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Ponca City Information

Ponca City History

1930 - 1931

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.

1930 - The Pioneer Woman Statue was unveiled on April 22. Created by sculptor Bryant Baker, the 17-foot statue weighed 12,000 pounds, and cost $300,000. It is mounted on a pyramid limestone base, making the total height over 30 feet. The monument was conceived, directed and partially financed by E.W. Marland. More than 40,000 people gathered for the festivities and to hear Will Rogers speak. The event was broadcast nationally on NBC Radio. President Hoover addressed the crowd via NBC wire from Washington. Marland presented the statue and the land surrounding it to the State of Oklahoma.

Herman Smith opened Smitty's Boys and Men’s Wear, leasing the boys department in the Johnson Clothing Store.

A record number of turtles were entered in the 101 Ranch Terrapin Derby. Clara Day won first place with her turtle "Goober Dust" and collected $7,100.

Genuine Hickory-smoked Bar-B-Q was the specialty of The Pig restaurant, located north of the hospital on U.S. 77.

William Vanselous died April 7, leaving the Big V Ranch to his children, Edward, Grace, Kay, and Oklahoma, to operate. They continued their father's innovative practices.

They used a small airplane to patrol their acreage and helped pioneer the use of electric fences in Oklahoma.

The city passed an ordinance prohibiting barbed wire fencing in the city limits.

The 1930 census showed Ponca City's population at 16,136 citizens.


1931 – “Pebblestone” was the winning turtle in the Terrapin Derby at the 101 Ranch. He won $3501 for his owner, Thomas F. Boettcher of Hollis. Boettcher’s sister, Katherine of Ponca City, collected the money and was also awarded a large silver loving cup. The Post Office Department determined that the derby constituted a lottery and banned any advertisement of the event, so this was the last year for the event.

This year also marked the last great show to carry the 101 Ranch banner across the U.S.

The Miller Brothers closed their Wild West Show due to financial difficulties.

Clifford Wetzel opened the Wetzel Insurance Agency. Their first office was on East Grand, on the second floor, with its neighbor being the Murray Theater.

Herman Smith purchased the Hammon Clothing Store at 119 East Grand, and it became Smitty’s Boys and Mens Wear with the slogan, “Where the Boy is King.”

Monsour’s Super Market opened at Third Street and Central.

Oklahomans observed their 25th anniversary of statehood on November 16. It was a fairly subdued celebration because of the Great Depression. The all-day celebration began with a parade led by Gov. William “Alfalfa Bill” Murray through downtown Oklahoma City and ended with a banquet and dance that evening.

Marland was not able to pay the mortgage on his mansion, so the mortgage company foreclosed. A sheriff’s sale was held in August, and W.H. McFadden, Marland’s good friend and former business associate, made the high bid. He then transferred the deed to Marland.