Ponca City Information
Ponca City History
1932 - 1933
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1932 – Dan Kygar was elected mayor in April. On his first day in office, he named a new chief of police, city attorney, city judge, and street and sanitary commissioner. He also abolished the city park board.
Al Capone, notorious Chicago gangster, seriously considered buying 2,000 acres of the 101 Ranch after the property had been placed in receivership. A statement issued by the Exchange National Bank in Tulsa declared that no transfer of ranch property could be made without first clearing a part of the ranch’s $600,000 indebtedness. Apparently Capone lost interest in the deal.
Bill Pickett, a cowboy with the 101 Ranch, died. He had invented the sport of bulldogging near the end of the 1800s, and introduced it to the world as a part of his act in the 101 Ranch Wild West Show in 1905. His version of the sport was performed on longhorn steers. He jumped from his horse to a steer’s back, bit its upper lip to subdue it, and threw it to the ground by twisting its horns.
Spray’s Jewelry opened downtown at 210 E. Grand Avenue.
Members of the Kay County Democratic Party endorsed E. W. Marland for the Oklahoma Eighth District congressional seat. Marland campaigned against big government and big money, aligning himself with Presidential candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt. Marland won the election with 61% of the votes, the first Democrat elected in the Eighth District.
Continental Oil added 119 new service stations and 43 bulk plants.
The owner of the Arcade Hotel, Mrs. Annie Rhodes, died. Lew Wentz took over the ownership.
George Marland sold his part of an auto dealership to Forrest Jennings.
1933 – Dan Kygar resigned as mayor in January, after serving only eight months. He felt that the city charter had several fundamental defects and needed to be amended.
Tom W. Prentice was elected mayor. He was “swept into office” by a large majority over his four opponents. Prentice was the vice president and treasurer of the Wentz Oil Corporation.
L.D. Edgington purchased the First National Bank. He also owned the First National Bank of Tenneco and the Shidler National Bank.
At the height of the Great Depression, the Chamber of Commerce requested Congress to allow the Public Works Administration to build a lake east of town as a water supply. The PWA was part of the first “New Deal” agency that made contracts with private firms for construction of public works.
A volunteer group organized a petition drive to apply for a government PWA loan of $100,000 for construction of a new library. On December 8, the group of women, representing every active civic group in Ponca City, walked down Grand Avenue to City Hall. Both excited and determined, they were headed for the City Commission meeting. One month later, the government loan was granted. The Chamber of Commerce formed a Library Committee and planning for the new library began.
A state beauty contest was held at the Wentz Pool to select Oklahoma’s candidate for the “Miss America Beauty Pageant” in Atlantic City.
Two pavilions and twelve camper cabins were built at the Wentz Camp. They are octagonal in shape and built of native limestone. Each cabin sleeps twelve people on sturdy wood three-decked bunk beds.
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