- Ponca City, Oklahoma
official_name = Ponca City, Oklahoma
imagesize = 250px
image_caption = Veteran's Day Parade down Grand Avenue in front of the Ponca City Civic Center and Town Hall
mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location of Ponca City, Oklahoma
unit_pref = Imperial
area_total_km2 = 50.0
area_land_km2 = 46.9
area_water_km2 = 3.1
area_total_sq_mi = 19.3
area_land_sq_mi = 18.1
area_water_sq_mi = 1.2
population_as_of = 2000
population_total = 25919
population_density_km2 = 552.5
population_density_sq_mi = 1431.0
timezone = Central (CST)
utc_offset = -6
timezone_DST = CDT
utc_offset_DST = -5
elevation_m = 308
elevation_ft = 1010
latd = 36 |latm = 42 |lats = 45 |latNS = N
longd = 97 |longm = 4 |longs = 21 |longEW = W
Ponca City is a city in Kay and Osage counties in the
U.S. stateof Oklahomanamed after the PoncaTribe (Páⁿka iyé: Páⁿka or Ppáⁿkka pronounced|ˈpːãŋkːa). Located in north central Oklahoma, it lies convert|18|mi|km south of the Kansasborder and convert|15|mi|km east of Interstate 35. The population was 25,919 at the 2000 census, making it the largest city in Kay County. The city is near the Salt Fork of the Arkansas Riverand Kaw Lakewhich provide recreational opportunities. Ponca City is served by Ponca City Regional Airport.
Ponca City is located at coor dms|36|42|45|N|97|4|21|W|city (36.712422, -97.072431)GR|1.
According to the
United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.3 square miles (50.0 km²), of which, 18.1 square miles (46.9 km²) of it is land and 1.2 square miles (3.1 km²) of it (6.26%) is water.
As of the
censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 25,919 people, 10,636 households, and 7,019 families residing in the city. The population densitywas 1,431.0 people per square mile (552.6/km²). There were 11,871 housing units at an average density of 655.4/sq mi (253.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 84.18% White, 2.99% African American, 6.27% Native American, 0.70% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 2.08% from other races, and 3.75% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.43% of the population.
According to the Center for Applied Economic Research at the
Oklahoma State University, Ponca City's per-capital personal income for 2006 was $35,071, steadily climbing from the 2000 census numbers listed below. There were 10,636 households out of which 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.3% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.0% were non-families. 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.95.
In the city the population was spread out with 26.2% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 25.5% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, and 17.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 90.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city in 2000 was $31,406, and the median income for a family was $39,846. Males had a median income of $32,283 versus $20,098 for females. The
per capita incomefor the city was $17,732. About 12.7% of families and 16.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.6% of those under age 18 and 9.3% of those age 65 or over.
Ponca City was founded in 1893 after the
Cherokee Outletwas opened for settlement in the Cherokee Strip land run, the largest land run in United States history.
The site for Ponca City was selected because of its proximity to the
Arkansas Riverand a fresh water spring near the river. The city was founded by Burton Barnes who drew up the first survey of the city and sold lottery tickets for the lots he had surveyed. After the drawing for lots in the city was completed, Barnes was elected the city's first mayor.
Another city, Cross, vied with Ponca City to become the leading city in the area. The
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railwayhad originally opened a station in Cross and refused to open one in Ponca City saying the two cities were too close to warrant another station. Citizens of Ponca City jacked up the train depot in Cross and moved it to Ponca City in the dead of night making Ponca City the railroad connection. Cross was later incorporated into Ponca City.
Influence of the Petroleum Industry
Ponca City's history has been shaped for the most part by the ebb and flow of the petroleum industry. The
Marland Oil Company, which once controlled approximately 10 percent of the world's oil reserves, was founded by eventual Oklahoma governor and U.S. congressman E. W. Marland, who founded the 101 Ranch Oil Companylocated on the Miller Brothers 101 Ranchand drilled his first successful oil well on land he leased from the PoncaTribe of American Indians in 1911.
