||Ross S. Sterling entered the oil business in 1909, when he invested in the Humble oil file north of Houston. Two years later he formed the Humble Oil Company with five partners: Walter W. Fondren, Charles B. Goddard, William Stamps Farlish, Robert Lee Blaffer, and Harry Carothers Wiess. Sterling's brother, Frank, became a company director in 1914. In 1917 the company obtained a state charter under the name Humble Oil & Refining Company. In order to finance the building of a refinery, fifty percent of the company stock was sold to Standard Oil of New Jersey. The first oil was pumped into a still at the new refinery on May 11, 1920. As the company expanded and employed more people, a town grew up around the refinery. The company provided low-interest home loans to its employees. By the 1930s research was being conducted at the Baytown refinery, resulting in the production of vital products for the U. S. war effort during World War II. The post-war years saw additional expansion at the refinery, and the company was merged with Standard Oil of New Jersey in 1959. The Humble name was used until 1972, when Standard Oil Company (NJ) became known as Exxon Corporation.