Cross, Oklahoma History


"This information was gathered from various sites throughout the Internet. The numbers behind the sentences correspond to the web page I got the information from during my research. It is a conglomeration of information that has it's resources on the corresponding webpages. Please visit those web pages as the people there have done hard work in making history more available to all of us.

Paul Reeves

At the bottom of the page are 'Places of Interest' where I have captured some of the history of the local area.

Cross was a townsite that appeared to have promise. Cross, located north of Ponca City, had a railroad depot, express office and post office. It was platted prior to the Run and promoted by the Santa Fe Railway Company, who planned it to be a dominant city. When the dust cleared on the afternoon of September 16, 1893, Cross claimed 1,500 residents. A government-sanctioned distillery was located there, one of only two ever located in Oklahoma. Operated by a Civil War veteran, Captain W.B. Baker, he also ran a saloon and livery stable. The distillery and saloon were conveniently located across the street from the office of the justice of the peace. Cross built a public school, had two newspapers, the Cross Resident and Oklahoma State Guide, hotels and a number of businesses.[1]

As a town, Cross was to be short lived, for one-mile further south lay another town, more aggressive than most, which became Ponca City.[1] Cross, a Santa Fe promoted town in Kay county, became in the first year after the opening the biggest and most promising town in that county, but a group started a rival town less than a mile down the track at which the Santa Fe train did not even whistle for many months. Eventually this new town (now Ponca City) overshadowed every other town in the county, while Cross is now unknown except as a suburb of Ponca City.[2] It was found that in drilling for water at Cross it was found to be reasonably good on the east side of the railroad, but on the west side, it was mostly" gyp" water. This fact led to him to believe that Cross could not grow into a large city and that the location a mile south was the ideal spot.[4]

Ponca had almost everything it needed for success as a town except for a railroad depot-Cross had that. Trains stopped at Cross but steamed right through Ponca, much to the chagrin of Ponca’s “aggressive” citizens. Ponca importuned the Santa Fe officials for months to locate a station at Ponca, but they refused steadfastly on the grounds there was not enough business to justify two stations located one mile apart. Secret business agreements were made with the railroad agent at Cross. Late one Saturday night, movers slipped into Cross, picked up the agent’s house and rolled it towards Ponca. They were nearly out of Cross by dawn when the residents woke and realized what was happening. Angry men from Cross tried to stop the movers but were held off with a shotgun by the man in charge. That evening, the house was at the edge of Ponca. It was guarded throughout the night and early Monday morning the house was placed on its new lot. In September 1894, one year after Ponca was founded; the Santa Fe gave into pressure from some territorial legislators. They agreed to build a spur into Ponca and set up a station there. Ponca was not through with Cross yet. Several hotels and businesses were moved from Cross to Ponca, followed by one house after another. Within six months little was left of Cross, it had all been incorporated into Ponca.[1] In June, 1895 the townsite of Cross was bought for a cemetary and the rest of the town moved to Ponca City.[3]


Places of Interest:

© Lord Gazmuth 2012