Marland's luck and tenacity would fuel growth and wealth that were previously unimaginable on the Oklahoma prairie, and his company virtually built the city from the ground up. Decadent 1920s mansions -- including the famed Marland Mansion and Grand Home -- were built by Marland and his associates. Because of this period of wealth and affluence, Ponca City has an unusually high concentration of buildings that exemplify the popular Spanish revival architecture of the period, as well as
art deco-influenced buildings and homes.
The so-called "Roaring 20s" would come to an end for Ponca City shortly before the Great Depression. After a takeover bid by J.P. Morgan Jr., son of famed financier
J.P. Morgan, Marland Oil Co. eventually merged with Continental Oil Co. ( Conoco) in the late 1920s and would be known as Conoco for more than 70 years. The company maintained its headquarters in Ponca City during this time and continued to grow into a global corporation.
During the oil boom years of the 1980s, Conoco was owned by the
DuPontCorp., which took control of the company in 1981. After nearly two decades of ownership and an oil bust that crippled Oklahoma's economy in the late 1980s, DuPont eventually sold off its Conoco assets in 1998. By 2002, Conoco had merged with Phillips Petroleum (interestingly, another major petroleum player with roots in northern Oklahoma) to become ConocoPhillips. ConocoPhillips is now one of the five largest oil companies in the world and maintains a significant presence in its historic home state.
Houston, Texas, ConocoPhillips continues to operate one of the United States' largest refineries in Ponca City, as well as offices at the former Phillips Petroleum corporate headquarters in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. The company's presence is much smaller than it once was, and Ponca City's population has declined steadily since the early 1990s as a result. However, recent efforts to grow the city's economy beyond the petroleum industry have landed a number of technology, manufacturing and service jobs.
In 2005, ConocoPhillips announced plans to build a $5 million dollar museum across from its Ponca City refinery. Opened to the public in May, 2007, the
Conoco Museumfeatures artifacts, photographs and other historical items related to the petroleum industry and its culture in northern Oklahoma. A sister museum -- Phillips Petroleum Company Museum -- will also be opened in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
Conoco Museumis funded by a private foundation, and ConocoPhillips allows free admission.
Native American History
Historical accounts of white settlers and the oil industry in Ponca City have often overshadowed the area's Native American population and its influences on the culture and history of the city and its environs.
Ponca City is named after the
PoncaTribe, part of which relocated from Nebraskato northern Oklahoma from 1877 to 1880. Like all of the forced American Indian removals of the 19th century, the Poncas' trek was arduous. A number of Poncas who made the initial journey died from illness and exposure to the elements while following a group of leaders to northern Indian Territory (now northern Oklahoma).
Part of the tribe was displeased with the living conditions on the land where they initially settled, and they were led on a journey toward their traditional home by the legendary civil rights leader
Standing Bearin 1879. However, Standing Bear was arrested, and most of the tribal members who left eventually returned to the reservation in Oklahoma. The story of Standing Bearis perhaps best told by the memorial in his name, which stands at the intersection of Highway 60 and South Fourth Street in Ponca City.
PoncaNation, which has kept its headquarters south of Ponca City since 1879, played a major part in developing the Marland Oil Co. and the city proper when Chief White Eagle signed away valuable portions of the tribe's allotted land. In fact, the respected Ponca leader signed over the lease to the land on which E.W. Marlandmade his fortune in 1910.
In recent years, the
PoncaTribe has made a number of moves to build its infrastructure and improve services for its people. In February 2006, the tribe received a grant of more than $800,000 from the Shakopee Mdewakanton SiouxCommunity of Minnesotafor debt retirement and economic development.
Ponca City is bordered by, or in close proximity to, other Native American tribes, including the
Kaw, Osage, Otoe-Missouria, Pawnee, and Tonkawa.
Pioneer Woman Statue & Museum
Ponca City has the
Pioneer Woman Museumand the Pioneer Woman Statue. The statue was erected to commemorate women pioneers.
In 1928, twelve miniature convert|3|ft|m|sing=on sculptures were submitted by U.S. and international sculptors and traveled to twelve cites where they were viewed 750,000 people who cast votes for their favorite. The twelve original submissions have been on display at the museum at
Woolarocnear Bartlesville, Oklahoma since the 1930s when E. W. Marlandsold them to Frank Phillipsafter Marland lost control of the Marland Oil Company.
