ARKANSAS CITY, KANSAS
First came the balloons...
Emporia News, June 25, 1869.
BALLOON ASCENSION. We are informed that arrangements have been made to send up a large balloon on the evening of the celebration—July 3rd. The balloon has been ordered.
[EDITORIAL PAGE: THE FOURTH AT WINFIELD.]
Winfield Courier, July 10, 1873.
RECAP: Grand march at 11 a.m., with at least 2,500 in march to the speakers’ stand. Rev. Lowery invoked blessing; Byron A. Snow read Declaration of American Independence; John B. Fairbank, Esq., delivered oration. After lunch: address by D. C. Scull, speech by Hon. James McDermott, benediction by Rev. J. B. Parmalee. March again taken up. Late in the evening a balloon ascension took place.
Funny thing: fireworks not mentioned.
Second came the “flying machines.”
Arkansas City Traveler, July 30, 1971.
This was a big event of 1910 in Arkansas City. It took place in the old Ball Park at Madison and F Street, and was attended by a great crowd, which was anxious to see the much-talked about “flying machine” in action.
They came in carriages, buggies, in lumber wagons, on bicycles, a-horseback, and a-foot. They watched with bated breath—the women in huge hats loaded with plumes and flowers that perched on pompadours, puffed hair and braided coils; the little girls in patent slippers, black lisle-thread hose, braids and hair ribbons; small boys squirming and jumping about in knickerbockers, ribbed black full-length hose and suspenders, men clad in hard detachable linen collars, suspenders plus sleeve garters, vests without coats, button shoes and peg top pants. They came, and watched the fragile plane sputter, flutter, then ascend, circle, then descend. Then they left, rather silently—feeling perhaps (and rightly) that their world would never be the same.
[This foregoing article was found by Mrs. Quinton Budd in an early Traveler. At the time she found the article, she was head librarian of the Arkansas City Public Library.]
[Note: Scattered throughout “flying” articles are notes that I wrote to Bill Bottorff some years ago. MAW]
Bill: Kay started gathering some of the facts he had obtained for “Aircraft and Arkansas City”...a file he later for some reason deleted from computer. I found the hard copy! Later I realized that much given below came from Saturday, December 31, 1921, issue of Traveler...which quoted a New York A. P. article. You will probably want to skip this first write-up! MAW
Arkansas City Traveler, Saturday, December 31, 1921.
When Wilbur Wright, in a heavier than air machine, flew 852 feet at Kitty Hawk on December 17, 1903, that feat was pronounced one of the marvels of the century. The whole world rang with the accomplishment.
In 1906 A. Santos Dumont covered 720 feet in the first flight ever made in Europe.
The early development of the American Flying Service rested entirely with the Signal Corps, which had, on December 23, 1907, issued specifications for a man-carrying aeroplane that would be capable of remaining in the air for one hour without landing. These conditions were fulfilled the following summer by a Wright biplane fitted with a 35 h.p. engine, and the machine was duly purchased.
In 1908, five years after Wright’s original flight, he still held the world’s record with seventy seven miles made in two hours, twenty minutes, and twenty three seconds at Anvours, France.
In 1909 Henry Farman had gained the flying honors for France with a flight of 137 miles in four hours, six minutes, 25 seconds.
In 1910 Arkansas City had its first airplane land. It lit at the baseball field at the southeast corner of F Street and Madison Avenue.
By 1915 less than one million dollars was appropriated by Congress for military aeronautics, and the Flying Service remained a subsidiary branch of the Signal Corps, known as the Aviation Section, which had been established by Act of Congress on July 18, 1914.
On April 6, 1917, when the United States declared war on Germany, the establishment of the Aviation Section comprised 65 officers, 1,120 enlisted men, two small flying fields (Mineola and San Diego), and less than 300 very second-rate training aeroplanes. Most of the American service aeroplanes produced during the war were of British or French design, with the minor alterations the fitting of the Liberty engine necessitated, if such was fitted.
During 1917: American aircraft industry produced almost exclusively training aero-planes. Among these:
1. Curtiss J.N. 4 (models B, C, and D).
2. Standard J.1 (for primary training).
3. Curtiss J.N. H. (Hispano-Suiza) two-seater.
4. Thomas-Morse S.4 (B. and C.).
5. Standard E.1 single-seaters for advanced training.
Some 30 flying fields were created for the training of aviators, and large numbers of Allied (especially French) specialists in military aeronautics were drawn upon for establishing the Flying Service on a thoroughly up-to-date foundation.
Standardizing three types of service machines.
1. D.H. 4
2. Bristol F.2 B
3. Spad de chasse
These planes were all modified to allow the fitting of a standardized aero engine, which was to be built in 4, 6, 8, and 12 cyl. models.
Liberty Engines—Orders Placed August 1917 With Following Firms.
1. Packard Motor Car Co.—6,000 engines.
2. Lincoln Motors Co.—6,000 engines.
3. Ford Motor Co.—5,000 engines.
4. Nordyke and Marmon—3,000 engines.
5. General Motors Corp.—2,000 engines.
6. Trego Motors Corp.—500 engines.
Total: 22,500 engines.
D.H. 4 and Bristol F. 2B: 12 cyl., 400 h.p. model.
Spad: 8 cyl., 225 h.p. model.
Liberty 12 Engine.
By the time the Armistice was signed, 13,396 of these engines had been delivered; the output for October, 1918, alone having reached 4,200.
On April 24, 1918, the Aviation Section was separated from the Signal Corps and re-named “Air Service.”
Beginning early in 1919, standardized Air Service machines were to be built; but war ended before production was underway. All orders were deleted, but some had been shipped before December 27, 1918. A total of 4,587 were shipped.
There were in operation on the front 39 aero squadrons, distributed as follows.
Night bombardment: 1
Day bombardment: 6
Army Observation: 5
Daytime Observation Corp: 12
Night Observation: 1
[ABOVE DOES NOT COMPUTE: COME UP WITH TOTAL OF 45???]
Enemy aeroplanes brought down by American aviators included 491 confirmed and 354 unconfirmed, a total of 845; while 82 enemy observation balloons were reported as destroyed, of which 57 were confirmed. The Air Service lost, on the other hand, only 271 aeroplanes and 45 observation balloons, thus showing its marked superiority over the enemy.
The number of aeroplanes, by type, received from all sources by the American Expeditionary Force between September 12, 1917, and November 16, 1918, was as follows.
Pursuit for service: 3,337
Pursuit for schools: 90
Observation for service: 3,421
Observation for schools: 664
Day bombing for service: 421
Day bombing for schools: 85
Night reconnaissance: 31
Other planes received included—
Training planes: 2,285
Experimental planes: 30
Eight different schools under American control were established in France and designed for training 3,800 officers and 11,700 men. A total of 159 officers and soldiers were killed in training. Casualties at the front included 19 killed, 103 wounded, 200 missing, 27 prisoners, and 3 interned, making a total of 442.
