Ponca City Information
Ponca City History
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1927 – Construction of the high school began. Designed by architects Smith and Senter, the architecture of the building was modified atmospheric Spanish, with natural stone steps and red Spanish tile cornices. The building cost of $312,097.
There were seven grade schools in Ponca City – Garfield, Jefferson, Lincoln, Cross, McKinley, Roosevelt and Sunnyside. A new addition to Jefferson was completed and Roosevelt was remodeled. A public evening school offered industrial, commercial, vocational agriculture, and home economics classes.
The Cross Townsite was finally incorporated into the city limits of Ponca City. The mayor appointed a committee to rename the streets in the original town of Cross, since it had been annexed into the city.
The city expanded the electric light plant to include outlying areas.
Ponca City's population had increased to 16,000, and the one-a-day new home average continued.
In February, Marland spoke to prospective sculptors who were engaged in designing a model for the statue of the "Pioneer Woman of America." He had initiated a contest with twelve artists, inspiring each of them to submit a model of their interpretation. Four months later, the models were transported across the country and 750,000 people cast votes for their favorite statue. Artist Bryant Baker's model was the most popular by a large margin.
At the same time that Marland commissioned the artists for the Pioneer Woman, he contracted for five additional statues: William McFadden, the Plainsman; John Bull; the Ponca Indian; Mrs. John Bull, an Indian woman; Belle Starr, the outlaw queen; and George L. Miller of the 101 Ranch.
This group of statues lined Monument road for several years, hence the name of the road.
On March 10, the doors of a new model home opened to the public for two weeks. The $15,000 house was located at 920 North Fifth Street. A total of 29 merchants and businessmen participated in the building of the home. The Ponca City News, under the auspices of the "National Better Homes Bureau," sponsored the project.
Mayor Curtis Hall passed away. H.C. Mulroy Commissioner of Finance was elected to serve the balance of Hall’s term as mayor. He ran unopposed, but 418 citizens cast votes in his support. The new mayor appointed George Smee as City Manager, Sam Tulk as Police Chief, and George Brown as Fire Chief.
The city built a new fire station on West Grand Avenue, and dedicated it in memory of Mayor Hall.
The city fathers created a Regional Planning commission. They also created the office of Building Commissioner, establishing regulations for construction, repair, removal, safety and inspection of buildings.
Through his railroad connections, Mayor Mulroy was able to secure improvements on the Rock Island extension, thus connecting Ponca City to 10,000 miles of Rock Island lines. He also was able to get the airmail stop for Ponca City.
Citizens passed a $55,000 bond issue to construct the South Avenue underpass, in partnership with Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe railroad. Construction began immediately.
Orville Savage Motor Company, 200 West Grand Avenue, opened on Sept.16 in a brand new brick building, designed by local architect George J. Cannon.
Dr. Dewitt's Clothing Hospital opened at 112 North Fourth Street, specializing in dry cleaning and tailoring.
Paris Furniture Store at 409 East Grand Avenue opened. Architect John Duncan Forsyth designed the Spanish eclectic style building at a cost of $100,000. The store had an interior atrium open to the second and third floors with a large amber glass skylight.
William McFadden was a large contributor to the Camp Fire Girls. He was instrumental in establishing Camp McFadden, located ten miles east of town.
In April, 220 Ponca City citizens subscribed $80,000 to build a country club. Plans called for a lake, clubhouse, roads, and an 18-hole golf course.
The group paid $21,000 for 240 acres; in September, they acquired another 125 acres. They named it the Rock Cliff Country Club.
Bolton Wittmer built the Blaine football stadium and field house at Ponca City High School as a WPA project.
Every plant that would possibly grow in this climate could be found on the estate where the new Marland Mansion was being built. Henry Hatashita, Marland's gardener, patterned the sixty acres of magnificent gardens after the formal gardens of Hampton Court in England. Workmen installed lead gutters, drain pipes and water boxes, bearing the initial "M", and the date "1927." The drainage of the south terrace came through a carved head of Pan, emptying the runoff from his mouth into the well under the front terrace.
The Poncan Theatre opened on Sept. 20, with seating for 1200. Originally designed as a vaudeville house and silent movie theatre, it cost $200,000 to construct, plus $80,000 for the technical equipment. They also installed a new $22,500 Wurlitzer pipe organ.
WBBZ Radio, a touring radio station from Indianapolis on the Redpath Chautauqua Circuit, began broadcasting from the stage of the brand new Poncan Theatre. The first "talkie" movie was produced – The Jazz Singer, starring Al Jolson.
Chris and Kitty Williams gave birth to triplets, Clarence Northcutt (named for the doctor who delivered the babies), Donald Worthington, and Davis Christopher, better known as Doc, Don and Chris. They were the first triplets born in Ponca City.
On Oct. 21, Colonel Joe Miller of the 101 Ranch was killed by carbon monoxide gas in the garage of his newly completed ranch home.
The Ponca City News headline on Dec. 11 read: "Marland Educational Plant to be Started Near Here at Once." The first unit of a school and recreation plant was getting under way on a site near the Rock Cliff Country Club.
Marland Refining Company occupied spacious offices on the 17th floor of 50 Broadway, New York City. The New York District of Marland Oil now had a retail department that maintained 48 service stations in New Jersey.
Lew Wentz purchased the first Model A Ford to be sold in Oklahoma.
The stone entrance to Pioneer Park, at the north end of the Historic Gateway District on Sixth Street was built as a memorial to Charles H. Ruby, Pioneer Gas Prospector, 1843-1921 – First Gas Found in 1905."
Lew Wentz received permission from the commissioners to show free movies at the City Auditorium.
Fairfax Mayor Dale Beaver had the winning turtle in the 101 Ranch Terrapin Derby. He purchased his own drug store with the $3780 winnings.
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