Carolina and 7 other states were sold by Chevron to Standard Oil of Ohio. Shortly thereafter BP Oil purchased Standard Oil of Ohio and so then most Gulf stations in North Carolina flew the BP logo.
In late 1983, J. Ray Hunter sold his Hunter Oil stock to Cecil Worsley. Hunter stayed on as general manager and consultant until his retirement January 1, 1990 at the age of 65. Shortly after, Hunter Oil was acquired by Cecil's brother, Donald Worsley and family. Since that time, Don A. Worsley II has been president and CEO the company. Don immediately started to build a propane business and altered the name to indicate that. The corporate name was changed from J. Ray Hunter, Inc. to Hunter Oil & Propane, Inc. Don A. Worsley II is now majority stockholder.