History - wikipedia
Ponca City was created in 1893 as New Ponca after the United States opened the Cherokee Outlet for European-American settlement during the Cherokee Strip land run, the largest land run in US history. The site for Ponca City was selected for its proximity to the Arkansas River and the presence of a fresh water spring near the river. The city was laid out by Burton Barnes, who drew up the first survey of the city and sold certificates 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. After the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway had opened a station in Cross, people thought it would not open another in Ponca City because of the two cities' proximity. New Ponca boosters eventually secured a station after offering the Santa Fe station agent two town lots and the free relocation of his house from Cross. Ponca City reportedly obtained its first boxcar station by some Ponca City supporters going to Cross and returning with the town's station pulled behind them. Cross eventually became defunct. In 1913 New Ponca changed its name to Ponca City.
The statue of oilman E. W. Marland, founder of Marland Oil (later Conoco), who later was a U.S. Congressman and Oklahoma Governor. Ponca City's history and economy has been shaped chiefly by the ebb and flow of the petroleum industry. E.W. Marland, a Pennsylvania oil man, came to Oklahoma and founded Marland Oil Company, which once controlled approximately 10 percent of the world's oil reserves. He founded the 101 Ranch Oil Company, located on the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch, and drilled his first successful oil well on land which he leased in 1911 from the Ponca Tribe of American Indians. He was elected in 1932 as a congressman and in 1934 as governor of OK.
Marland's exploitation of oil reserves generated growth and wealth that were previously unimaginable on the Oklahoma prairie, and his company virtually built the city from the ground up. Marland and his associates built mansions to display their new wealth, including the Grand Home and the E.W. Marland Estate (once called the Palace on the Prairie.) Because of this period of wealth and affluence, Ponca City has a high concentration of buildings that exemplify the popular Spanish Colonial Revival architecture of the period, as well as art-deco-influenced buildings and homes.
The "Roaring 20s" came to an end for Ponca City shortly before the Great Depression. After a successful takeover bid by J.P. Morgan, Jr., son of financier J.P. Morgan, Marland Oil Co. merged with Continental Oil Co. (Conoco) in the late 1920s. It was known as Conoco for more than 70 years. The company maintained its headquarters in Ponca City until 1949 and continued to grow into a global corporation.
During the oil boom of the 1980s, Conoco was owned by the DuPont Corp., 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 sold off its Conoco assets in 1998. In 2002, Conoco had merged with Phillips Petroleum (another major petroleum player with roots in northern Oklahoma) to become ConocoPhillips. ConocoPhillips was then the sixth-largest publicly traded oil company in the world, and the third largest in the United States. It maintains a significant presence in its historic home state.
Since the company has reduced its workforce and facilities in the city, the population has declined steadily since the early 1990s. In February 2009, ConocoPhillips announced that all of its remaining non-refinery operations in Ponca City (representing 750 jobs) would be moved out of the city. The city's recent efforts to grow its economy beyond the petroleum industry have attracted a number of technology, manufacturing and service jobs.
In 2005, ConocoPhillips announced plans to build a $5 million museum across from its Ponca City refinery. Opened to the public in May 2007, the Conoco Museum features 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 be opened in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Funded by a private foundation, the Conoco Museum charges no admission fee.
In 2012 ConocoPhillips split into two separate companies, with the upstream portion retaining the ConocoPhillips name and the refining and transportation portions taking the name Phillips66.
Based in Houston, Texas, Phillips66 continues to operate a 200 thousand barrel per day refinery] in Ponca City.
The statue of Standing Bear honors the Ponca chief who successfully argued in U.S. District Court in a landmark civil rights case in 1879 that Native Americans are "persons within the meaning of the law" and have the rights of citizenship.
Native American young people hold flags of their tribes at the dedication of the Standing Bear Museum. Until recently, European Americans' accounts of their settlement and the growth of the oil industry in Ponca have often overshadowed both the long ancient history of indigenous peoples in the area, as well as those tribes who were resettled to Oklahoma in the nineteenth century under Indian Removal.
Ponca City is named after the Ponca Tribe, part of which was relocated from Nebraska to northern Oklahoma from 1877 to 1880. Like all of the forced American Indian removals of the 19th century, the Poncans' trek was arduous. Followed by government failure to provide adequate supplies, as well as malaria at their destination, nearly one-third of the Ponca died from illness and exposure. "Out of 700 Ponca who left the Nebraska reservation, 158 died in Oklahoma within two years ."The Ponca protested their conditions. Standing Bear's oldest son died in 1879. The chief had promised to bury him in his homeland, and about 60 Ponca accompanied him back to Nebraska. The US Army was ordered to arrest them for having left the reservation, and they were confined to Fort Omaha. Most of the tribal members who left eventually returned to the reservation in Oklahoma. With the aid of prominent attorneys working pro bono, Standing Bear filed a writ of habeas corpus challenging his arrest. The case of Standing Bear v. Crook (1879) was a landmark decision in the US District Court, where the judge ruled that Indians had the same legal rights as other United States citizens.
A statue was erected in his honor at the intersection of Highway 60 and Standing Bear Parkway in Ponca City. In the late twentieth century, the city developed a park and museum, named in his honor.
The Ponca Nation, which has kept its headquarters south of Ponca City since 1879, played a major part in the development of the Marland Oil Co. and the city. Chief White Eagle leased resource-containing portions of the tribe's allotted land to E.W. Marland in 1911 for oil exploration and development.
Since the late 20th century, the Ponca Tribe has worked 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 Sioux Community of Minnesota for debt retirement and economic development.
Nearby north-central tribes are the Kaw, Osage, Otoe-Missouria, Pawnee and Tonkawa. These are all federally recognized tribes, as is the Ponca Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma. In 1994 the six tribes established the Standing Bear Foundation and Pow-wow, beginning the first of annual shared pow-wows, to which they invite the public. They wanted to build collaboration among the tribes and with the non-Native residents of Ponca City. The pow-wow is now held in Standing Bear Park, which was named in honor of the notable Ponca chief.
Geography Ponca City is located at WikiMiniAtlas
36°42′45″N 97°4′21″W / 36.71250°N 97.07250°W / 36.71250; -97.07250 (36.712422, -97.072431). Ponca City lies on approximately 18.1 square miles (46.9 km2) of land, and also has approximately 1.2 sq mi (3.1 km2) of water, for a total area of 19.3 square miles (50.0 km2).
Ponca City is located in north central Oklahoma, it lies approximately 18 miles (29 km) south of the Kansas border, and approximately 15 miles (24 km) east of Interstate 35.
The city is near the Arkansas River, the Salt Fork of the Arkansas River, Kaw Lake, and Lake Ponca, which all provide numerous recreational opportunities.
Climate: The Ponca City region of Oklahoma is part of tornado alley. Tornadoes are most common in April, May and June. Ponca City faces very hot and humid summers known to average over 100 F as well as severe storms. During the winters, Ponca City consists of mostly mild to strong winters with snowstorms and ice.