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Ponca City Information

Ponca City History

1956

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.

1956 – Burbank Rock Company, headed by Ponca Citian Kenneth Cookson, won the contract for the 14th Street improvement. His bid was $471,863.

School board members prepared for integration that was mandated to begin in the fall.

Ponca City’s population in corporate limits was 25,730.

A $75,000 fire at Kroger’s in March permanently closed the store.

The planning commission recommended an engineering study of the feasibility of an underpass at Central between First Street and Union. International Milling Company objected to that location, contending it would interfere with its operations and projected expansion plans.

Conoco became the first company to install a production platform in water deeper than 100 feet.

In April, I.H. Needham, co-owner of Mid-West Creamery, was elected mayor.

Conoco announced plans for a $3 million expansion – an 11,000-barrel hike in capacity through a catalytic reformer – to be completed in mid-1957.

The Country Club began construction of a swimming pool, snack bar, and bathhouse.

City commissioners authorized fluoridation of city water, approved a meat inspection ordinance, sent Santa Fe suggestions for improving grade crossings, and accepted a bid to construct a city warehouse and shops at Union and Emporia.

Dr. E.C. Yeary, Dr. E. C. Mohler, Dr H.T. Terry, and Dr. M.L. Mitchell opened their new $235,000 medical arts building south of the hospital.

Conoco scientists developed and patented the Vibroseis method of seismic oil exploration. Vibroseis was sensitive in locating promising structures below ground and beneath oceans. It was particularly useful on land where explosives were impractical.

In May, milk prices rose an average of one cent a quart and ten cents a gallon.

Over 500 school patrol kids ate 1,005 wieners and drank 120 bottles of soft drinks at their annual picnic.

The Camp Fire Girls sold enough candy to purchase a 16-foot diving board for their pool at Camp McFadden.

Ponca Citians contributed $1,600 to the American Legion Home School for an irrigation project that included drilling a 750-gallon a minute well on school farmland to serve 60 acres of alfalfa and oats.

W.D. Clarke, who had operated his transfer business for 40 years, sold it to Henry Dempewolf and retired.

In June, at the Bonneville, Utah Salt Flats, Ab Jenkins, famous racing car driver, drove a 1956 Pontiac in a 24-hour endurance run. He broke 54 existing Class B stock car speed and endurance records. Using Conoco Super Gasoline and Conoco All Seasons Super Motor Oil, the car went 2841 miles, averaging 118 miles per hour. The car went farther and faster in 24 hours than any other stock car had ever been driven, yet required only a single quart motor oil.

The airport management board announced that $48,500 in government matching funds was available for airport improvement.

The Chamber of Commerce passed a resolution establishing a non-profit industrial development foundation to handle land and financial requirements of industries moving to Ponca City. The budget was initially set at $26,000. C.D. Northcutt was chairman.

The city’s 400 fireplugs were painted red, yellow, and green, according to the water flow.

The Board of Education gave city teachers $100 annual pay raises.

City commissioners authorized advertisement of bids for lease of more land at Lake Ponca, doubling the number of acres. They also approved a ski jump at Lake Ponca.

More than 3,000 people attended the Ponca Indian Pow-wow. Clyde Warrior, 17, won the year’s title of world champion Indian fancy dancer.

Kay County Judge Walter Doggett approved partial distribution of $5.5 million of the Lew Wentz estate to the Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma, and the Lew Wentz student loan fund at OU and OSU.

The city approved purchase of $3,000 worth of civil defense tornado warning equipment – four sirens, two walkie-talkie radios, ground observer tower, and a trailer. They also funded maintenance of a direct-line teletype and intercom system at the warning center.

The Fourteenth Street repaving and widening project was finished.