The total strength of the Division of Military Aeronautics, Air Service, on November 11, 1918:18,688 officers, 5,775 cadets, and 133,644 soldiers. At that date the Air Service had trained 8,933 reserve military aviators at home, and about 2,300 had been trained in France, Great Britain, and Italy.
The personnel of the Bureau of Aircraft Production, Air Service, comprised 32,520 officers and soldiers.
The ground establishments of the Air Service in the United States comprised 40 flying fields, 8 balloon fields, 3 radio schools, 3 photography schools, 5 schools of military aeronautics, and 14 aircraft depots.
Standard Aircraft Corporation.
Had factories at Elizabeth and Plainfield, New Jersey. This was the second largest American aeronautical construction firm in 1919. It had produced during the war a great variety of machines. Among these is the first postal aeroplane distinctly designed for this purpose, and various numbers of standard JR-1 single seater Biplane training machines and Dh-4a, which was a two-seater fighter.
FOLLOWING ITEMS APPEARED IN THE ARKANSAS CITY DAILY TRAVELER.
ARTICLE TAKEN FROM THE WICHITA EAGLE, SUNDAY, AUGUST 4, 1996, WHICH APPEARED ON PAGE 26A.
[PICTURE OF AIRPLANE WITH WINGS FOLDED. CAPTION STATES:
“Albin K. Longren’s 1921 fold-wing airplane, the wings of which could be positioned for flight in about 30 seconds.”
TOPEKA AVIATION PIONEER IS NEARLY FORGOTTEN NOW.
Retired minister wants to see Albin K. Longren’s flying machine take flight again.
By John Hanna.
TOPEKA. A small crowd gathered in a farmer’s field on the outskirts of the Oakland neighborhood in the northeast part of town. A stunt pilot was going to test Albin K. Longren’s newest flying machine, built in the old woolen mill nearby.
At that time, in 1921, this plane was really something. It had a clean fuselage made of vulcanized fiber, and a pilot and passenger could sit side by side on a buff leather seat.
But its wings represented the biggest innovation. If you removed a set of metal pins on each side, you could fold them back along the body, so that the machine would fit in your garage.
The pilot, J. Hodgins Smith, took off and executed spins and barrel rolls, doing everything, it seemed, except straight flying. After he landed, he said, “That is the best machine I ever saw.”
Had Longren been a better businessman, he might have become as famous as aviation pioneers Clyde Cessna or Walter Beech, and Topeka might be a center of light aircraft manufacturing. Instead, he and his “flivver” were all but forgotten for years.
Now, the Rev. Richard Taylor, a retired Methodist minister and history buff, hopes to see Longren’s fold-wing flyer take to the air again. The 75th anniversary of its first flight is Tuesday.
“This thing was revolutionary,” Taylor said. “He thought this could be the plane for the ranch man, the traveling salesman, the doctor.”
Taylor wants to find and restore a Longren fold-wing plane, or even build a replica if he can find the money. He plans to put together a guide so that people can see the places where Longren built and flew his aircraft.
The minister, the former head of the state’s leading temperance and anti-gambling group, has spent nearly two decades researching Longren’s life. He has compiled a book of clippings and pictures about the aviator, which he sells for $10—the cost of producing it. He has applied to the state Aviation Hall of Fame to get Longren’s name included.
He has scheduled a historical pageant for 2 p.m., Aug. 10, at Hetrick Hangar at Billard Airport, with local residents taking on the roles of people who were present on Aug. 6, 1921, or who figured prominently in other episodes of Longren’s life. Billard is near the field where Longren flew his fold-wing.
Taylor also plans to put up a sign southeast of Topeka, near the spot Longren flew his first plane—and completed the first successful flight of a Kansas plane in the state—on September 2, 1911.
Two buildings in which he manufactured airplanes still stand. If you look closely enough at one, four blocks north of the Statehouse, you can still see his name stenciled above the top windows. The second is the woolen mill—now a warehouse—on the outskirts of Oakland.
Taylor suspects the ruts left by Longren’s fold-wings are in the field near Billard Airport, but soybeans grow there now. The Longren house still stands, within walking distance, occupied by another family.
Longren built the fold-wing because he thought one of the biggest problems for owners of light aircraft was storing them. With the metal pins in place, the plane’s wingspan was nearly 28 feet. With the wings folded back, the plane was less than 10 feet wide.
Despite its innovations—which included a small door so that people wouldn’t have to climb into the fuselage—Longren’s aircraft company went bankrupt. Taylor suspects it did so because Longren did not have a relative or a friend who could handle the business end, as Cessna and Beech did.
“He was the engineer; he was the dreamer,” Taylor said.
Born in 1882, Longren grew up in Leonardville, a small town 19 miles northwest of Manhattan. Contemporary accounts of his aviation activities suggest he dreamed of flying as a boy after watching hawks soar overhead.
By 1910, he and his brother, E. J., worked as mechanics and car salesmen in Clay Center and were members of what would become the Kansas Air National Guard. Both had a natural aptitude for engineering, even though neither had taken more than a correspondence course.
By chance, the two brothers came to Topeka in June 1910 to help control the crowds at an air show. The pilot, J. C. Mars, wrecked his plane, and the Longren brothers helped fix it. They decided to build their own.
Both brothers were pilots, and Albin would keep E. J. informed of later projects. They built that first plane, Topeka I, later known as the Dixie Flyer, in a building near downtown. It had two wings, a single seat, and a great deal of wire.
In September, after six weeks, it was ready.
Albin Longren took off from Aviation Hill, then southeast of Topeka. The spot is not marked today, but Taylor’s research indicates it was near where Lake Shawnee is now.
Albin Longren kept a scrapbook, and in it, he wrote, “I had never sat in any other airplane, or received any instructions from anyone experienced in flying. The plane was also an unknown quantity, because its balance and airworthiness was a big question.”
That flight ended safely, but he wasn’t so lucky in later flights.
In August 1913, he started a flight southeast of Topeka and clipped a giant cottonwood tree. He was unhurt; his friends found him standing by his fallen craft, “cool and collected,” as one newspaper account put it.
Two years later, he broke his leg and suffered internal injuries when he crashed a new model near Abilene. He recovered, and so did the plane, which now hangs in the Kansas Museum of History.
Albin Longren left Topeka in 1926, worked for other companies, including Cessna, and ended up in California working as an engineer. He died there in 1950 but is buried in Leonardville.
Taylor believes Albin Longren’s work deserves to be remembered.
“I think he was Leonardo da Vinci reborn,” Taylor said.
[END OF LONGREN ARTICLE.]
Bill...among notes I made from material at Winfield Museum:
Winfield Courier, Circa Friday, July 20, 1973.
Karl Conner states that he was present when the first airplane landed in Winfield. The location was between 9th and 14th streets east of the Country Club road on the Hiatt place. there were no buildings there then, Conner states.
The plane was built by Alvin [Albin] K. Longren of Rago, Kansas, north of Harper. It was shipped in and reassembled, as it only had a 2½ gallon gas tank.
