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Ponca City Information

Ponca City History

1896 - 1897 - 1898 - 1899

The Ponca City Information website is not affiliated nor associated with the City of Ponca City, the website is provided by the Ponca City Publishing Company, Inc. as an information website for Ponca City, Oklahoma.

1896 — The Northern Oklahoma Telephone Company opened for business in Ponca City with thirty customers and a 100-phone capacity.

Eugene Wetzel had a grain and feed business in Cross, at what is now Union and Comanche. He moved his business into Ponca City from Cross.

A new limestone school was built on Grand Avenue between Sixth and Seventh Streets.

The Bachelor Girls Club was one of the earliest social organizations. They met every two weeks in members' homes. Their first social event was a ball given in a downtown hall.

The St. Louis Dispatch reported "The real distinguishing feature of Ponca City, its greatest pride and most cherished institution, is the Bachelor Girls Club, made up of dashing and popular young society girls who set the town people a merry pace in the social whirl."


 

1897 — The original Arcade Hotel was a two-and-a-half-story frame structure located in the township of Cross. It was relocated to Ponca City, to the southwest corner of Grand Avenue and First Street. The 25-room hotel was owned by Mrs. Annie Rhodes and was first known as the Rhodes House. It became the grand lodge of a soon-to-be booming oil town.


 

Soldani Heads for Oklahoma

1898 — Anthony Godencious (Godance) Soldani and his wife, Amelia Catherine, came to Ponca City. He and his brother, Sylvester, had come to Indian Territory from Kansas City in 1872, and settled on the Osage Reservation. They were engaged in farming and ranching and owned over 14,000 acres. In 1885, they married the Fronkier sisters who were members of the Kaw Indian Tribe. Godance and his wife, Amelia Catherine, moved to Ponca City in 1898, and built a large red brick house at Central and Ninth Street, where they raised ten children.


 

1899 — Dan Donahoe bought out his brothers' shares of the flourmill and became the sole owner. The tops of the grain elevators were lined with lights that could be seen as a landmark and a "lamp in the window" to Poncans returning home. The tall elevators also bore the legend "Ponca City — the Best Place in the World."

On September 19, the headline read "Ponca City Becomes First Class City." A special election was held, authorized by proclamation of W.M. Jenkins, then acting governor-secretary of the Territory of Oklahoma. At this election, the following officers were elected, one of each: Mayor, Police Judge, City Marshal, Street Commissioner, City Attorney, City Clerk, City Treasurer, and School Board Treasurer. There were also eight Ward City Councilmen, two from each of the four wards. One was elected from each ward for one year, and one from each ward for two years.

In the mayoral election of 1899, there was a nominating convention. H.B. Owen was made chairman of the convention and L.F. Michael and W.S. Thomas, secretaries. An informal ballot listed four candidates for mayor: Charles DeRoberts, W.J. Sullivan, B.S. Barnes and H.C.R. Brodboll. Barnes and Brodboll withdrew their candidacy in favor of DeRoberts, who was nominated on the first formal ballot. About 350 voters were present at the convention. The Ponca City Courier front page story cited: "We hope to see every voter in the city turn out and vote, not that his vote is needed, but to make a showing of your appreciation of the good men nominated for the various offices. Now for Ponca City, the only first-class city in Kay County put your shoulder to the wheel and push. Let's double our population in the coming year. We can do it. Will you assist?" Charles DeRoberts was elected mayor and served until 1901.