Ponca City Information
Ponca City History
1910 - 1911
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1910 – The 101 Ranch Oil Company brought in a large gas well on the famous ranch.
The new public library was built on the southwest corner of Fifth Street and Grand Avenue, at a cost of $6,500, exactly the amount of the Carnegie Library Fund grant.
It opened with 840 books, all of which were gifts.
On Dec. 16, a state-wide election and a special session vote of the Oklahoma Legislature officially declared Oklahoma City the permanent state capital.
Christmas at the 101 Ranch was quite a large and festive occasion which included 300 ranch employees, and nearly 1,000 Indian landlords that the Millers leased land from. There was a buffalo hunt (but they had to be very careful not to kill a buffalo), a polo game, played on specially trained ponies, and exhibitions of lariat-throwing, shooting, and rough-riding. The girls were there, too, exhibiting a few stunts in bronco-busting, fancy riding, and shooting. At night, there was certain to be a dance.
1911 – Lew Wentz arrived in Ponca City to look after the interests of a Pennsylvania investor in the 101 Ranch Oil Company. His first (and only) home in Ponca City became the Arcade Hotel.
On July 11, the 101 Ranch Oil Company struck profitable amounts of oil at the "Willie Cries for War" well. This area became known as the South Ponca Field, just west of U.S. 177 between Ponca City and White Eagle. Partners in the oil company included E.W. Marland, Col. George L. Miller, Lew Wentz, and William McFadden.
This discovery was the beginning of the oil boom days in Ponca City. The company's office was a small one-story frame shack on First Street, with a 25-foot frontage on the west side of the street.
Dr. Fred Sparks was elected mayor. His opponent was Henry Bucker, a city commissioner. Dr. Sparks was a dentist, and became supervisor of the Dental Department of the Marland Oil & Refining Company.
The Bois d'Arc Dancing Club was a popular form of entertainment. Dances were held in the Chase Opera House, located on the second floor above a grocery store.
Dr. Sparks was the dancing master, and William Edgar Scott, a pharmacist, played his violin.
The "limestone" school on East Grand Avenue was severely damaged by fire. A new gray stone building was erected in its place, and it served as the High School until 1928 and as the Junior High until it was condemned in 1938.
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