Ernest Whitworth Marland (Ernest Whitworth Marland)

Ernest Whitworth Marland

E.W. Marland was a pioneering oil man, starting the company that became Conoco, and Oklahoma’s 10th governor.  Marland lived a lavish lifestyle that made him well known as a social leader in Oklahoma. Marland showered Ponca City with gifts including a hospital, parks, and donations for civic improvements and to many charities. Perhaps the best known of those was the commissioning of the “Pioneer Woman Statue”. During this time he built a lavish mansion in Ponca City where he resided with his wife, the former Mary Virginia Collins (Virginia), and their adopted children, George and Lydie. The Marland mansion became the center of extravagant social activities that included English style fox hunts, polo, parties of all kinds, and an almost continuous round of high-stakes poker games. He ran successfully for Congress, then governor, during the Great Depression. In 1928 he caused a scandal by marrying his adopted daughter, Lydie Marland. She was the daughter of Marland’s first wife’s sister, adopted by the childless E.W. and Virginia Marland as a little girl. Upon Virginia’s death, E. W. had the adoption annulled and married Lydie. His administration as governor (elected 1934) was unproductive, partly because of his political naivety and partly as a result of opposition in the legislature. Promising to “bring the New Deal to Oklahoma”, Marland was only able to enact a few of its programs. He did found the Oklahoma Department of Safety and the Highway Patrol, however. In 1940 he was forced to sell his beloved mansion, which cost $5.5 million to build, for $66,000.  Family links:  Spouses:  Mary Virginia Collins Marland (1876 – 1926)*  Lydie Miller Roberts Marland (1900 – 1987)*  Children:  George Roberts Marland (1897 – 1957)* *Calculated relationship


  • May, 08, 1874
  • USA


  • October, 10, 1941
  • USA


  • Odd Fellows Cemetery
  • Oklahoma
  • USA

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