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Ponca City Information

Ponca City History

1908 - 1909

The Ponca City Information website is not affiliated nor associated with the City of Ponca City, the website is provided by Kay County Media LLC as an information website for Ponca City, Oklahoma.

1908 — E.W. Marland and his wife, moved to Ponca City from Pennsylvania. Their first residence was a three-room apartment in the Arcade Hotel. Marland had no money, so the hotel manager, Mr. Wiker, extended him credit. A relative of Marland introduced him to the Miller Brothers. When Marland visited their ranch, the Millers gave him a tour of the area. When E.W. saw the old Ponca Indian cemetery on a hilltop, he was convinced that it was a perfect geological dome that could produce oil.

The first sewers in Ponca City were laid.

The Miller Brothers took their rodeo show on the road throughout Oklahoma and the surrounding states.

Ponca City's population was 2,529.

Lester Cann built a nine-room frame house at the edge of town at Fourteenth Street and Grand Avenue. The residence was a showplace, reminiscent of a 19th century farm home.

Louis Barnes, son of Ponca City's founder, B.S. Barnes, owned a grocery store in the 300 block on East Grand. A representative of Kansas City Oil Refinery visited Barnes and offered to sell him a carload of coal oil ... 120 barrels, fifty gallons each. It was inspected and stamped, and would only cost nine cents a gallon, half the standard price. Barnes agreed to buy it, even though 6,000 gallons was more oil than he would ordinarily sell in two years. The oil was to arrive on a Thursday, which was the day both weekly newspapers were printed. Barnes ran a half page ad in each paper, proclaiming "Louie Barnes cuts prices of coal oil, Saturday, to ten cents a gallon. Bring your jugs, bring your kegs, bring your cans, and bring anything that will hold coal oil. And buy all you want for 10 cents a gallon." The farmers came to town with every type of container imaginable. That Saturday was the biggest trade day Barnes ever had. He sold 4,000 gallons of coal oil, and had enough left to supply his store for a year.


1909 — E.W. Marland and the Miller Brothers organized the 101 Ranch Oil Company.

William McFadden met Marland in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and came to the 101 Ranch for his health. He brought a suitcase containing $100,000. He invested in the 101 Oil Company, and became vice president of the company.

Mrs. W.T. Oates, a member of Twentieth Century Club, wrote a letter to Andrew Carnegie, requesting a grant for a new library. Mr. Carnegie delivered a check for $6,500.

J.W. Lynch was a candidate for mayor and a dominant political character. His opponent was Jim Sullivan, also a long-time prominent figure. In public speeches, they berated each other unmercifully. A story circulated through the city that Lynch had secured a federal pardon for a friend, with a large amount of money changing hands in the deal. On the eve of the election, the two candidates were having a public debate when Sullivan asked the crowd, "Do you think that a man who attempted to bribe the President of the United States should be the mayor of a fine city like this?" When Sullivan finished his accusation, Lynch rose to answer him. "The thing about Sullivan's remark is that it is a lie. I want you folks to know that I did bribe the President of the United States." Lynch won the election.