Part I - Charlotte and Atlanta
Part II - The Gulf Shore and Panhandle of Florida
Part III - New Orleans (The Big Easy)
Part IV - Dallas, Texas (Visiting Bruce's Early Youth)
Part V - Ponca City, Oklahoma (Visiting Doug and Sue)
Part VI - Missouri and Indiana
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 the 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 U.S. congressman and in 1934 as governor of Oklahoma.
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.
Based in Houston, Texas, ConocoPhillips continues to operate one of the United States' largest refineries in Ponca City. 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.
Quoted From: Ponca City, Oklahoma - Wikipedia
Unlike many men of the period, Marland waited to marry until he was well-established. He first married Mary Virginia Collins, known as Virginia, on November 5, 1903 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She went with him to Oklahoma, where they found renewed success. They had no children of their own.
In 1916, to help her sister Margaret Roberts and her husband George and share their wealth, they adopted the Roberts' two children: George and Lydie, then 19 and 16, respectively. They sent them to private schools and gave them other opportunities. The Marlands were together until Virginia's death on June 6, 1926, in Ponca City, Kay County, Oklahoma.
Two years later, E. W. Marland had Lydie Roberts Marland's adoption annulled. On July 14, 1928, he married Lydie Roberts in Philadelphia. She was 28 and he was 54. They were together until his death on October 3, 1941.
Quoted From: E. W. Marland - Wikipedia
It tells the story of this area from Pre-Columbian Indians through the discovery of oil by Marland Oil Company.
It was created as one piece and hoisted to the ceiling.
She was destitute after the death of her husband in 1941 and she returned here in 1975 where she lived until her death in 1987.
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