The plane was patterned after those made by the Glen Martin Co. They charged 50 cents just to go in to watch the plane fly.
NEW DATA UNCOVERED RECENTLY RELATIVE TO GOVERNMENT FLYERS MAPPING OUT A MAIL ROUTE FOR THE GOVERNMENT...[July 1, 1993...MAW]
Interesting facts are brought out in the Hughes airplane report which was published in Arkansas City on November 12, 1918. For instance, the Packard company and the Lincoln Motor company each have contracts for 6,000 Liberty motors. The Ford company has a contract for 5,000 motors. On each of these machines a profit of about $1,075 will be realized. It is shown that the cost of producing a Liberty motor is about $3,200, hence the profit is at the rate of 33-1/3 percent.
In commenting on the report Attorney General Gregory insists that such profits are not excessive when it is considered that “60 percent or more of them must be paid to the government as income and excess profits taxes.” In the frequent communications of large private profits that have emanated from this administration, we have failed to note that mitigating statement. But how easy it is for a cabinet officer to find means for whitewashing the questionable acts of his administration.
Bill, here is where I took up with flyers’ story...
Arkansas City Traveler, November 12, 1918.
THE BIG CELEBRATION HERE
Peace Jubilee in Arkansas City Lasted Many Hours
With One Or Two Exceptions the Affair Was Pleasant and
There Were No Serious Accidents.
The peace celebration held in Arkansas City on November 11, which lasted from three o’clock in the morning until nearly midnight last night, was without doubt the largest affair of the kind or any other kind ever held here. From early morning until late at night the noise was almost unbearable, but everyone was rejoicing to such an extent that they all enjoyed the noise. The parade lasted nearly all day and was participated in by many owners of automobiles and other rigs, the vehicles being decorated with flags and bunting, and everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy the affair.
The Santa Fe office force started the ball rolling about 9 o’clock in the morning when they marched through Summit street, and very soon others joined in the demonstration, while in the afternoon there was one continual parade up and down Summit street.
In compliance with the mayor’s proclamation for business houses to close to make the affair a real holiday, all of the stores closed their doors at noon and, with one or two exceptions later in the day, they remained closed for the big celebration. There were no accidents during the day, with the exception of several auto collisions, in which there was no damage done. During the jam at different times several autos ran together, but fortunately there was no one injured, at least the police and state guards report no serious accidents of any kind.
The official parade booked for 7 o’clock in the evening, started ahead of time and soon after dark the crowd on the streets were larger than ever seen on any other occasion in Arkansas City. The procession was headed by the Santa Fe laborers from the different departments and nearly all of them carried torches, which made a splendid picture after night. The local carpenters union joined in the parade with a large crowd of men, and Maple City with a nice crowd of Red Cross women workers, also participated. Several lodges also took part in the parade and the Arkansas City military band, under Professor Hatley, also the drum corps of this city, took part in the affair, and the band furnished music for the closing program of the evening, which was an open air dance on East Fifth avenue.
For this occasion the avenue east of Summit street for one block was roped off and sawdust placed on the pavement. The crowd of young folks, who participated in the dance, enjoyed themselves until a late hour.
One of the unpleasant features of the day’s celebration was the fact that Lieutenant Wilbur (Pete) Hill, who had charge of the state guards, was compelled on account of numerous complaints to call upon Fred Bower, the meat market man of South Summit street, and ask him to close his place of business. This was late at night, about 10 o’clock according to Mr. Hill, when he called upon Mr. Bower, who was in the shop at the time. Mr. Hill was accompanied by Sergeant Smith and Policeman Randol. Lieutenant Hill says that he asked Mr. Bower to close his place as he had received numerous complaints about his transacting business when everything was supposed to be closed. At that time Mr. Bower said all right, and there was no argument about the matter, but the shop was closed immediately. Later in the evening, someone at present unknown to the officers, daubed yellow paint over the front of Mr. Bower’s market.
Mayor Hunt, who issued the closing proclamation in the morning, found K. Weller Daniels, in his place of business on East Fifth avenue, transacting business early in the evening, and he instructed him to close up the music store. It is said that the place was closed after the mayor had given the order to the proprietor. Other parties first reported the Daniels incident to Mr. Hunt.
Arkansas City Daily Traveler, Friday, November 15, 1918.
Lieut. Wilbur (Pete) Hill received a letter, on Nov. 15, 1918, announcing that his cousin, Eliza Denny, was killed Oct. 1 in action overseas.
Lieut. Hill has also received word from Geo. Smith, who had been first lieutenant of the Kansas state guards in Arkansas City. Lieut. Smith is now at Camp McArthur, Texas, saying that he arrived all right and was assigned to his company. He has been given his equipment but has not yet received his clothing. Lt. Smith thinks he will be retained at Camp McArthur for some time yet.
At Marine Flying Field.
Ed Wilkinson wrote Nov. 18 from the Marine Flying Field, Miami, Florida, that he is progressing in learning aviation in the army, but he fears he will not get to go to France on account of the signing of the armistice terms. Ed tried to break into the war several months ago by enlisting in the British Royal Flying corps, but his nationality was discovered and on account of not being an Englishman, he was dropped. Later he succeeded in getting into the American Marine aviation branch and he has been in this service since last August. He was stationed at the navy yards at Charleston for a long time. Edward is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Wilkinson, who formerly conducted the Windsor hotel. They live at Wellington now, but all the family have numerous friends in this city.
AVIATORS UP IN THE AIR
Many of Them Are Undecided What to Do Since Fighting is Over
Paris, Nov. 26—What will become of the aviators now that the fighting has ended?
Commercial aviation doubtlessly will be extended greatly, but it is a question whether it will present sufficient attraction to the men who have taken up aviation for the distinction to be won in air fighting. The Aero club of France up to the present, has issued 16,000 pilot licenses, and hundreds of military pilots have not taken out the Aero club’s license to which they are entitled.
Inquiry among the French aces shows the majority are too young to be worrying about the next phase of life, although some hope that civilian aviation will offer satisfactory careers.
Lieutenant Rena Fonck, the ace of aces, with 75 official victories, has not yet decided what he will do, but may remain in the army. Sub-Lieutenant Nungesser, with 44 victories, has decided to quit the army. He has received many offers and may go to the United States.
Lieutenant Lemaitre, after leading 135 bombing expeditions, will be in charge of an aero transport undertaking.
A young lieutenant barely of age, who has won 14 victories, says: “All I know is that I will not continue my law studies.”
Sub-Lieutenant Bourjade, with 26 successes, probably will have the least difficulty in returning to civilian life. He is a priest and will resume his clerical duties.
FLYING SCHOOL WILL CLOSE
Chanute Field Has Been An Unusually Busy Place
Chanute Field, Rantoul, Ill., Dec. 4—With a record of having graduated 475 flyers and several thousand mechanics in the 18 months of its existence, many of whom performed active service on the French and Italian battle fronts, Chanute Field will soon be closed as an instruction school for army aviators. A small detachment will be left in charge to guard the government’s property, valued at several millions of dollars.
