Ponca City Information
Ponca City History
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1968 — In January, the YMCA Board of Directors exercised its option to construct a building on Eighth Street between Grand and Central. They also purchased the Souligny property on the corner of Seventh and Grand.
Dave Morgan, a Blackwell oilman, purchased 152 acres for $85,000 for the new townsite for Kaw City. The land was 1 ½ miles west of the old city, which would be underwater once the Kaw Dam was built.
City commissioners extended the city limits, adding 280 acres on Lake Road, east of the present boundaries.
Andy Tarkington, president of Continental Oil Co., announced that $5 million had been budgeted to add a new process to the lube facilities in Ponca City.
J.T. Sanders bought the Cuzalina Drug Store.
Jack Allen of Lawton bought ten acres on North Fourteenth to build 101 deluxe apartment units.
Highway contracts totaling $44 million were under construction in Kay County including $5.3 million on U.S. 60 west of town and four miles east from I-35 near Tonkawa.
The Kaw Dam and Reservoir Development Association elected officers at their March meeting. Herman J. Smith was elected president. Other officers were Claude Braudrick, vice president, and Elec Rains, re-elected secretary-treasurer.
The Kay County Council for Retarded Children had raised $43,000 toward the $80,000 needed for the Opportunity Center. Rick Clinton of Wichita promised $30,000 to the building fund. He played in the 7th annual Cherokee Strip Golf Classic. Ponca City Country Club took over the annual benefit Cherokee Strip Golf Classic, formerly conducted by the late T.J. Cuzalina.
In April, the city annexed 772 acres in the northwest area of the city from Waverly, north of Highland to south of Prospect.
James A. McNeese was elected mayor, defeating George V. (Bud) Ehler.
City commissioners approved the construction of a secondary sewage treatment plant. Costs were $1,130,000 with a federal government grant of $338,000.
Mr. and Mrs. Martin Branch purchased the first lots in the relocated town of Kaw City.
On May 26, the Cultural Center and Indian Museum, located in E.W. Marland’s first home at 1000 E. Grand, was dedicated before a crowd of 2,500.
The city signed a six-month option to purchase 160 acres of land north of the Municipal Airport for $106,000. The land would be used to expand the airport or for industrial purposes.
A pedestrian underpass on South Avenue was proposed, with the state and the city each paying $15,000 and Conoco paying $30,000.
Sen. Mike Monroney and Rep. Ed Edmondson appeared on the June 22 program at “Operation Bulldozer” in Osage County. First stage work had begun on the Kaw Dam.
Groundbreaking ceremonies were held southwest of the White Eagle Clinic in the Ponca Tribal Housing Subdivision where eight of the first 20 mutual help homes were to be constructed.
The Bi-State Comprehensive Mental Health program, in the planning stages for two years, went into operation. With its headquarters at Ponca City, the program served Payne and Kay counties in Oklahoma and Cowley County in Kansas.
At the end of July, all Saturday window service at the post office was discontinued. All planned extensions of city and rural deliveries had been curtailed and there were no plans to provide service to new housing subdivisions.
The City Commission adopted a one-cent city sales tax, effective November 1, 1968, subject to the approval of voters.
Fall enrollment in all Ponca City schools exceeded 6,700. The new Unity parochial school located on the grounds of Assumption Villa, formerly the E.W. Marland estate, had 131 pupils at its opening.
In mid-September, Ponca City celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Cherokee Strip Land Run. An exhibit of western art at the Art Center was part of the Diamond Jubilee. Postmaster General Marvin Watson came to Ponca City to unveil the design of the six-cent Cherokee Strip stamp that would go on sale in October. Will Rogers Jr. rededicated the Pioneer Woman monument, with a large crowd in attendance.
Ponca City High School Big Blue band won the state fair band championship in the parade at Oklahoma City.
Former Oklahoma Governor Henry Bellmon formally kicked off his campaign for U.S. Senator on Sept. 28.
Ponca City residents approved a one-cent city sales tax, effective November 1st.
Raymond D. O’Melia was named president and chief executive officer of Pioneer National Bank.
On November 20, a disastrous fire struck Glenn Paris Furniture Store No. 2 and Van Winkle’s Men’s Wear, destroying the two businesses. There was water and smoke damage to adjacent offices in the Masonic Building and Security Bank. Firemen worked all night to put out the fire, assisted by units from Arkansas City, Blackwell, Tonkawa, Perry, and Stillwater. Loss was estimated at more than $600,000.
In December, city commissioners discussed the problems created by hydrocarbon-soaked shallow sands in the southern part of the city, near Circle Drive. The samples taken from wells and pits were found to be refined products. The state reported that the present steps of pumping out the liquid hydrocarbon were adequate and would confine the problem to the present area.
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