Founders and Owners of Gibson’s Citgo

Lawrence Gibson grew up in Gates, Pennsylvania. Jobs became scarce in the Pennsylvania coal country, so after high school Lawrence joined the U.S. Navy to see the world and after the Navy he moved to Phoenix, IL.
Shirley Beckwith grew up in Robbins, IL. Lawrence and Shirley met on a blind date in 1953 and in July of the following year they married and made their home in Phoenix, IL. Ever the entrepreneur, Lawrence tried his hand at several businesses; a car wash, bar, fish & BBQ and a moving company. He later moved his family to Robbins, IL and there built a home and life until the early 1970’s when Maremont Muffler planned to move their manufacturing plant. Unwilling to move, Lawrence and Shirley discuss their options. Lawrence, a reasonable mechanic, decided along with Shirley to partner with a co-worker to purchase the
Shell station on the corner of Halsted and Vincennes that was being sold and In 1973 they opened the Phoenix Shell Service station.
A few years later, Lawrence and Shirley bought their partner’s share and became sole owners of Phoenix Shell. In 1978, they redesigned the business to become a gas station and mini-mart, becoming one of the first (if not the first) gas station to sell liquor in Cook County. In the early 1980’s, a new franchise agreement was made and the business was incorporated and became Gibson’s Mobil.
The business thrived but under a new franchise and building. Mobil pulled its signage and the decision to redesign and rebuild with a new franchise agreement in mind was entertained. Gibson’s old building was demolished and in 2003 Gibson’s Citgo is born.
The store continues to thrive thanks to the loyalty of the citizens of Phoenix IL. Fifty years of doing business and at one point living in Phoenix has brought about deep friendships and a family atmosphere unduplicated any where. Gibson’s Citgo is one of the few Black, family owned gas station mini-marts in Illinois.
As the anchor of “Downtown Phoenix,” Gibson’s Citgo plans to exist as long as the Village exists, if so blessed by God.
Black Pages International salutes Lawrence & Shirley Gibson for Building A Dynasty 2024-2032.
Gibson Citgo • 15221 S Halsted Phnx • 708-596-5085