The winning statue was produced by British-born American sculptor
Bryant Bakerand was unveiled in a public ceremony on April 22, 1930 when forty thousand guests came to hear Will Rogerspay tribute to Oklahoma's pioneers. The statue is convert|27|ft|m high and weighs 12,000 pounds.
A museum was added in 1958 on the 65th anniversary of the
Cherokee Stripland run. The museum contains exhibits commemorating Oklahoma women.
Native American as well as European women are acknowledged for their leadership and stamina creating homes, raising children, and taking care of the daily business of sustaining life.
Links to sites about the statue and history:
* [http://www.poncacity.com/attractions/pioneer_woman.htm Ponca City, Ok. Information]
* [http://www.pioneerwomanmuseum.com Pioneer Woman Museum]
* [http://www.woolaroc.org/ Woolaroc Museum]
Pioneer Technology Centeris located in Ponca City.
Ponca City Public Schoolsserves the general population's education requirements
* St. Mary's Catholic School educates local Catholic students through the 8th grade.
Points of Interest
* [http://www.poncacity.com/attractions/101_ranch.htm 101 Ranch Memorial]
Cann Memorial Botanical Gardens
* City Hall
* Conoco Phillips Refinery
* Festival of Angels
* Historic downtown
* Hutchins Memorial
* Kaw Lake
* Lake Ponca
* Lew Wentz Public Pool and Golf Course
* Louise Fluke Flag Plaza
* [http://www.poncacity.com/attractions/marland_grand_home.htm Marland Grand Home]
* [http://www.poncacity.com/attractions/marland_mansion.htm Marland Mansion]
* [http://www.poncacity.com/attractions/pioneer_woman.htm Pioneer Woman Statue]
* [http://www.poncacity.com/attractions/pioneer_woman.htm Pioneer Woman Museum]
* Ponca City High School
* [http://www.poncacitylibrary.com Ponca City Library]
* Ponca Tribe Headquarters
* Poncan Theatre
* University Multispectral Lab (UML)
Notable Natives and Residents
Standing Bear(1834 - 1908), Poncan Native American Leader
* Burton S. Barnes (1844 - 1906), Founder and first Mayor of Ponca City
W. H. McFadden(1869 - 1956), Oilman and philanthropist
Bill Pickett(1870 - 1932), cowboy, invented Bulldogging
E. W. Marland(1874 - 1941), Founder of Marland Oil Companyand 101 Ranch Oil Company, Governor of Oklahoma, United States Congressman, philanthropist
J. J. McGraw(died 1928), banker and oilman
* Lew Wentz (1877 - 1949), Oilman and philanthropist
Lydie Marland(1900 - 1987), First Lady of Oklahoma
Louise Fluke(1900 - 1986), Creator of the Oklahoma State Flag
Donald Puddy(1937 - 2004), NASA Flight Director, Johnson Space Center
Joyce Carol Thomas(1938 - ), African American author of over 50 children's books
Jon Kolb(1947 - ) former offensive linemanwith the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he played for 13 seasons.
Mike Boettcher(1947? - ) news correspondent, CNN, NBC
Don Nickles(1948 - ), former United States Senator
Candy Loving(1956 - ), Playboy Playmate - January, 1979
* Doug Blubaugh (1934 - ), 1960 Olympic Gold Medalist in wrestling, named head wrestling coach at Indiana University in 1972
* Shelby Wilson - 1960 Olympic Gold Medalist, wrestling
* Kareem Salama (1977 - ), Country and Western Singer [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/13/arts/music/13croo.html?ref=music Nw York Times. "Muslim Singer With a Country Twang" by Neil MacFarquhar. November 13, 2007.] ]
* [http://www.poncacityok.com City website]
* [http://www.poncacitynews.com Ponca City News]
* [http://www.goponca.com Ponca City Development Authority]
* [http://www.conocophillips.com/about/Company+History/Conoco_Museum.htm The Conoco Museum]
* [http://www.poncacityweather.com Ponca City Weather Center - Local Weather Information Web Site]
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