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Ponca City Information

Ponca City History

1959

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.

1959 – Clyde A. Muchmore and Keith K. Kinneberg, Po-Hi seniors, were among the five Oklahoma seniors named as honor award winners in the 18th annual Science Talent Search.

In February, dedication ceremonies were held at the Tracy W. Young Army Reserve Center, a new $210,000 facility at 805 W. Hartford.

Dick Bowman, former Ponca City and OU football star, was named head football coach at Ponca City High School.

A check station and residence featuring a drive-up window and canopy-type porch was completed at Lake Ponca.

New parking regulations went into effect and overtime parking fines, if paid within 24 hours, were cut to 50 cents.

On March 1, Ponca City High School wrestlers took State Championship at a tournament in Perry. C.H. Sims and Joe Chamberlin won individual titles.

Firemen probed ruins of the Higdon Florist Conservatory Shop at 14th and Grand in an attempt to determine cause of a blaze that gutted part of the stone and glass building, doing an estimated $50,000 damage.

Janie Bays, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James C. Bays, was named Oklahoma’s Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow.

Ground was broken in March for the new central dining hall at the American Legion Home School.

City Commissioners unanimously passed an ordinance that charged a $20 fine for distribution of lewd literature.

Pat Schlesinger, water and light superintendent, presented a sample of the oil that city workers struck in the sewer lines on Circle Drive.

On April 7, 75% of Kay County voters voted in the repeal elections as the state put an end to 51 years of prohibition.

The city installed five of the new sirens for local disaster warning systems that were purchased by city and federal government. On April 17, warning sirens blew to signal the local Civil Defense disaster alert team. This was a grim rehearsal for a mock nuclear bomb attack on the United States.

Col. John D. Bristow, Tulsa, district engineer of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, conducted a public hearing regarding the proposed Kaw Dam and Reservoir on the Arkansas River. More than 30 people spoke at the hearing that lasted for three hours.

On May 4, Forrest Jennings officially took over the reins of the city from former mayor I.H. Needham.

Edwards Implement Co. held an open house at its new building on 401 So. First. Another open house was at Kay Office Supply in their new building at 418 E. Cleveland.

On May 27, Mayor Jennings ousted City Manager Frank Winsted and demoted Police Chief Don Thurber. He named Earl Lane as interim chief of police and Leon Nelson as interim city manager. He reminded commissioners and staff that the city charter identifies the mayor as the authority governing appointment of key personnel.

The drive to secure funds for a new wing to the Ponca City Hospital received a boost of $100,000 from Conoco and $25,000 from Cities Service Oil Company.

Baker Furniture held an open house at its new location at 4th Street and Cleveland.

Marvin Hatcher retired as the planning commission chairman, after serving 24 years.

Officers confiscated four slot machines in an attempt to break up a syndicate’s attempt to set up gambling operations.

D.J. Donahoe presented petitions at the city commissioners meeting on July 21, asking for the recall of Commissioners Luther Miller and Fred Dowling.

City Commissioners approved a five-day work week for members of the Ponca City Fire Department.

The Junior Safety Patrol program received 110 new safety patrol belts to be used by the 500 students who took part in the safety program.

In August, Ponca City celebrated the oil industry centennial week with events planned by the Oklahoma Petroleum Council.

Local liquor dealers rushed to be ready to open their stores at 10:00 a.m. September 1st.

On September 8, a recall election brought out a record number of voters. Perry Whiting and Robert Clark defeated Luther Miller and Fred Dowling as commissioners of public property and finance.

Robert Spray, president, announced the Community Chest budget of $80,464.

C.E. Norton, city treasurer, began his 41st year as a city employee.

In September, Leon Nelson was officially appointed as city manager and Earl Lane was named chief of police.

Kay County cities shared in the first allocation of the Oklahoma alcoholic beverage tax revenue in September. Ponca City’s share was $12,641.

City workers completed the smooth concrete crosswalks at the Third and Grand intersection. They requested public comments before they repaired other intersections.

International Milling Co., producer of Robin Hood flour, closed permanently.

Mrs. Lillie Burkhart presented a collection of Indian costumes to the Indian Museum at the Ponca City Library.

In November, State Junior Chamber of Commerce members arrived for a 3-day State board meeting, headquartered at the Jens-Marie Hotel.

The Women’s National Aeronautical Association awarded Jerrie Cobb a trophy as Aviation Woman of the Year.

The Community Chest drive went over the top with $81,007 in cash and pledges.

In December, Chickasha Mobile Homes announced they were ready to move into Darr School and would begin production in January with 100 employees.

The Traffic Authority voted to institute right turn on red light movement at most of the city’s signalized intersections.

Bert Long, 111 N. 11th St., was first place winner in the Christmas lighting contest. Terry Jamison, 1700 El Camino was second, and Dr. V.C. Merrifield, 707 E. Overbrook, was third.