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|Ponca City, Oklahoma|
Veteran's Day Parade down Grand Avenue in front of the Ponca City Civic Center and Town Hall
Location of Ponca City, Oklahoma
|• Type||Council - Manager|
|• Mayor||Homer Nicholson|
|• Vice-Mayor||Diane Anderson|
|• Total||19.3 sq mi (50.0 km2)|
|• Land||18.1 sq mi (46.9 km2)|
|• Water||1.2 sq mi (3.1 km2)|
|Elevation||1,010 ft (308 m)|
|• Density||1,382/sq mi (533.5/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||1096815|
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). The city is served by the Ponca City Regional Airport (PNC), and is accessible by US-60, US-177, OK-11, and I-35.
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.
There were 10,440 households of which 25.4% 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.
26.2% of the population were 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 was $39,023, and the median income for a family was $38,839. Males had a median income of $32,283 versus $20,098 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,566. About 12.7% of families and 17.7% 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.
|[hide]Climate data for Ponca City Regional Airport (KPNC)|
|Average high °F (°C)||43.7
|Daily mean °F (°C)||33.8
|Average low °F (°C)||23.8
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||1.18
|Source: National Weather Service |
Influence of the petroleum industry
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 years 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.
Native American history
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 Poncas' trek was arduous. Followed by the government's 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.
Pioneer Woman statue and museum
In 1927, miniature 3 feet (0.9 m) sculptures were submitted as part of a competition by 12 U.S. and international sculptors: John Gregory, Maurice Sterne, Hermon Atkins MacNeil, James Earle Fraser, Alexander Stirling Calder, Wheeler Williams, Mario Korbel, F. Lynn Jenkins, Mahonri Young, Arthur Lee, Jo Davidson and Bryant Baker). They were displayed in twelve cities around the state, where they were viewed by 750,000 people who voted for their favorite. The twelve original submissions have been on display at the museum at Woolaroc near Bartlesville, Oklahoma since the 1930s. Marland sold them to Frank Phillips after losing control of the Marland Oil Company.
The British-born American sculptor Bryant Baker was chosen as the winner. His full-scale work was unveiled in a public ceremony on April 22, 1930. Forty thousand guests came to hear Will Rogers pay tribute to Oklahoma's pioneers. The statue is 27 feet (8.2 m) high and weighs 12,000 pounds.
A related museum commemorating Oklahoma women was opened on September 16, 1958, on the 65th anniversary of the Cherokee Strip land run. It recognizes the work of Native American as well as European-American women, and their leadership and stamina in creating homes, raising children and taking care of the work of sustaining life and communities.
LandmarksPonca City is home to several landmarks on the National Register of Historic Places including the Poncan Theatre, the Marland Mansion and Marland's Grand Home. Ponca City also holds several regional events each year.
EconomyPhillips 66 has 1,500 employees and 650 contractors in its facilities in Ponca City. The company has a credit card center, a refining complex, a technology research center and a transportation office. The Ponca City Refinery, operated by Phillips66, is the largest refinery in the state of Oklahoma.
E. W. Marland built the Ponca City refinery in 1918 and founded the Marland Oil Company. In 1929, the Continental Oil Company merged with Marland, and the two became Conoco Inc. The Conoco headquarters were in Ponca City until 1949, when it moved to Houston, Texas. In 2002 Conoco Inc. and Phillips Petroleum Company, whose headquarters were in nearby Bartlesville, Oklahoma merged into ConocoPhillips.
AirportPonca City Regional Airport (airport code PNC) (1007 feet above mean sea level) is located at the northwest corner of the city at 36 degrees 43.84 north latitude and 97 degrees 05.99 west longitude. The facility has a 7,201 foot 17-35 runway which is 150 feet (46 m) wide, and the un-towered facility has a full-length taxiway. The local airport booster club hosts a fly-in breakfast every first Saturday of the month, year around, "rain or shine".
