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Warren County Oil Company was started on January 27, 1927, by a group of local farmers and business professionals who wanted to lower their costs by buying as a group. To purchase products from Warren County Oil Company, you had to become a member by purchasing a ten-dollar membership. As a member, you were entitled to a dividend on the products you purchased if the company made excess profits; this is known as operating as a cooperative. Over the years, a change was made that allowed the company to sell to non-members, however, those non-members could not share in the profits of the company.

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On March 11, 1989, Warren County Oil Company was reorganized under Chapter 499 of the Code of Iowa. This allowed the company to continue operating on a cooperative basis in the State of Iowa. As part of this reorganization, the name of the company was changed to Warren County Oil Cooperative Association.

A customer of the cooperative does not have to be a member, but as a member, they can be involved with the governance of the cooperative by voting for the board of directors. Warren County Oil is governed by seven directors, each of which serves a three-year term. The board of directors establishes policy and procedures and is responsible for the overall profitability of the cooperative. The general manager is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the cooperative as delegated by the board of directors.

Warren County Oil Cooperative Association was established to provide a quality product, at a fair price, with excellent customer service. That ideology has not changed since the inception of Warren County Oil.