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Ponca City Information

Ponca City History

1940 - 1941 - 1942

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.

1940 – Colonel William V. Cox founded the Ponca Military Academy, and the academic year began with 18 cadets. Located in the former Quah-Ta-See-Da Club, it offered schooling for boys seven to seventeen in third through twelfth grades. Jack Bowker and Jim Monsour were two of the first graduates.

Lew Wentz was elected Republican national committeeman.

Continental Oil Co. opened the Continental Associates building next to their headquarters building. It had an indoor pool, gymnasium, and cafeteria.

Ponca City’s population was 16,794.

Jay and Jessie Paris purchased the Marland home on Grand Avenue.

Marland announced his candidacy for the 1940 eighth district Congressional race. Due to ill health and lack of funds, he did no active campaigning and lost the nomination.

T.J. Cuzalina began writing a newspaper column entitled “Just Poppin’ Off” in the Ponca City News, New York Times, and Denver Post. On the Fourth of July, he sponsored a public fireworks display at a vacant lot behind his home.

The Glenn Paris & Sons Furniture Store opened on East Grand Avenue. They used the motto, “Trade with the Boys.”


1941 – The Discalced Carmelite Fathers purchased the Marland Mansion and grounds for $66,000. It became known as the Marland Carmel Priory, a school of philosophy for students of the Carmelite order.

The Darr School of Aeronautics purchased 36 acres adjacent to the Ponca City airport. On August 1, Darr leased the 484-acre main flying field at the airport, and the British Flight Training School No. 6 began training pilots at the Ponca City Airport on August 7.

Ponca City had 50 miles of surfaced streets, including brick, concrete, asphalt, and oil mat. There were 30 miles of “earth material” streets.

On October 3, E.W. Marland died at the age of 67. The funeral was held at the junior high school auditorium. The Highway Patrol escorted the funeral car to the auditorium. His body was laid to rest in the mausoleum of the IOOF cemetery.

Lydie continued to live in the Chauffeurs Cottage on the grounds of the mansion.

William McFadden, former partner of Marland Oil, named Grover Blackard as the administrator of Mr. Marland’s Estate. The Blackard’s purchased the gatehouse on 14th Street for their home and his office.

William McFadden sold five bronze statues to Frank Phillips, owner of Phillips 66. The statues had lined Monument Road when it was part of the Marland Estate. They depicted McFadden, George Miller of the 101 Ranch, John Bull, an Indian chief, Mrs. John Bull, his wife, and Belle Starr, the “outlaw queen.”

Frank Overstreet, vice-president of First National Bank, and T.J. Cuzalina, druggist, ran for mayor. Overstreet won with a margin of 595 votes.

The Chamber of Commerce sponsored a Cherokee Strip Celebration on September 16. On Friday night, The Bob Wills Orchestra played for a free street dance and 20,000 people showed up. On Saturday, William McFadden, who now lived in Ft. Worth, led the parade on his palomino, followed by Governor Leon C. Phillips, and a group of other dignitaries.

The parade ended at the Pioneer Woman Statue.


1942 – One of the most important happenings in the minds of Ponca City citizens was that their husbands, sons and brothers were rapidly marching into the armed forces of the United States to carry on war against the axis powers.

Gasoline rationing began. Kay County was given a 200-tire quota for sales in January. Tire inspectors monitored sales.

Because of the war, Continental hired women in the refinery for the first time.

Mid-American Manufacturing Company opened, producing canvas articles for the army, including pup tents, bed rolls, and back packs.

The “Daubers,” a group of the Mother’s Club Fine Arts department, organized the Ponca City Art Association.

A Chamber of Commerce committee met with a government representative to discuss a proposed channel that would straighten the Arkansas River and provide power.

Zone air raid wardens were named and they started an instruction course. Ponca City was divided into 35 zones.

Maj. Gordon Lillie (Pawnee Bill), 81, died at his home near Pawnee.

The Ponca City Mill installed a V-for-Victory sign atop the large elevator.

The Red Cross was issued its highest quota ever for its blood drive. They met their goal two weeks prior to deadline.

Clifford Wetzel was installed as president of the chamber at their annual installation dinner, taking the reins from Lawrence Northcutt.

Mayor Overstreet set April 1 for daylight savings time to take effect in Ponca City.

Ralph Cooley organized the civil air patrol and 58 volunteers showed up to work in the three-day draft signup.

Roy Grantham, county attorney, resigned to join the army as a first lieutenant in field artillery. Earl Sullins, high school football coach and physical education director, resigned to join the U.S. Army as a physical education instructor.

Airplane Assemblies, Inc. opened, the third war industry to contract in Ponca City. Clifford Wetzel, president of the Chamber of Commerce, announced that local war contracts totaled $1,700,000.

A total of 18,451 people received war ration books during the registration period.

The Ponca City News sponsored a three-day cooking school.

The Oklahoma Press Association convened in Ponca City for a three-day meeting, with Ernest Fischer, Associated Press correspondent in Berlin, as principal speaker.

Citizens collected 161,920 pounds of scrap metal in a city-wide salvage drive, according to Paul A. Long, chairman of the drive. Ponca City school children collected 3,600 pounds on the opening day of the drive.

On August 23, the annual Boy Scout camping week at Wentz Camp began with 144 scouts from the North Oklahoma area council.

Bishop Francis Clement Kelly dedicated the Marland Carmel priory.

The John Boyer Company, a local business that assembled noses for trainer planes, expanded their work force to 250 employees.

Continental hired women for their testing and chemical laboratories.

S.D. Hinton was unanimously elected chairman of the 1943 Community Chest drive. The $21,000 goal included a hospital improvement project. Total subscriptions were $24,283.

Harold Darr, owner of Darr School of Aeronautics, was honored by the Chamber of Commerce at a dinner designated “Darr Day.” Three directors related the history of the schools.

On December 7, the high school held its inaugural assembly of the Victory Corps. Faculty members Lillian Shuster, Woodson Tyree and Frank Gibbard were in charge of the event, and inducted 433 students.

November 30, Poncans rushed the gasoline service stations. Gas rationing took effect on December 1, and filling station operators reported they had no customers that day.

T.W. Prentice was named county chairman of a committee organized to cooperate in the national $9 billion war financing campaign.

The annual “kiddies pet parade” was on December 12, with 1,151 area children participating in the event.

The Tulsa world named Bob Askey, end, and J.L. Theobald, guard, co-captains of the Po High football team, to the All-state squad.

The new city directory listed 240 different businesses in Ponca City.

Continental Oil Co. entertained 1,300 employees’ children at its annual Christmas party.

Every student at the Darr School was invited to a Christmas dinner at various Ponca City homes.

Glenn Paris, president of Northern Oklahoma area council of Boy Scouts, reported scout membership increased by 338 in 1942.

Continental Oil Company was guarded by Bullmastiffs which were trained by Joe Boylan, superintendent of the safety and sanitation division of the company.

W.D. Beard was appointed county administrator for the sale of war bonds and stamps.

Kay County citizens pledged $70,000 in a bond pledge drive. Final sales of the war bonds totaled $288,553.