Ponca City is a city in Kay County in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The city was named after the Ponca tribe. Ponca City had a population of 25,387 at the time of the 2010 census.
Ponca City was created in 1893 as "New Ponca" after the United States opened the Cherokee Outlet for European-American settlement during the Cherokee Strip land run, the largest land run in United States history. The site for Ponca City was selected for its proximity to the Arkansas River and the presence of a freshwater spring near the river. The city was laid out by Burton Barnes, who drew up the first survey of the city and sold certificates for the lots he had surveyed. After the drawing for lots in the city was completed, Barnes was elected the city's first mayor.
Another city, Cross, vied with Ponca City to become the leading city in the area. After the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway had opened a station in Cross, people thought it would not open another in Ponca City because of the two cities' proximity. New Ponca boosters eventually secured a station after offering the Santa Fe station agent two town lots and the free relocation of his house from Cross. Ponca City reportedly obtained its first boxcar station by some Ponca City supporters going to Cross and returning with the town's station pulled behind them. Cross eventually became defunct, and today, what was once Cross is now a residential district in Ponca City.