ElectricityThe Ponca City region receives electricity powered hydro-electrically at Kaw Lake, a United States Army Corps of Engineers project. The facility, located seven miles (11 km) east of Ponca City, dams the Arkansas River. The electric utility is managed by the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority (OMPA) of Edmond, Oklahoma.
Public educationPonca City Public Schools serves the general population's education requirements. Ponca City Public Schools serves over 5100 students.
- High schools
- Ponca City High School - Ponca City High School (Po-Hi) serves all 9th through 12th grade students in the school district.
- Ombudsman Alternative Education Center - had provided select students the option to take a mostly technology-based route through high school. Ombudsman Alternative Education Center was closed after the end year of 2012-2013. :* WildCat Academy Program - starting in the year of (2013-2014) became the new alternative school for high school students in the area. Sponsoring the Ponca City WildCat logo, with new changes from the Ombudsman and past alternative schools.
- Middle schools
- Elementary schools
- Garfield Elementary
- Liberty Elementary
- Lincoln Elementary
- Roosevelt Elementary
- Trout Elementary
- Union Elementary
- Washington Elementary (became the Alternative School, but was closed at the end of the 2009-2010 school year.)
- Woodlands Elementary
Private educationPonca City has three private schools that serve students from pre-K through 8th grade:
- Ponca City Christian Academy
- First Lutheran School
- St. Mary's Catholic School
- Pioneer Technology Center serves high school and adult students from throughout the surrounding area. PTC also has co-operative degree programs with Northern Oklahoma College and Cowley County Community College
- University Learning Center offers ITV (interactive television) classes from several area universities, including Northern Oklahoma College, Oklahoma State University and The University of Oklahoma
- Ponca City is the headquarters for Oklahoma State University's University Multispectral Laboratory.
Points of interest
- 101 Ranch Memorial
- Cann Memorial Botanical Gardens
- Conoco Museum
- Hutchins Memorial
- Kaw Lake
- Lake Ponca
- Lew Wentz Public Pool and Golf Course
- Marland Grand Home
- E. W. Marland Mansion
- Pioneer Woman Statue and Museum
- Ponca Tribe Headquarters
- Standing Bear Memorial
In popular cultureThe Town of Ponca City was one of the filming locations for 1996 movie Twister.
In the cartoon series The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, Bullwinkle is said to have relatives in Ponca City.
In an episode of The Rockford Files, James Garner, a native Oklahoman, mentions Ponca City.
A film about E. W. Marland is in production to shoot in Ponca City, Titled "The Ends of the Earth". The film will star Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence. Production is expected to start in 2014.
The Poncan Theatre was built in 1927
- Douglas Blubaugh, 1960 Olympic Gold Medalist in wrestling
- Mike Boettcher, news correspondent, CNN and NBC
- Lou Clinton, Major League Baseball player
- Stanley Ann Dunham, mother of U.S. President Barack Obama
- Richard E. Killblane, military historian and author
- Jon Kolb, former offensive lineman with the Pittsburgh Steelers
- Brandie Knight, author and film producer
- Candy Loving, Playboy Playmate, January, 1979
- Kim Manning, musician
- E. W. Marland, businessman and politician
- Gale McArthur, All-American basketball player at Oklahoma State University
- W. H. McFadden, oilman and philanthropist
- Jake McNiece (1919–2013), US Army paratrooper in World War II. He was the leader of the Filthy Thirteen, an elite demolition unit whose exploits inspired the novel and movie The Dirty Dozen.
- Don Nickles, former United States Senator
- Bill Pickett, cowboy
- Don Puddy, NASA Flight Director
- Mark and Rusty Ryal, father and son Major League Baseball players.
- Kareem Salama, country and western singer
- Standing Bear, Poncan Native American leader
- Anthony Taylor, Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Little Rock, Arkansas
- Joyce Carol Thomas, children's author
- Lew Wentz, oilman and philanthropist
- Shelby Wilson, 1960 Olympic Gold Medalist in wrestling