Officers in charge of the flying field are proud of the work done and the results accomplished.
Chanute Field was established in May, 1917, through the efforts of William Wheat and other citizens of Rantoul, Ill. Work of converting the 640 acres of fertile farm land into an army flying field consumed several months. The first students to arrive were the 10th aero squadron from Kelly Field, Texas, on July 7, 1917. Two days later 30 members of the 16th aero squadron from Osburne Field, Chicago, reported for duty.
Actual instructions in flying began July 12 and during the summer 125 students were graduated and given commissions as lieutenants.
Flying continued until early in December when the advanced students and a number of aeroplanes were transferred to southern camps to continue their work. Throughout the winter months a school for beginners was kept open at Rantoul.
Practical instruction in flying was resumed February 10, 1918, and continued until late this fall with from three to five squadrons in attendance.
The aero squadrons stationed at the field since it opened were the 10th, 16th, 38th, 39th, 112th, 152nd, 163rd, 173rd, 174th, 203rd, 210th, 267th, 268th, 287th, 288th, 831st, and 832nd.
AIRMEN MAY STOP HERE
[From Traveler...dates not given.]
Mayor Hunt Names a Committee to Work on the Proposition
Mayor C. N. Hunt received, on December 5, 1918, a letter from the Aerial League of America, of which Rear Admiral Robert E. Peary is president, and Woodrow Wilson, commander in chief. This letter makes it assured that this city has a splendid chance for serious consideration as one of the landing places for the great new mail service.
Mayor Hunt has named the following committee to cooperate with the government and will consider aeronautic plans for this city. The committee is as follows:
E. L. McDowell, chairman, Carl Kinslow, J. S. Younkin, H. S. Collinson, Forest Howard, Jay Fairclo, Ralph Oldroyd, Dr. C. H. House, George S. Hartley, Max Coulter, Robert M. Davis, Alfred Sowden, Harry Lightstone, Vern Thompson, Frank McKeever, J. R. Burford, Dr. R. L. Baker, Charles Masters, Doug Wilson, and J. R. Lantz.
MAY STOP AT ARKANSAS CITY
Springfield, Mo., Dec. 9—Three army airplanes from Scott Field, Belleville, Ill., which arrived in Springfield yesterday, left at noon today for Tulsa, Okla. The aviators are surveying a route proposed for an aerial highway, which is advocated by army fliers of various flying fields. The party will return Wednesday or Thursday. The flight so far has been made without serious mishap.
Writes An Interesting Letter to His Folks From France
France, Nov. 7, 1918.
Dear Ones:—Will type you a few lines this evening as it has been some time since I have written to you, and I know that you are always anxious to hear from me. You know when a person neglects writing for some time it seems to be the custom to give some alibi, so that being true, I shall be obliged to do so. Never-the-less, I have been quite busy and have also been on the move considerably; I have been on duty away from my organization for over a month and just joined them again a few days ago, and I assure you that I was more than glad to return to the good regiment, although I had a very long and tiresome trip.
However, the monotony of the trip was broken by a two days’ stop over in Paris, and from there I was also traveling one and a half days to my destination, which I reached without mishap. In Paris I had a very nice and interesting trip, visiting many places of interest. One of which was the largest church that was shelled on Good Friday by the long range gun of the dirty Hun, and killing eighty five people. I also went through the Notre Dame and my guide explained everything of interest to me as he could speak English quite well, and was a man of fifty-one years of age and had lived in the great city of Paris as many. Paris has the most wonderful works of art I have ever seen. There are quite a number of Americans in Paris, but all that I saw wore the uniform of the army, navy, Red Cross, or Y. M. C. A., and I wish to state that everyone wearing the uniform looked the part of a neat and smart appearing American, their conduct was worth commenting on.
In Paris I saw perhaps one hundred captured airplanes of all descriptions and several hundred guns of all calibre, field pieces, machine guns, tanks, balloons—both observation and scouting, and very much other captured war material. Well, I left Paris at night after some difficulty getting my baggage transferred, as traveling in France is anything but delightful. After traveling all night I arrived at a certain place near the front about six o’clock in the morning. I say near the front for it was about fifteen miles from the front. However, that is not considered near the front. I remained for about an hour and a half and then continued my trip to the place where I am now located, but will only be here a very short time as you know the army is on the move toward Berlin, but the dirty Hun is in the lead, and I am glad to be back with my regiment. The big guns are hammering tonight and the flash from the guns and boom, boom is quite thrilling. But I don’t think it will be a great long time until it will all be over, and then there will still remain work for everyone of us over here.
It is certainly muddy here and the mud is very much like gumbo, it sticks to our boots like wax. But why growl at the mud, we are here for but one purpose, and every man is striving to do his bit to succeed in that one purpose, and then return to dear old America. I have read in some of the papers that some people have the impression that a great many Americans will remain over here and marry French girls. I am inclined to believe that they are wrong, far wrong, and after the war is over and the troops have returned home, I believe the word “many” in that case will be replaced by the word “few.”
I received a Traveler today and was certainly glad to get it, although it was dated September 19th. I spent some time reading it as it contained many names of persons I know. I hope to receive the Traveler quite often now. Of course, we are quite busy, but we find time to read letters and a home paper even if we have got to fold them up and stick them down in our pockets and carry them around with us for some time.
I received the appointment at adjutant battalion as soon as I arrived here, and I am fine and dandy and getting along the same. By the way, there are two French officers sitting here about ten feet from me and they have just received a French newspaper, and by the way they are talking in French, I think the war must be over. I hear quite often from dear Lela and she always gives me the news from all the folks. Believe me, I will certainly be glad when the time comes for the return home. Well, I think I shall investigate and find out what the excitement is with the two French officers, so dear ones will say good night for this time, hoping to hear from you soon, and hoping that this will find all well. Give my best regards to all. Worlds of love. From a loving son.—Roy Branstetter, First Lieutenant 38th Inf., American E. F., France.
BRANSTETTER MENTIONED HERE BECAUSE HE WAS LATER RECRUITING OFFICER FOR THE KANSAS NATIONAL GUARD IN ARKANSAS CITY.
FLEW HERE FROM WACO, TEXAS
Army Airmen are Mapping Out Aerial Highway Across Country
Arkansas City has the best Landing Place They Had Seen on The Trip
One of The Pilots Declared.
Two airplanes from Richfield, Waco, Texas, dropped in on Arkansas City, Saturday evening, December 21, 1918, at 5 o’clock, encircling the city in the air for fifteen or twenty minutes before landing; meanwhile pulling off various stunts in the air, including the tail spin, loop the loop, and others that only the fliers themselves know what they are. It was very interesting entertainment for a large number of people who saw them.
