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
the oil business, making his first fortune in the oil fields of West Virginia, only to lose it all in the panic of 1907. In 1908, Marland came to Oklahoma with not much more than belief in himself and a letter of credit. Mr. and Mrs. Marland made their home at the Arcade Hotel, and E.W. set out to explore for oil.
The first gusher of Oklahoma oil came in for Marland in 1911, on land he had leased from a Ponca Indian. Soon after, he discovered two more wells and then it seemed he found oil everywhere he looked. By 1922, E.W. Marland controlled one tenth of the world?s oil, and more than a third of the city?s population were employed by Marland Oil Company, now, Conoco Oil.
Later, Mr. Marland served in Congress and was Oklahoma's governor from 1935 to 1939. The legacy he left Ponca City and Oklahoma is immeasureable and his life story is an intriguing tragedy.
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