E.W. Marland's mansion in Ponca City is an astonishing display of wealth and extravagance. It was here that Marland sunk much of his fortune building a home that estate officials say would now be worth close to $100 million.
It also was here he first lived with his wife, Lydie, who had once been his adopted daughter. He later became Oklahoma's 10th governor, and Lydie, at 28, then became one of the state's youngest first ladies.
Although he spent millions on the home, he and Lydie had only lived there about two months when his company, Marland Oil, was seized in a hostile takeover and became Conoco.
Left financially strapped, Marland soon moved into the chauffeur's quarters on the estate, leaving the massive home empty except for parties and ceremonies. (For the full story of the Marlands, pick up a copy of the May 2 Oklahoma Gazette.)
The Mansion and its interior were purchased by Ponca City and restored. The Marland Mansion is now a museum with tours available. For more information, go to www.marlandmansion.com. "Ben Fenwick