One of the machines landed on the alfalfa field directly across Kansas Avenue at the end of North Summit street, which was declared by one of the pilots to be the best landing field they had encountered since they left Waco, Texas. He said a big white cross ought to be put there so that aviators would know it was a good place to land. NOTE - This land is on the east side of the road and was owned by the Land and Power Company which was headed by A. A. Newman at that time. RKW.
The other ship landed two miles east, on Madison avenue, on the McGee farm.
The Chamber of Commerce will look after this suggestion, Secretary Heffelfinger promised. The visiting airmen told the secretary that Arkansas City can get an exhibition flight, if it wants one, giving the name of the proper official to write to; and Secretary Heffelfinger has already acted on this tip.
The party was put up at the Fifth Avenue Hotel by the Chamber of Commerce. It was composed of Lieutenants B. R. Jacobi and J. H. Smith, pilots; Lieutenant E. G. Bahl, publicity officer, and Walter Hines, mechanic. They were exceptionally pleasant young men and expressed their warm appreciation of the accommodations extended to them here. Sergeant Hines visited in the city with Miss Wilson, his fiancé, a daughter of Sam Wilson, a foreman of the construction of the grain tanks at the New Era Mill. He notified her when they were going to arrive here.
They left Waco, Texas, Saturday morning at 7:30 o’clock, covering the 400 miles to this city by 5 o’clock in the evening. They flew here from Oklahoma City in one hour and a half. These machines will fly at the rate of 75 miles an hour and at an altitude of ----? feet. They flew as low as 800 feet while encircling this city to pick out a landing place. From their enthusiastic conversation about Arkansas City, it was evident they will put it on the aerial route. One of the pilots said it took 15 gallons of gasoline for one of the machines from Oklahoma City here.
Both planes were 8 cylinder Curtiss Training Biplanes of the JDN 4 type with 90 horsepower Curtiss engines. The engines alone cost the Government $3,000, the planes complete, $8,000. The normal speed of these planes is 70 to 80 miles per hour. At the close of the war the Government had on hand 5,779 Curtiss training planes with Curtiss engines, and 2,500 advanced training planes equipped with the famous Hispano-Suiza motors.
During the war 17,000 cadets were turned out from the ground schools or the schools of military aeronautics, and 8,800 army aviators have received commissions.
Sergeant Walter Hines, while in the city, delivered a message to Mrs. O. I. Stewart, of 126 North Second street, from her son, Robert, who is located at Waco. The message was that her son had been granted a ten days furlough and would be home Sunday. Sergeant Hines phoned the message to Mrs. Stewart Saturday evening from Sollitt & Swarts’ drug store. Robert came home and had a pleasant visit with his mother and his brother, J. H. Stewart. Robert has not been home for a year and a half, before the present visit.
Upon their arrival in the city the state guards were called out to guard the ships overnight. Lieutenant Wilbur (Pete) Hill, who completed a course of flying at Dewey Field several months ago, was in charge of the guards. On account of his technical knowledge of airplanes, the two airplanes were looked after in splendid shape. In fact, Lieut. Hill knew more about the engines than the visiting airmen, they said. He had the manifolds drained and covered up the machines. So pleased with the way their machines were handled under his direction were the aviators that one of them took Lieut. Hill on a flight over the city before they left. All the air stunts were pulled off to the great enjoyment of Lt. Hill, who had been through them himself and knew how to appreciate the experience.
The aviators left at 10:30 o’clock for Fredonia where they had orders to remain for five days. They thought they might go on to Omaha from there or return to Waco. If they return by way of Arkansas City, they will send a message in advance so the people can turn out to welcome them. They will visit at Fredonia with relatives of Lieut. Smith.
There was a big crowd present to see them off from this city.
Lieut. Bahl gave the following information to a Traveler reporter.
In compliance with a special order from Major General Kenley of Washington, D. C., received at Rich Field, Waco, Monday, December 16, Major John G. Whitesides ordered two airplanes to start Wednesday morning, having Fredonia, Kansas, as their destination. This trip is of a most important nature, inasmuch as it has for its purpose the development of aerial routes and the gathering of important data on weather conditions, landing fields, etc. Major John G. Whitesides is taking a special interest in this trip, and thinks that the data obtained will be of the utmost value to the war department. Rich Field, located at Waco, in the central part of Texas, offers a most advantageous point from which to start aerial mail mapping trips. By courses laid out radiating from Rich Field, the entire south-central and western districts of the United States may be mapped with the view to determining the best routes possible over which aerial mail may be carried.
This is one of the first expeditions of this nature. The ships will pass through the following cities: Dallas, Ardmore, Oklahoma City, Guthrie, Arkansas City, and Fredonia. The men detailed to do this work are Lieutenant E. G. Bahl, publicity officer, and Sergeant Walter Hines, mechanic.”
Lieutenant Musselman Home
Lieutenant Beachy Musselman, who is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Norman Musselman of North Second street, was home from California. He returned Tuesday night, December 24th. He has been located at Mather flying field, near Sacramento, California, and he received his commission there. Lieutenant Musselman has been discharged from the service until called again. He plans to continue his education at Kansas University.
WILL SELL AIRPLANES
Government Calls For Bids To Be In By February 1.
Secretary John B. Heffelfinger, of the Chamber of Commerce, is in receipt of a communication from the office of the director of military aeronautics, supply section, salvage branch, at Washington, D. C., announcing the sale of airplanes and motors by the government. Those interested in this sale are requested to call upon Mr. Heffelfinger for further particulars. Bids on these machines are to be opened at 11 a.m., February 1, 1919. Each bid must be accompanied by a certified check for 20 percent of the amount of the bid and must be sent sealed. The schedule of property includes 1,600 airplanes, 2 seated biplanes with Curtiss 90 h. p. motor (the kind of planes seen in this city a few days ago), 200 Hispano Suiza, 150 h. p. motor, ten 2 seated biplanes with the Thomas 135 h. p. motor, and 2,000 4 cylinder motors without planes. Delivery is to be made and accepted within 90 days from date of bid. Further particulars to be furnished upon request from J. B. Heffelfinger at the office of the Chamber of Commerce here.
Snow Stops Aviators
Kansas City, Jan. 2—Because of the snow, Lieut. Samuel Yarborough and Sergeant J. H. Sims, mapping aerial mail routes between this city and St. Louis and over Kansas, were unable to start for Scott Field, Belleville, Ill., today. Repairs to their plane also had to be made and it was thought possible their flight might be resumed tomorrow.
LAND AT NEWMAN FIELD.
Same Two Aeroplanes Here Two Weeks Ago This Afternoon.
The same two airships that were here a couple of weeks ago, landed at Newman field, just across Kansas avenue, from the north end of Summit street, Saturday afternoon, January 4, 1919, about 3:20 o’clock, on their way back to Rich Field, Waco, Texas.
In the two Curtiss training biplanes of the JDN-4 type, with 90 horsepower Curtiss eight cylinder engines each, were the pilots—Lieutenants B. R. Jacobi and J. H. Smith; Lieutenant E. G. Bahl, publicity officer; and Sergeant Walter Hines, mechanic, it was reported.
