“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Ponca City in Kay County, Oklahoma — The American South (West South Central)

Ponca City Library

Ponca City Library Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, May 1, 2012
1. Ponca City Library Marker
Inscription. Ponca City had been in existence for 11 years. She had schools, churches and even an opera house, but not a library. A group of women from the Twentieth Century Club decided to remedy this and convinced H.C.R. Brodboll to house a small “book exchange” club in the back room of his insurance office. The year was 1904 and the library exchange had 50 books. Eventually the club collected 500 volumes and it was evident a larger library building was needed.

The Twentieth Century Club raised $700 and purchased two lots on the southwest corner of Fifth and Grand which was to become the site of the future library. The club wrote Andrew Carnegie requesting money from the Carnegie Library Fund. The request was successful and in 1910 the new $6500 Carnegie Library was opened. This library was quite an achievement for the city of 2,500. Fortunately, no one bothered to point out the state law prohibiting cities of less than 5,000 population having a tax-supported library.

With the oil boom of the 1920s came people. By 1930 the population swelled to 16,000. The small library, which originally contained 500 volumes, now held almost 18,000.

In December 1933 several hundred people signed petitions asking the city commission to apply to the Federal PWA fund for a $100,000 loan to construct a new library. This
Ponca City Library Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, May 1, 2012
2. Ponca City Library Marker
effort was again spearheaded by the Twentieth Century Club. The following month the loan was approved and in March 1934, the citizens passed a library bond issue by a two-to-one margin.

The new library was designed by prominent local architect George J. Cannon. He was also the architect for the Soldani Mansion (now the Ponca City Art Center) and the Rock Cliff Country Club (now the VFW). The Spanish influenced design was purposely chosen to be compatible with several other important structures in the city.

On Dec. 18, 1935, the library was officially dedicated. It received great praise not only from Oklahoma, but from around the nation. Several cities even requested copies of the architectural plans.

The new library served the city well for many years. However by the early 1980s it was again evident additional space was needed to fulfill the many services provided by the library. In October 1987 a ground breaking ceremony was held for a $1.65 million expansion. Howard and Porch, architects from Oklahoma City, designed the addition on the west side. The style of the original 1935 building was faithfully followed and the library was rededicated on Sept. 10, 1989.
Erected by Historic Preservation Panel of Ponca City, Ponca City Main Street Authority.
Ponca City Library image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, May 1, 2012
3. Ponca City Library
36° 42.226′ N, 97° 4.668′ W. Marker is in Ponca City, Oklahoma, in Kay County. Marker is at the intersection of East Grand Avenue (Business U.S. 60) and North 5th Street, on the right when traveling west on East Grand Avenue. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 515 East Grand Avenue, Ponca City OK 74601, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lewis Haines (Lew) Wentz (within shouting distance of this marker); E. W. Marland (within shouting distance of this marker); Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce (approx. 10.5 miles away); Kay County War Memorial (approx. 12.3 miles away); African-Americans (approx. 12.3 miles away); Land of Hope (approx. 12.4 miles away); Kay County Abstract Building (approx. 12.4 miles away); Newkirk (approx. 12.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Ponca City.
Categories. Notable Buildings
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 374 times since then and 80 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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