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Ponca City Information

Ponca City History

1954

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1954 – The price of coffee went up to ten cents a cup.

The first Youth Traffic Court was held.

The Mid-American Music Camp, sponsored by Pete Long, Charles Cunning and Homer Luther opened in the summer.

Voters across the state approved a proposed state toll road.

City Commissioners considered a summer theater to be located in North Park. What was originally planned to be a bandshell grew to amphitheater proportions. More than 75 citizens in the area protested the location and size of the project, and requested that the proposal be submitted to a vote of the people.

Construction throughout the city included an addition to the high school, the new First Presbyterian Church, the new Catholic Church, a carbon black plant, a new hangar at the airport, and the #3 fire station at Hartford and Seventh St. The 515,000-bushel coop elevator on Ranch Drive was completed.

The American Legion and Auxiliary launched a drive for funds for a new recreation building at the American Legion Home School. They raised over $55,000 and construction began in May.

The S & H Green Stamp Redemption store opened.

The Jens-Marie Hotel, under new ownership, offered a free dinner in a contest to name the three dining rooms at the hotel.

O.U.’s research bureau forecast a Ponca City population in 2010 of 41,900, depending on adequate water supply.

City commissioners changed the name of North Park to War Memorial Park.

The grounds around the Lakeside Golf Course were named Lew Wentz Park.

A new tornado warning system was established by a committee of Civil Defense workers in cooperation with the CAA weather station, police and fire departments and WBBZ Radio. The warning was to be one long blast of the fire station siren and several short ones to signal the all clear. Fifteen qualified tornado observers were appointed. The system was first activated in June from the basement at WBBZ, and was used four times that month.

City officials requested voluntary restrictions on water usage. On June 25, water usage hit an all-time high at 15 million gallons. That same day, electric power consumption hit a new record – 185,000 kilowatts. A city water main to the Country Club, Ponca Military Academy, and the American Legion Home School was being considered since it was reported water sources there were drying up.

Lake Ponca Park’s water well was dry and firecrackers were banned for the area due to fire danger. The city considered drilling 100 new wells near the Arkansas River that would supply 50 million gallons per day.

The new Hartford Shopping Center opened with the Jane ‘n’ John Shop, the S.J. Harris Grocery and Variety Store, laundromat, beauty salon and bar business.

In July, Braniff Airways discontinued operations in Ponca City.

Edwards Style Shop owned by Ed Farha of Bartlesville opened at 401 E. Grand.

Over 10,000 people visited the first Home Show held at the new agriculture building. There were 64 local and national dealers displaying merchandise.

Commissioners proposed a $2.8 million bond issue for new water wells and expansion of the electric system, and voters passed it.

Continental Oil Company completed a new $3.5 million coking unit, as part of their $11 million expansion plan.

Ponca City High School retained its championship rating in a regional marching contest for the sixth straight year.

Mrs. Grace Miles and son, Forrest Miles, opened a new funeral home, Grace Memorial Chapel, on North 14th.

A new restaurant, “Airport Café,” opened at the airport. Flyers called it “Cross Country Café.” Pilots had one-stop service with fuel, storage, mechanics, rent car service and food.

Johnie Riggs and Fred Tindel, landowners, submitted a petition to annex the North Woodlands area into the city limits, and it was approved.

City planners approved Earl Souligny’s plat plan to develop land north of Hartford between Fourth and Seventh Streets.

Building permits in 1954 set an all-time record, totaling $3,656,000.