The aviators encircled the city before landing, flying at a very low altitude, skimming over the tops of buildings and houses. When they landed here before, they declared that the Newman field was the best landing place they had seen on their trip from Waco, Texas, and that they intended to call it to the attention of the government officials making out the aerial mail highway. These flyers are picking out the best landing places, and they were enthusiastic about this field, suggesting that a big white cross be placed there to guide airmen in picking a place to light.
Sergeant Hines notified his fiancé, Miss Gertrude Wilson, daughter of Sam Wilson, a foreman of the construction company on the New Era Milling grain elevators, that they were going to arrive here this afternoon.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 15, 1919.
THE VALE-HILL NEW HOME
Popular Auto Service Firm Is Located In New Dye Building
Although located in the basement of the new building erected by C. B. Dye at 500 South Summit street in automobile row, the Vale-Hill new repair shop has an entrance that is on a level with the street and causes no inconvenience to the car drivers. Their new shop is completely equipped to handle all repair work and the part of the new building occupied by them was designed especially for this purpose. It is fire-proof and modern in every detail.
New machinery will be installed by this enterprising firm to handle their rapidly increasing business more promptly and more satisfactorily to them and their customers.
The Vale-Hill partnership has prospered from the beginning, and their success is attributed to the fact that they give unexcelled service because they are their own mechanics and not the smallest thing is slighted in their work on an automobile. The shop will be open day and night.
About our New Home.
This building was designated and erected especially for automobile work. The entire basement, which we occupy, was designed after our suggestions. The entire building is positively fire proof and is thoroughly accessible from all points. An especially built elevator for the carrying of even the heaviest truck is one of the big features.
REAR ENTRANCE on the level with the street—positively no trouble getting in and out with cars.
NEW EQUIPMENT, new machinery, lathes, drills, press, modern equipment, etc., are now on the freight car coming this way. When installed our shop will be second to none in Southern Kansas. Equipment plus experience and an untiring desire to do the best work—should attract your business to us.
Note: Arthur G. Hill, partner in the Vale-Hill Garage is a brother of Lieut. Wilbur (Pete) Hill. RKW.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 22, 1919.
Lesh Oils and Gasoline Are Highly Recommended by Aviators.
Recently when two government aviators flew to Arkansas City, mapping out the new aerial mail highway, they purchased Lesh gasoline and oils for their motors. On their return to this city they sought out the Lesh plant for replenishment in gasoline and oils, declaring that these high grade products had given their motors a kick they had not had before. They praised the Lesh products highly, and announced that they would pass the good word along to other aviators who were coming this way. It takes an exceptionally high grade of gasoline to hit the ball in an airplane, one of the aviators said, and he found the Lesh gasoline delivered the goods.
[AD: LESH OILS AND GASOLINE.]
Arkansas City Traveler, January 22, 1919.
No doubt you knew they were mapping out an aeroplane mail route for the United States Government and this city has a mighty good chance of having aero-mail delivery here within a short time.
But You Didn’t Know That While You Were Admiring Them Flying
About the City That They Were Using Lesh Gasoline and Lesh Oils
in those wonderful large engines. Lieut. Smith, in charge of the flyers, said Lesh Gasoline and Lesh Oil gives the proper kick to the airplane engines and that he would pass the magic word, “Lesh Gasoline and Oil” to all flyers that come this way.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 29, 1919.
TRADERS STATE BANK SUED.
Sued for $10,500 for Failure to Honor Check of Arthur G. Hill.
Arthur G. Hill of Arkansas City, a member of the firm of Vale-Hill Auto Repair shop of that city, filed suit in district court Monday against the Traders State Bank of that city asking judgment for $10,500. The plaintiff alleges said defendant refused to honor a check given by Hill to the Standard Oil company for $16.77 for a barrel of oil to be used by the said firm, which is a partnership existing between W. F. Vale and Arthur G. Hill. Though plaintiffs have been partners in business since July 1918, they did not keep a partnership account or fund; but each partner kept his own account and payments for materials made by either partner. Mr. Hill claims in said petition that he paid for the oil with his own personal check and had sufficient funds on deposit in bank of the said defendant to cover the check. Thereby, the refusal of the bank to pay it dishonored the check, which was wrongful, and Hill and partnership were injured in business reputation and credit with the Standard Oil company, and the company withdrew its offer of credit.
Hill asks for a judgment of $5,000 personal injuries which were wrongful, willful, and malicious and $5,000 for judgment as a partnership injury and $500 attorney fees, making a total of $10,500 for damages sustained.—Winfield Courier.
Arkansas City Traveler, DATE UNKNOWN.
Government Seeks Information For Air Postal Service Here
The Chamber of Commerce is in receipt (May 21, 1919) of a request from the war department (air service) to furnish information to aid in planning a national aerial mail, passenger, and merchandise service. They propose to lease or purchase a landing field near the city, size 500 x 1,500 feet, which should have a hard surface and not be surrounded by trees or other objects. This field should be as near to the post-office as practicable and so located as to provide good transportation facilities between the field and the post-office.
Aircraft has advanced to such a stage of perfection that there is nothing to prevent a rapid development and organization of a complete aerial service throughout the United States provided a sufficient number of men can be secured and trained to operate it.
Such service is already established in the east and there seems to be no good reason why Arkansas City should not be on one of the first routes established in the west. The Chamber of Commerce wants information regarding prices for lease or purchase of such a tract; also suggestions from readers as to where the field should be located and any other information which can be used in support of the argument to place Arkansas City on such an aerial route.
All communications should be addressed to R. E. Hughes, chairman of the traffic committee, for consideration and recommendation.
ARKANSAS CITY ON AIR MAP
Government Map Shows This is An Ideal Landing Place
The current Aerial Age magazine shows a map of the military aerial routes of the United States, and Arkansas City is on the map as having a field suitable for landing and securing supplies. This is a big advertisement for this city, and the birdmen who flew through here last winter from Waco, Texas, to Fredonia, put this city on the map. The splendid treatment accorded them by the state guards, under charge of Lieut. Wilbur (Pete) Hill, had a lot to do with getting this city on this important aerial map. Lieut. Hill has had experience in flying and he is an expert in handling airplane engines. He put Arkansas City in good with the visiting military aviators, and as a result this city is now on the official aerial routes of the government.
Roy Hume is Home
Roy Hume has returned from Camp Funston, having been discharged from the army service on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 1919. He has been located at Kelley Field, San Antonio, Texas, for many months. He has been a valuable man in the mechanical department of the aviation corps; but now as the war is over, he is glad to be released and to get back to his home in Arkansas City. In a few days Mr. Hume will resume his duties in the Security National bank, where he was employed before entering the service.
TWENTY SIX HUN SCALPS
Hanging at Eddie Rickenbacker’s Famous Auto Racer, Belt
American Ace of Aces Is Back in the United States With a Phenomenal Record.
