Kay County, OK

Kay CountyThe lands in the area of Kay County and surrounding the present Kaw Lake were once claimed by the Osage Indian Nation. Controversies about this claim let to the ratification of a treaty in 1870 forced the Osage east into what is now Osage County. In 1871, a Congressional Commission and a delegation of Kaw Indians selected the northeast portion of the former Osage holdings as a future home for the Kaw Indians. Chief Washungah, or Washunga, both spellings are correct, led 516 Kaw Indians from Council Grove, Kansas to the 100,000 acres set aside for the Kaw Reservation.

The old settlement of Washungah is located within the Federal Corps of Engineers project lands of Kaw Reservoir. It was the site for the Kaw Agency, Kaw Cemetery, and a trading post. Included among its buildings were a boarding school dormitory, infirmary, the superintendent's home and the school which later became the Kaw Council House. The council house has been moved to higher ground and reconstructed, stone by stone, and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Kaw Cemetery was also relocated to a higher elevation and is now located near the city of Newkirk, Oklahoma.

Another historical site located on the corps lands is the Deer Creek archeological site located in the vicinity of Traders Bend Park area. This site, which is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is believed to represent an early French trading post and Indian village. The French first entered the area in 1719, and shortly thereafter, trade with the Indians was established.

Other points of historical interest located in the county are the famed "Pioneer Woman" statue and museum and the Marland Mansion, both of which are located in Ponca City. Also located seven miles southwest of Ponca City is the site of the once sprawling famous 101 Ranch "White House." This was once one of the world's largest ranches and was often visited by Presidents and Kings and the rich and famous from all points of the world.

In 1902 "Old Kaw City," now inundated by the waters of Kaw Lake, was founded as a farming community in the fertile oxbow bend of the Arkansas River. It later became a booming oil town when oil was discovered nearby. Today, a new Kaw City is located on higher ground near the lake.

Explore Kay County

Frances Willard

The life of Frances Willard is memorialized in two beautiful stained glass windows that were dedicated at the Blackwell Church where Frances Willard was a member. The windows are preserved at the Top of Oklahoma Museum remembering "Our Uncrowned Queen."

Blackwell, OK Famous People

Grace Episcopal Church

Grace Episcopal Church began in 1898 in another location in town.. The sanctuary was designed by John Duncan Forsyth and was commissioned on Whit Sunday 1951 in our current location of 13

Ponca City, OK Historic Churches

Botanical Garden & Arboretum

Northern Oklahoma College (NOC) is one of the most recent affiliate gardens of the Oklahoma Botanical Garden and Arboretum. Since its establishment in 1901

Tonkawa, OK Arboretums

Centennial Marker

The Cherokee Strip Centennial Marker located in Centennial Park is dedicated to the people who loved the land and settled this area during the Cherokee Strip Land Run of 1893

Tonkawa, OK Memorials

E.W. Marland

E.W. Marland was born May 8, 1874 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He studied to be an attorney, graduating from University of Michigan Law School at the age of nineteen. Marland?s years of practicing law led him to an interest in geology and a career in the oil industry. He prospered in

Ponca City, OK Notables

Electric Park Pavilion

The Electric Park Pavilion, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has always been the centerpiece of civic and social life in the community. This magnificent structure was constructed in 1912-1913

Blackwell, OK Historic Buildings

Blackwell Armory

The Blackwell Armory with it Art Deco architecture was built in 1925, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Blackwell, OK Historic Buildings

Standing Bear Statue and Memorial Park

A monumental tribute to all Native Americans, this 22

Ponca City, OK Arts

Explore Kay County