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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

Pioneer Woman Museum & Statue

The Pioneer Woman Statue was commissioned by E. W. Marland. This 17 foot bronze is on the National Register of Historic Places. The newly expanded museum features exhibits of women who have made outstanding "pioneering"

Ponca City, OK Arts

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

Derailed Railroad Co. Museum

- DISPLAY MOVED TO TOP OF OKLAHOMA MUSEUM, 303 South Main -

Blackwell, OK Museums


Ponca Chief, Standing Bear

Standing Bear won the battle for himself and for all Native Americans to become "persons" under United States law. His fight for his land and his dignity has been recorded as one of the first victories for civil rights in America.

Ponca City, OK Ethnic Heritage

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




Sculptures

Life-size sculptures of "The Athlete", "The Muse", and "The Scholar"

Tonkawa, OK Arts



Explore Kay County