New York, Feb. 14—Eddie Rickenbacker, former racing star, returned on the steamship “Adriatic” today as Captain Rickenbacker and as an American Ace, with twenty-six Hun planes to his credit in the short period of seven months that he was on the American front in France. He comes home with more planes than any other aviator in the American service, his closest rival being the late Lufberry, shot down in France some months ago and who had eighteen to his credit.
Captain Rickenbacker left his squadron, the 94th, of which he was commander, and which squadron was the leading American one with sixty-nine Hun planes, the day after Christmas and is proceeding to Washington, D. C., on military orders.
It is not known whether he will remain permanently in this country or not. His squadron was, because of its fine work, beginning the Chateau Thierry show in July and continuing up to the armistice, Nov. 11, selected to accompany the army of occupation to Coblenz, Germany, a very coveted honor for any squadron.
Captain Rickenbacker, or Eddie, or Rick, as we still prefer to call him, had a truly meteoric career in the war. He was ordered to the front as an aviator on April 14, 1918, and got his first Hun on April 29. It was from that date up to November that he won the very highest honor that could come to an American aviator. He chalked up more victories than any of our flyers in the Lafayette squadron, which had over three years’ experience in France. He proved himself as fearless a fighter against Boche as he was racing driver on our speedways. In flying he was more fortunate. He had machines, a Nieuport and a Spad, that he could not break up. In his old racing days on Indianapolis and other speedways, he ran the wheels off his cars, burning out bearings, and put himself out of the winning.
In aviation his record has been 100 percent perfect. He has never crashed a single machine. In training he never once broke up a plane, not even breaking a wing or a tail.
His fighting record has been as wonderful. He brought down eighteen Boche planes with his Spad fighter. He never had to have a new rudder or elevator put on. Even the 220 h.p. Hispano-Suiza engine lasted him for 120 hours, although the average life of these engines in fighting service was nine hours on the American front.
Once Rick was caught in a dog fight: that is what the show is called when eight or ten Boches attack three or four allied planes. Rick had been out nearly the limit of two hours and fifteen minutes, for which his Nieuport carried gasoline, when the dog fight started. He finished the scrap, getting one Hun, and then made across the front line trenches for home. Before he reached the line, his engine oil was exhausted, the bearings seized, and he was just able to glide across No Man’s Land and make a forced landing between rows of barbed wire in an open field. But his pilotship was so expert that even here he did not crash his machine. He tore the tail skid off, but did not crash the landing gear. It was necessary to take the wings off before the plane could be removed to the squadron.
Rick is accompanied to America by two aces from his 94th squadron: one is Major Meissner of Brooklyn, with eight victories to his credit, and the other is Captain Douglas Campbell of Mt. Hamilton, Colorado, who brought down seven Boches as his official record. Both are reporting to aviation headquarters at Washington with Captain Rickenbacker.
When Rick left his famous 94th at Coblenz the day after Christmas, he left it in charge of Reed Chambers, who, before going to the war, was the Cadillac agent at Memphis, Tennessee. Chambers is now Captain Chambers, with seven victories on the official record.
Some of Rick’s other fighting 94th’s had previous connections with the motor industry, and some were boys fresh from unfinished courses in college.
Samuel Kays, with four Boche victims, was the Ford agent at Columbus, Mississippi. He is still with the squadron at Coblenz.
Weird Cook, Anderson, Indiana, was one of the college graduates, a mere lad from school, yet he had six victories when Nov. 11 ended the show.
An unfortunate member of the 94th was Hamilton Coolidge of Boston, who was shot down when he had eight Huns on his official score.
The squadron, although officially made up of twenty-five planes, was in service composed of twenty four, with about twenty pilots. They all flew Spads, type XIII, fitted with Hispano-Suiza engines. The Spad is France’s best single-seated scout fighter, and has a flying speed of 135 miles per hour, with a driving speed as high as 300 miles per hour. All American fighting scouts used the Spad machine during the last few months. Previous to that many of them used Nieuport scouts, also French machines, using a rotary air-cooled engine. There were not so recent a fighting creation as the Spad.
Joe Dawson, Denver, Colorado, no relation to the old race driver, was another fighting member of the 94th and has six Boches to his record.
THE LIBERTY MOTOR.
Develops More Power for Weight Than Any Other Motor.
The Buick Bulletin, a monthly magazine put out by the Buick Motor company, this month (March 1919) carried a story on the Liberty motor. It also has several photographs showing the new motor. The article in part said:
Prior to the coming of the Liberty motor, America was anything but a leader in the aeroplane field in spite of the fact that the aeroplane is really an American invention. But today the Liberty motor stands upon its record, made under the most difficult service conditions, as the world’s premier aeroplane motor and is so acknowledged, even in Europe.
The Liberty motor is purely an American product. It was designed by a committee composed of some of the leading motor designers of America, after a careful investigation of the leading types of aeroplane motors used in European countries.
The Service required of an aeroplane motor is very severe. It is running under full load all the time, and to ensure the safety of the occupants of the plane, it must be efficient and dependable in every respect.
The question of power in relation to weight is a particularly important one, because all aeroplanes are so much heavier than the medium through which they travel. And the Liberty motor delivers more power to its weight than any other aeroplane motor ever built.
Yet it has been necessary to sacrifice strength in the construction of this motor—in fact, it was impossible to do so, because strength was essential to safety.
The committee, as previously stated, was formed of some of the men who were connected with various companies building internal combustion motors of several different types. Yet when it came to a question of building the Liberty motor, they agreed upon the Valve-in-head principle of design as the one that would give the combination of power, strength, and dependability.
Engines For Education
Washington, March 14—The senate has passed an amendment authorizing the loan of aviation engines and aircraft material to educational institutions. Two of these such institutions, including the college of the city of New York, have requested the war department to lend them Liberty engines for the use of students. The war department is willing to do this but has not had the authority. By this amendment the war department has authority to make such loans at its own discretion.
MAY DROP BOMBS ON A. C.
Victory Loan Airplanes To Fly From New York To Dallas
Efforts are being made by V. E. Creighton, chairman of Cowley county’s Liberty Loan drive, to secure a demonstration and landing here by the flock of airplanes that will fly from New York City to Dallas, Texas, dropping literature for the Victory Liberty Loan campaign which begins April 21st. The aviators will pass through Wichita and Oklahoma City, and Arkansas City is sure to be on their route.
When two army aviators flew through Arkansas City this winter, landing here, they described the field north of Kansas avenue on the east side of the Interurban line, as being the best and smoothest landing place they had encountered between Waco, Texas, and this city. They suggested at that time that a white cross be placed there, indicating to airmen that it was a landing place. This will probably be done before the Victory loan machines start on their advertising trip. Quite a number of persons in Arkansas City are writing to C. L. Davison at Wichita asking him to persuade the aviators to give an exhibition flight and landing in this city.
SELF FLYING, LANDING PLANES.
