Early Jewish Pioneers of Ponca City, Tonkawa, Pawhuska, Perry, and Blackwell in North Central Oklahoma

Early Jewish Settlers in Towns of North Central Oklahoma

Ponca City, Oklahoma

In the 1920’s, Morris Keiser, a geophycist, worked for Marland Refining and for L. H. Wentz.

Ponca City had a Reform congregation, Temple Emanuel

Ponca City, Oklahoma, Vintage Photo

Tonkawa, Oklahoma

Morris and Sophie Schonwald were early settlers.

Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Harris Brenner had been in the area from the 1880’s as post trader.

He was President of the 1st National Bank of Pawhuska, which he organized in 1902.

Harris Brenner also started Pawhuska Oil and Gas Co. in 1903.

Pawhuska, Oklahoma, Vintage Post Car, early 1900’s

Perry, Oklahoma

In 1892,  a Mr. Kretsch arrived from Bohemia.

He served as Mayor of Perry for three or four terms.

Post Office, Perry Oklahoma, Vintage Postcard

Blackwell, Oklahoma

David Schonwald, a Hungarian immigrant came to Oklahoma Territory before the turn of the 20th Century.

He worked as a section hand on the Santa Fe Railroad in Guthrie.

David Schonwald later became president of a gas and oil company and a bank in Blackwell,.

He later moved to Oklahoma City where he becamea prominent Oklahoma City businessman and a Jewish leader.

Blackwell, Oklahoma, Vintage Postcard



  • Jewish Virtual Library
  • Encyclopedia Judaica
  • Tobias, Henry J. The Jews of Oklahoma.  University of Oklahoma Press, 1980.
  • Institute of Southern Jewish Life

Regina Merwin is Curator of this Towns of North Central Oklahoma Exhibit

This page is a rough outline. We need more information of the Early Pioneers and Pictures