OHS Historical Marker Program
If you would like to learn more about the OHS Historical Marker Program or how to submit an application, please visit the OHS Historical Marker Program page.
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Location: at intersection of 13th Street and South Avenue in Ponca City (DAR)
Indians and explorers used this water supply before it became the main water supply for Ponca City, a village established after the opening of the Cherokee Outlet in 1892.
Birthplace of Interstate Oil Compact Commission
Location: Pioneer Woman Museum
Original plans for creating Interstate Compact to conserve oil and gas were developed on December 4, 1934, at the home of Governor-elect E.W. Marland, located one half mile northeast of this spot. Participants from twelve oil-producing states took part in these discussions of national and international significance. The purpose was to form a compact for bringing about conservation and prevention of waste in petroleum resources, through coordinated efforts of States Compact, creating the Interstate Oil Compact Commission. It was approved on February 16, 1935, in Dallas, Texas, and was ratified the same year by the legislatures of Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, and consented to by Congress on August 27, 1935. By 1966, thirty states were active members, and three were associate members. Official observers included representatives from Alberta and Saskatchewan in Canada; Colombia and Venezuela in South America; US Department of Defense and Interior; and the Federal Power Commission. The headquarters of the Compact Commission were established on Capitol grounds in Oklahoma City.
Black Iron Fountain
Location: at intersection of Fourth Street and Grand Avenue in Ponca City (DAR)
The first watering fountain in Ponca City once stood near the Marland Estate stables. Mrs. George Fluke, the designer of the Oklahoma state flag, repainted the relief daises on the fountain.
Location: at Top of Oklahoma Historical Museum, 303 South Main Street, Blackwell
Markers honor the centennial of Blackwell in 1993, the homesteaders who made the run into the Cherokee Outlet in 1893, and employees of Blackwell Zinc Company who served in World War II.
Camp Tonkawa Prisoner of War Camp
Location: original entrance into the camp, which is north of Tonkawa between Public and Main Streets
Between October and December of 1942 more than nine hundred construction workers labored twenty-four hours a day to build Camp Tonkawa on the quarter section immediately north of this marker (SE1/2 Sec. 28-26N-1W). The 160-acre site contained more than 180 wooden structures for 3,000 German prisoners of war (POWs), as well as five hundred US Army guard troops, service personnel, and civilian employees. Activated in January 1943, the post received its first POWs in August: German troops of the Afrika Corps captured in North Africa. The facility operated at or near capacity throughout its existence. Prisoners worked on area farms and ranches as well as at an alfalfa dryer plant in Tonkawa. In November 1943, a disturbance among the prisoners resulted in the death of one German soldier. Eight POWs escaped from the camp but all were recaptured. Camp Tonkawa closed in September 1945, and the POWs were returned to Europe.
Cherokee Strip Opening
Location: on US-77 at Oklahoma-Kansas border (DAR)
The east-west line marks the northern border of the Cherokee Outlet, opened for settlement on September 16, 1893.
Location: east of junction of US-177 and US-60, south of Ponca City
The Nez Perce Indians were removed to this area from their native lands in Idaho (1878–1884).
Chilocco Indian School
Location: on US-77, three miles south of the Kansas border
Congress authorized this school for Indian children in 1882. Before its closing in the 1970s, Chilocco was one of the largest Indian schools in the United States. On part of the original 9,000 acres set aside for the school, a major archaeological find proved the existence of Ferdinandina, a French trading post established around 1746 and considered to be the first white settlement in what would become Oklahoma.
Location: on US-77 south of Salt Fork of the Arkansas River
Zack Miller of the famous 101 Ranch gave this property to the Cherokee Strip Cowpunchers Association in 1930 to use as a location for annual reunions of "those who had ridden the range" in the Cherokee Strip. The site was later given to the Oklahoma Historical Society to maintain the graves of Miller and trick-shop performer Jack Webb.
Interstate Oil Compact Commission
Location: on grounds of Marland Estate, 901 Monument Road, Ponca City
Governor Ernest W. Marland helped found the compact in 1935 among the oil and gas producing states. The compact was the beginning of efforts to conserve the nation's oil and gas reserves.
Location: at entrance to Kaw City Museum, 910 Washunga Drive, Kaw City
The "old" town of Kaw City was covered by the waters of Kaw Lake in the 1970s and the new town rebuilt on higher ground nearby. The only commercial building moved was the 1902 train depot which became the home of the Kaw City Museum. Kaw City native Kenneth Brill made a fortune in the oil and gas business and contributed much to preserve Kaw City history.
Marland's Grand Home
Location: at 1000 East Grand Avenue, Ponca City (DAR)
Plaques at the flagpole and on a bird bath recall the grandeur of the first home built by oilman E. W. Marland in 1916. Before he was elected governor of Oklahoma, Marland founded what became Conoco and at one time controlled 10 percent of the nation's oil production.
Location: in downtown pocket parks in Newkirk
Enameled historical markers with photographs commemorate the Cherokee Outlet, Cherokee allotments, the Oil Boom, the Fire of 1901, Newkirk Country Club, Kay County Fair, Newkirk African-Americans, and the history of Newkirk.
Oklahoma Baptist College
Location: on grounds of Top of Oklahoma Historical Museum, 303 South Main Street, Blackwell
The Oklahoma Baptist College was founded in 1899 by the Oklahoma Baptist Convention. The school opened in 1901 and closed in 1913. Top enrollment was 208 in 1911.
Oklahoma Baptist College
Location: in downtown Blackwell (OBHC)
The college was a forerunner of Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee.
Oklahoma the Indian State
Location: on US-77 just south of Kansas line, Kay County
Land in this area was granted to Cherokee Indians by the US in 1828. It opened to white settlement in 1893. The Kaw Indian Tribal Reservation is located five miles east. There was located the land allotment of the Honorable Charles Curtis, Kaw Indian, Vice President of the United States, 1928–32.
Oklahoma War Chief
Location: on US-177 west of Braman
Captain David L. Payne published the first newspaper in the Cherokee Outlet, the Oklahoma War Chief, on June 14, 1884, in a printing plant in a tent in this area. The printing office was burned by federal troops two months later.
Location: on North Fifth Street in Ponca City
Pioneer Park's gate honors pioneer oil and gas prospector C.H. Ruby. The city's first gas supply came from wells located on the present site of North Park.
Location: on the grounds of the Pioneer Woman Museum in Ponca City
Royal Air Force
Location: in IOOF Cemetery on South Waverly Avenue in Ponca City
England's Royal Air Force fliers trained in Ponca City as they prepared to defend the United Kingdom in World War II. The cemetery also contains a flagpole dedicated to Jack Barrington, an Englishman who trained in Ponca City, married a local girl, and returned to live out his life there. There is also a large memorial in the cemetery that honors men and women who served in the armed forces.
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