Call Us: 580-765-3311 Ext. 114

Ponca City Information

Ponca City History

1950

The Ponca City Information website is not affiliated nor associated with the City of Ponca City, the website is provided by the Ponca City Publishing Company, Inc. as an information website for Ponca City, Oklahoma.

1950 – This was a busy year for City Commissioners.

In June, voters approved city bonds by a 20-1 majority to purchase the right-of-way for expansion of U.S. Highways 60 and 77. In July, the city began purchasing property for the construction. By October, final bids had been approved by the state.

City officials and the executors of the Lew Wentz estate reached an agreement on city management and ownership of Wentz pool and camp.

The Commission banned left turns at Grand Avenue and intersections of Second, Third, and Fourth Streets. They also adopted an ordinance prohibiting “U” turns on Grand, and limiting them on Central and Cleveland Avenues.

George Biggs was named city manager to replace Frank Winsted, who had been activated for military duty.

Five county mayors met in Ponca City to organize a civil defense council.

The city needed to expand the power plant, so, in October, voters were called upon to approve a $510,000 bond issue. The bond passed.

Herman J. (Smitty) Smith was elected mayor in April.

As of December 31, construction of the Arkansas River Bridge was ahead of schedule, and OG&E agreed to move the power lines along Highway 60-77 route, at their own expense.

The School Board kept things active all year as well. They received bids on an addition and remodeling of McKinley school. The new Lincoln Grade School opened on West Broadway. Voters approved a school bond issue to build Washington grade school in the new Crestview addition to serve the northeast section of the city. Remodeling of the school administration building, high school, and Jefferson grade school were also approved.

Continental Oil Company announced its new super motor oil.

Cy Casper of Oklahoma City was named manager of WBBZ Radio.

Zack Miller sold the remainder of his 101 Ranch property and moved to Florida.

William H. McFadden offered Camp McFadden to the Camp Fire Girls council. To insure that the camp would continue, he offered to donate $25,000 if it could be matched with a like amount.

In May, W.C. MacMillan, executive vice president, explained Continental Oil’s decentralization policy. He announced that the company’s general offices would continue to be maintained in Ponca City. Harold G. Osborn was named general manager of the company’s Ponca City operations.

Census figures showed Ponca City’s population at 20,185. County totals were 48,922.

Local builders were busy in 1950. By July, 176 new homes had been completed, with 157 under construction, and 108 more in planning stages. County property valuation was up by $2 million over 1949.

The Ponca City Library inherited the Matzene collection of Oriental art.

Gruner and Co., manufacturer of rock bits, opened their new plant on Waverly, after moving here from Tonkawa.

July, 1950 was the wettest month in Ponca City history, with over nine inches of rain. The Arkansas River was running bank full, and spilling into the Dixie Hill area.

The County draft board received orders to send 24 men for pre-induction physicals in the first call under a revised draft law. Oklahoma’s 45th division of the National Guard were alerted for active duty in Korea, and inducted into federal service on September 1. There were 80 men in the local unit. The 200-man local 321st MP CID Army Reserve unit was also called to active duty, and several local doctors, dentists, and veterinarians registered for the medical draft.

Continental Oil Company announced plans to build a $2.5 million research center in Ponca City. The project was launched at a groundbreaking ceremony in September that also highlighted the company’s observance of its 75th anniversary. More than 5,000 employees, their families and civic leaders attended.

In October, Continental Oil Co. moved their Tour aide headquarters from Denver to Ponca City. This bureau employed about 60 people, and, except for the key personnel, all were recruited locally.

Cities Service Oil Company declared a multi-million dollar expansion program for their local refinery.

Braniff Airways started a new northbound flight through Ponca City.

The Lew Wentz estate paid in excess of $2.5 million in federal estate taxes.

Sculptor Bryant Baker visited Ponca City to view the Pioneer Woman Statue that he had created. He commented that she needed a bath.

Continental Oil flew seven members of the 45th division home so they could spend their 72-hour passes with their families on Christmas.