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Bliss/Marland

The town of Bliss now known as Marland, in the early days was located in what was first known as the Ponca Indian Reservation. It was miles in every direction to any land that was owned by white people.

In 1898, Fred Baldruff of Ponca City leased a five acre tract of land from the federal government for building purposes and that same year built a lumber yard. P.C. Viering and R.T. Ray also of Ponca City built and operated a general merchandise store arriving in Bliss at the same time as Baldruff.

Until that time a box car flag station, a stock pen and scale along the Santa Fe tracks were all that made up the community of Bliss. The scales were used by Nathan and Neal Williams to weigh wheat bought and loaded by the scoop method to cars for shipment. Nathan Williams now lives in Tulsa.

In 1900 two ……built and in 1904 the first school was organized and held in a scale weight house with the seats nailed in. Monohan, the Santa Fe section foreman was elected on the first school board and has served almost continuously since that time. He has been a board member for 35 years and is still serving. H.L. Derry is serving his 26th year. At present the school is a three district consolidated affair that was built in 1924 and there are nine teachers employed here.

In 1900 Fred Baldruff opened a grocery store which he operated many years. H.L. Derry and Fred Grund of Girard, Kansas purchased the general store from Viering and Ray in 1903 which Derry still operates. Baldruff purchased lots in Ponca City the second day after the race which he still owns. Among them is the site of the Roxy theater.

Marland's Booms Passed, Leaving It Still Small Town

Due a large part to the activities of the Miller Brothers of the 101 Ranch the town of Bliss has gone a long way from the flag station and two grain elevators stage.

In 1906 the Miller brothers obtained a deed to the property one mile southeast of the original townsite. Lots were staked and the little town started on its first expansion.

Anyone purchasing a lot was given a share in an oil well to be drilled north of town. It later proved to be a dry hole. But many out of state residents purchased lots and recently these lots have been taken in by the county or by someone paying the taxes.

In 1917 the Millers purchased another tract northwest of the Santa Fe depot and again a block and tackle were busy moving the buildings and houses back across the original site to its present location.

During 1923-1924 the population was near the 1,000 mark and hotels and rooming houses were full. But again the rich plum has shrunk and the last census gave the total population as 360, a drop largely due to the decline of the ranch, for which this was the headquarters town.

Newpaper and date unknown