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Ponca City Information

Ponca City History

1967

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1967 — Traffic-actuated signals were installed at 14th and Hartford. Lee Knight, traffic engineer, said there would not be left turn signals.

The Fire Department took over ambulance service for the city.

Hospital rates went up on February 1, due to Medicare and the minimum wage and hour law.

Security Bank celebrated 50 years of service in Ponca City with a two-day open house.

On February 6, Continental Oil reported the highest annual earnings in its history. Andrew W. Tarkinton, president and CEO, reported that consolidated net income reached an estimated $115.6 million.

The Corps of Engineers announced that hydroelectric power would be added to the Kaw Dam at a cost of $9 million.

On March 2, Gordon Holland, Ponca City businessman, announced his candidacy for city commissioner of public property. The next day, Art Erwin, retired Continental employee, announced he would file for the same office. On April 3, Holland was elected.

City commissioners unanimously concluded that public swimming at Lake Ponca was inadvisable.

An estimated 35,000 people visited the two-day fourth annual Boat & Travel Show at Lake Ponca. Miss Pamela Blubaugh was named queen of the show.

Owner Laura Valentine closed The Arcade Hotel, except for a few residential apartments with outside entrances.

In April, City Commissioners agreed to buy the original E.W. Marland home at 1000 E. Grand Ave. from Mrs. Jay Paris for $85,000. The house was to be used to establish a Cultural Center. The Indian Museum, which had been in the basement of the Library, was moved to the Cultural Center. City Commissioners appointed Gerald Sober, Mrs. Frank Searcy, Winfield White, Mrs. Tom Irby, Dr. Arthur Young, and Mrs. P.T. Powell to the volunteer board of directors.

On May 2, building fund pledges for the YMCA reached $50,000, according to Kent Phipps, President of the YMCA.

The United Way set a goal of $151,007, with John McFadden as Campaign Chairman. They raised $158,500.

The Planning Commission approved plats of two subdivisions. One is north of Hartford and west of The Meadows, the other is Westland Terrace, west of Waverly.

John A. Heinze, Democrat, was appointed to be county treasurer.

The new U.S. Highway 60 and State Highway 156 were completed in June. Evans and Throop constructed the $1.3 million project.

Continental Oil Co. was ranked the 33rd largest industrial corporation in the U.S. with sales of $1.75 billion in volume of sales for fiscal year 1966.

The people of Kaw City chose a site south of the Grandview Cemetery, two miles west of the present Kaw City, for their new town. The land cost was $500 per acre.

On July 25, the city was inundated with record-breaking rainfall over six inches. Harold Cogman tried to cross the Lake Ponca Spillway but the current swept his 1964 Ford into 25 feet of water in Turkey Creek. He swam out.

City Commissioners approved a general fund budget of $3.6 million for the 1967-68 fiscal year, $588,437 more than the previous year.

The formal opening of the Art Center was on September 9. Mayor C.D. Hull cut the ribbon for the new Ponca City Art Center at 819 E. Central. A month of activities included music, art and drama. Art works from the Cowboy Hall of Fame, Museum of Art at University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Art Center and Philbrook Art Center were on display.

M.D. Timberlake, architect, designed the building for the district headquarters of Oklahoma Natural Gas Company at Fourth Street and Chestnut.

The newly remodeled and expanded post office opened at 4:00 p.m. on Oct. 14. The entire building was renovated, adding air conditioning, and replacing all plumbing and lighting at a cost of $637.000.

In November, over 500 people participated in a city planning conference at Hutchins Memorial.

Lt. Gov. George Nigh, chairman of the Industrial Development and Park Commission of Oklahoma, was the keynote speaker, and Jim McNeese was general chairman. The parks and recreation workshop drew the largest crowd.

Also in November, county commissioners formulated a comprehensive county master plan. They appointed a six-member planning commission and hired a local engineering firm to make a preliminary study. The main focus was to offset unorganized growth in the Kaw Dam area.

The city opened a public parking space at First and Cleveland, former site of Thompson-Parker Lumber. City Manager Leon Nelson reported it was a temporary measure to provide off-street parking. Costs were to be covered by parking meter fees and by adjacent property owners.

The Planning Commission approved a site on Eighth Street between Grand and Central for the new YMCA building. Kent Phipps, president, said they would have a swimming pool and health club, but there weren’t enough pledges for a gymnasium. However the gymnasium was built and the swimming pool was not built until later.