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Ponca City Information

Ponca City History

1938 - 1939

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.

1938 – Louise Niemann, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. George Niemann, was married in the gardens of the family home on South Eighth Street. The Spanish well on the front lawn was filled with ice to chill the champagne.

W.D. Edwards established the Edwards Motor Company at 120 West Grand Avenue. It became the DeSoto and Plymouth and GMC truck dealership.

Doc Farmer arrived in Ponca City to become president of Northern Oklahoma Gas Company.

The building that housed East Junior High School was condemned at the conclusion of an assembly, when the balcony actually fell down.

This was E.W. Marland’s last year as governor. He announced that he planned to run for the U.S. Senate against Democrat incumbent Elmer Thomas. He was unsuccessful in his bid to return to Congress.

Marvin Van Winkle, owner of Van Winkle’s Clothing Store for Men, was killed when his car struck a bridge. Most of the local businesses closed during his funeral, and a large representation from the Ponca Indian reservation was also in attendance. Marvin and his wife, Millie, had assembled an Indian dictionary to better serve their many Native American customers. They had become well known for their understanding of the Ponca Indian language and their customs.

Conoco introduced the catalytic cracking process at its refineries.

The South Avenue underpass was completed.

W. W. (Bill) Vance was elected mayor. A citizen’s committee drafted him to run. When he filed, he stated, “If citizens want me to run, I’ll just do the very best job I can. That’s the only promise I have to make.”


1939 – In January, E.W. Marland and his wife, Lydie, returned to Ponca City and the Marland Estate from the Governor’s Mansion in Oklahoma City. John Duncan Forsyth remodeled the carriage area of the chauffeur’s cottage into a bedroom and bathroom, and the Marland’s made the cottage their home. They only opened the mansion occasionally for special events.

The Ponca City Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution published the first edition of The Last Run. The book is a compilation of stories and memories by Ponca City and Kay County citizens who participated in the 1893 Cherokee Strip Land Run.

Mrs. Myrtie Sidles had the idea to have a Pioneer Woman Statue float in the Cherokee Strip parade. For many years, Mrs. John Silvy portrayed the pioneer woman, and her son, then later her grandsons, depicted the young boy.

Tom and Marion Irby installed a dishwasher in their new home. They had seen a demonstration of one at the 1939 New York Fair and thought it was the coming thing.

On September 17, the Thunderbird Aviation Club held an air show at the newly enlarged airport. The runways had been extended to 3500 feet and hard surfaced, so the airport could accommodate the largest aircraft of the day.

In December, residents in the 700 block of Overbrook formed a homeowners group to set restrictions on construction. Only residential buildings could be constructed in the area, the dwellings were limited to two and a half stories in height, and the largest garages could hold no more than three cars.

Fire Chief George Brown took semi-retirement after receiving an eye injury in a fire call. He had joined the fire department in 1902, when there were only eight volunteer firemen who used two two-wheeled fire carts to put out the fires. Brown was named fire chief in 1906, along with the title of the town’s jailer. For the next 33 years, he held the position as fire chief without missing a day of work due to illness.