Wildcatter…oil baron…Congressman…Governor…E. W. Marland was one of the giants of Oklahoma history. Lyde Roberts Marland was his step-daughter…inspiration…wife…the love of his life…and ultimately, a mysterious and haunted recluse.
iHeartRadio star Gwin Faulconer-Lippert and John unveil this thrilling, haunting tale of the American dream, its glories…and its tragedy. It’s the nineteenth episode of our weekly OKLAHOMA GOLD! radio program and podcast. Go HERE to listen to them all! Future episodes explore more great heroes, events, and movements of Oklahoma History.
If not E. W. Marland’s most enduring legacy, certainly his most visible is the 40-foot-high Pioneer Woman statue in Ponca City. In 1926, he launched a nationwide competition among America’s greatest sculptors to honor, in the words chiseled into the monument’s large stone base: “…the heroic character of the women who braved the dangers and endured the hardships incident to the daily life of the pioneer and homesteader in this country.” President Herbert Hoover and Secretary of War Patrick Hurley addressed the gathered crowd of FORTY THOUSAND over live, loud-speakered radio broadcast. Will Rogers dedicated the work in person. Photo Jim Argo. Courtesy Oklahoma Historical Society.
Oil baron, Congressman, and Governor E. W. Marland’s famed fifty-five-room Marland Mansion in Ponca City. Built at the height of Marland’s commercial success in the late 1920s, the “Palace on the Prairie” drew luminaries from around the world to his soirees. They included fox hunts, polo matches, and marathon high-stakes poker games. The ornate ceiling of the structure’s Grand Ballroom alone would cost more than $2 million in 2020s currency to construct. Photo by Jim Argo. Courtesy Oklahoma Historical Society.
Many thanks to Atwoods Ranch and Home, a farm and ranch supply company based in Enid, Oklahoma, for their support of the Red River Institute of History and OKLAHOMA GOLD! Please support them as you are able! Wherever you are, you can order online from thousands of quality products on their terrific website HERE. Atwoods also has 66 stores in 5 states: Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. In addition to farm and ranch supplies, Atwoods stores sell clothing, lawn and garden items, tools, hardware, automotive supplies, sporting goods, pet supplies, firearms, and seasonal items.