Ponca City Information
Ponca City History
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1977 — Larry Stephenson was named “Outstanding Citizen” at the annual Chamber of Commerce Banquet. Stephenson, President of Security Bank, was recognized for his service to the community in his role as chairman of the Marland Mansion acquisition committee. He had also served as chairman of the Bicentennial committee.
The Public Safety Center, which includes the police and traffic operations, municipal courtroom, and emergency operations center, was completed in January. A $1.4 million general obligation bond issue funded construction.
Ponca City Ambucs celebrated their 50th Anniversary. The organization was known locally as sponsor of the Grand Prix sports car races at Lake Ponca and the Motocross.
The city paid the final payment to the Felician Sisters for the Marland Mansion and Estate and then conducted a mortgage burning ceremony.
The City commission voted to change the name of Lakeside Golf Course to the Lew Wentz Memorial Golf Course and Clubhouse. Approximately $140,000 had been raised through private donations for construction of a new clubhouse.
G. Harold Kanady, consulting architect, reported to the Housing Authority of the city that construction of the low-rent housing facility for the elderly was 60% complete. Known as Broadway Plaza, the apartment building was located in the 200 block of East Broadway, and would have 118 housing units available.
Ponca City received $213,760 in February for the 2% city sales tax collected in December 1976. This was the largest return since the local tax had been collected and $22,630 more than December 1975. Half the collected amount went to a trust fund for the Marland Mansion and Estate; the remainder went into the city’s general fund.
In February, the commission held a public hearing regarding the feasibility of building parking lots in the downtown area by assessing property owners within the district. The off-street parking facilities plan was submitted to city commissioners by a group of downtown businessmen. The facilities were to be constructed at no cost to the city. The two public lots would be at Second and Cleveland and on Central between Third and Fourth Streets. Estimated cost was $630,000 for the properties and improvements. Voters rejected the plan.
Four citizens filed to run for mayor – Dr. John Robinson, Alicia Taylor, Joe Milhoover, and John Raley. A runoff election was held between Robinson and Raley, and Robinson was elected.
The first Renaissance Ball was held at the Marland Mansion, hosted by Lt. Gov. and Mrs. George Nigh. Belle Cheever was named first recipient of the Pioneer Woman Award. She was the first child born in Oklahoma Territory after it was opened for settlement.
The Marland-Paris house, known as the Cultural Center, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The high school choral music groups won the state sweepstakes trophy with seven superior ratings.
Sen. Henry Bellmon and 400 Camp Fire Girls assisted in the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Camp McFadden at Kaw Lake.
For the first time in the history of Ponca City schools, a bond issue was defeated. The school board had asked for $750,000, basically to cover new equipment and furniture.
Don Hall retired as manager of the Poncan Theatre and the two drive-ins. During his 50 year career in theaters, he had served as an usher, doorman, and projectionist, as well as manager.
More than 650 visitors attended the dedication and formal opening of the Cann Memorial Garden Center on May 22.
Sgt. Dusty Rhoads, veteran fish fryer, was on duty again for the 19th annual FOP Fish Fry. The police sergeant and his fellow “cop cooks” fed 3,000 customers at the annual event.
A native stone dam was constructed on Turkey Creek in Lake Ponca Park, creating a fishing pond for youths.
The 16th annual Ponca City Grand Prix races were held at Lake Ponca on the 4th of July weekend. There were 160 drivers. Sunday, drivers set 11 new track records.
Broadway Plaza, the new housing complex for the elderly, began renting the 118 apartments in the three-story structure.
Gary Martin, Park Superintendent, reported to the City Commission that the hedges at the Cultural Center and in front of the Municipal Building would be removed, due to the high maintenance requirements.
Total population of Ponca City was 27,369, with an additional 3,002 persons in the immediate surrounding area outside the city limits. There are 44 square miles in the corporate city limits and the surrounding area is 56 square miles. Average number of individuals per household was 2.6.
Continental Carbon announced plans to modify the pellet-drying process, which would cut down on pollution and energy use.
Charles Hepler, executive director of the Marland Estate, increased his duties. He began coordinating services at the Cultural Center, Hutchins Memorial Building, L.A. Cann House, and the Civic Center Auditorium.
The Mansion received approval of a $1,361,000 grant from the Economic Development Administration. The money would be spent on improvements in the Mansion and to develop a seminar center.
The West Junior High School cheerleaders won the top honor at the OSU Cheerleading Institute.
A bare-handed fish catch was held outside the YMCA on Crazy Day, sponsored by the Jaycees. Twelve fish were released in water and children tried to catch them without a net or fishing pole. Each child who caught a fish won a prize.
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