Ponca City (population 24,000) is located in north central Oklahoma. It is 90 miles south of Wichita, Kansas, and 100 miles northwest of Tulsa. Ponca City is on State Highway 177, 15 miles from Interstate 35. There is the Ponca City Regional Airport which offers daily commercial flights to nearby destinations. Ponca City’s climate varies from very hot to very cold. In the summer the average high climbs to 94 degrees. Conversely, in the winter the average low plummets to 23 degrees. Ponca City receives an average of 36 inches of precipitation annually. Ponca City got its name from the Ponca tribe, one of the six Native American tribes still present in the Ponca City area. The city exploded into being in 1893, as did most Oklahoma cities during the years of the land rush. Plots inside the newly designated city limits were assigned by drawing lots. Within twenty years, oil was found in this part of Oklahoma and Ponca City became awash with oil money, specifically that of Lew Wentz and E.W. Marland. Today there are many attractions in the Ponca City area. You can take a tour of the E.W. Marland Mansion or of Historic City Hall. The Conoco Museum documents the history of oil in Oklahoma. Ponca City has an Art Center housed in the historic Soldani Mansion that offers classes and exhibits local artwork. You can also see the famous “Pioneer Woman” statue by Bryant Baker. Next to it is a museum showcasing pioneer era memorabilia and feature women who have been pioneers in their field.