Ernest Whitworth Marland, or E.W. as he was known by many, came from Pennsylvania to Oklahoma in December of 1908, just one year after Oklahoma became a state in 1907. He came in search of oil, and oil he found! Upon his arrival in Ponca City, he lived in the downtown Arcade Hotel.
In 1916, he and his wife, Mary Virginia Collins, moved into their newly built home at 1000 East Grand Ave. which they shared with their adopted children, George, age 18, and Lyde (Lydie), age 16, two of Mary Virginia’s sister’s children. Lydie was tutored at home and attended finishing schools up north and back east. George studied at Yale University. Both visited the home during vacations and spent their summers in Ponca City.
E.W. Marland founded the Marland Oil Company in Ponca City during the second decade of the 20th century, just before WWI began. At this time oil was being discovered in Oklahoma at an alarming rate, mostly by Marland. By the 1920s Marland owned one-tenth of the world's oil reserves above ground. Marland Oil later became Continental Oil Company now know as ConocoPhillips.
Schooled at an attorney, then trained as a geologist, E.W. Marland went on to achieve the titles of U.S. Congressman and 10th Governor of Oklahoma in the 1930s. He died in 1941 after serving his state and nation through experiences in the oil business and politics.
Marland's Grand Home, located at 1000 East Grand Avenue in Ponca City, Oklahoma, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was the first mansion-style home of Ernest Whitworth Marland and his family. Designed by Solomon Layton, construction of the home began in 1914 and was completed in 1916. Designed in Renaissance Revival style, it covers 16,500 square feet and houses the first indoor swimming pool built in Oklahoma. The property originally included extensive formal gardens to the east and also a carriage house to the west. The home cost approximately $350,000 to build.