But Ability to Leave and Land in Small Places More Important.
As to Size of Future Commercial Planes, C. H. Day says the Machines
Most Used Will Carry 1 to 12.
New York, March 21.—That it is not only quite feasible to produce an airplane that will be inherently stable and virtually fly itself until its fuel is exhausted, but one that will even land itself, was one of the surprising statements made recently at the aeronautical meeting of the Society of Automotive Engineers, held in conjunction with the Aeronautical Show. About 450 members and guests attended the two sessions, and listened to papers by officers prominent in the army and navy air services.
The statement with regard to a self-landing plane was made by C. H. Day, chief engineer of the Standard Aircraft Corp., Elizabeth, New Jersey. After reviewing the history of the heavier-than-air machines and crediting the first experiments to a Taranto philosopher by the name of Archytas who lived about 400 B. C., Day launched into “The Commercial Future of Airplane from the Engineer’s Standpoint.”
Easily Learn to Fly.
“A great deal of attention has been given to devices to increase the stability of the airplane, with an idea that this will greatly increase its safety,” he said. “I do not believe that the development of such devices will greatly enhance the future of the airplane. The ease with which pilots have learned to fly existing training machines would certainly indicate that the stability of these airplanes is sufficient for present needs, and investigation will show that the majority of accidents have been due either to collisions in the air or bad landings, and not through any inability of the pilots to control the actions of the machine.”
“The stability of these machines can be increased to almost any extent desired at very little sacrifice of efficiency. In fact, it is perfectly feasible for any aeronautical engineer to design a machine of any type with the surfaces proportioned and arranged so that the machine will be self-righting under all conditions: will not tail spin unless forced into it, and will come out of the tail spin of its own accord.”
Will Fly Alone Indefinitely.
“By fixing the rudder on such a machine, it will fly almost indefinitely with all controls released, and in case of motor stoppage will assume a natural gliding angle until it reaches ground. With good air conditions it would even make a safe landing, if the ground were suitable. . . . While riding as a passenger in such a machine, three years ago, I personally saw all these things demonstrated in flight.
“To my mind, the most important development for the future will be that which will enable airplanes to land in extremely small fields, or literally in a man’s back yard. And this must be obtained at not too great a sacrifice of high speed. At the present time, the load carried on an airplane which has sufficient reserve power for safe flying is about 20 lb. per horse power, and a speed range of from 40 to 90 m. p. h. is now obtainable with this loading. It would, therefore, seem that the future airplane should maintain a speed of 90 miles an hour, speed being one of the main advantages of the airplane over other means of travel.”
Must Get Into Small Fields.
“At the same time we must consider the advantages of low landing speeds to get into small fields; we should not forget that it is also necessary to leave these fields. It would, therefore, be highly advantageous to develop machines which will gain their normal flying speed with a short run, and have a high climb at low speeds of advance.
“In getting out of small fields, climb per distance and climb per time is the improved factor. The development of improved airfoils will better this condition, as well as that of low landing speeds. Once we have secured this much desired ability to get in and out of small fields, the safety and usefulness of the airplane, from a commercial standpoint, will be increased enormously. Not only will we be able to reach high points that are now available near cities, but we can fly over congested or mountainous districts with perfect safety.
“As to the size of the future commercial airplane, it is my opinion that the machines most used will be those carrying passengers or corresponding loads of mail or express, but for certain purposes we may expect to see airplanes of a size far beyond our present dreams.”
12-Passenger Machines the Best.
“However, machines beyond the capacity of twelve passengers become somewhat unwieldy and expensive of operation.
“As to the particular type of airplane to be used for commercial purposes, the tractor would seem to be the most advantageous. Inasmuch as safety is of the greatest importance and most wrecks occur in landing, pilots and passengers should be located well to the rear of the center of gravity so that the heavier parts of the machine, such as engine, etc., may reach the ground first, as they are more capable of absorbing the shocks than is the human being.
“It would also appear that the multi-engine machine will not only add to the safety of the machine but also reduce the likelihood of breakage, thus reducing the cost of upkeep. For small passenger carrying machines, twin engines are extremely advantageous, as it is then possible to design a tractor type of airplane which will be perfectly clean and avoid the objectionable oil which drips back into the pilot’s face in a single-engine tractor type. Maneuvering on the ground also becomes much easier.”
Ladisias d’Orcy, in presenting “The Case for the Airship,” offered as his opinion that “airships should mainly be employed in trans-continental and trans-oceanic traffic, while airplanes could be used for feeding the airship terminals with passengers. In this way, the airship would compete with the steamship and the airplane with the railroad train. The saving of time in either case would amount to at least 50 percent.” In his opinion, the lighter-than-air machine is far superior to the airplane for passenger carrying over considerable distances because of the increased safety and the possibility of providing comforts for the passengers.
Remainder of the papers were largely of a technical nature and included “Development of Military Airplanes During the War,” by Lieut. Col. V. E. Clark, U. S. A.; “Naval Air-ships by Commander J. C. Hunnaker, U. S. N.; “Aerial Combat at St. Mihiel,” by Brig. Gen. William Mitchell, A. S., A. E. F., and “Aircraft Radiators,” by Archibald Black, U. S. N.
Arkansas City Traveler, June 11, 1919.
Secure Landing Field.
R. E. Hughes, chairman of the traffic committee of the Chamber of Commerce, has notified Lieut. Roy Branstetter of the local recruiting office, that the chamber has secured the tract of land one mile north of the city for a landing place for the three government airplanes which it is proposed to send here to stimulate recruiting. The grounds is the Land & Power company’s farm where the planes landed last winter. The field is 1,320 x 2,640 feet. A large white cross will be put there to mark the landing place.
Arkansas City Traveler, June 13, 1919.
May Buy an Aeroplane.
Ex Lt. Wilbur “Pete” Hill planned to go to Blackwell this afternoon to inspect a Curtiss aeroplane which belonged to the late Ira Bidwell, flier, of that city. The machine was damaged when Bidwell was taking off and swerved in his course to avoid striking the crowd which closed in on him. Mr. Hill is an experienced mechanic and flier and he believed he could repair the machine so that he could use it in flights here and other places. It is to be hoped he secures the airplane so that the people of this city and surrounding territory will get to see some thrilling exhibitions in the air like the people of Blackwell, Ponca City, and other neighboring towns are seeing.
Arkansas City Traveler, June ??, 1919.
GROUND FOR AIRPLANES
Proposed Landing Place Is Located Just North of City
Following is a copy of the letter sent, June 20, 1919, by R. E. Hughes, chairman of the traffic committee of the Chamber of Commerce, to Sergt. Roy Branstetter, who is in charge of the local U. S. recruiting station, which is in relation to the landing field for government airplanes that are to be sent here soon:
Sergt. Roy Branstetter, U. S. Army Recruiting Station, Arkansas City, Kansas:
Dear Sir:—We have made arrangements for you to use a tract of land about one mile north of the center of the city temporarily for the planes which will visit here about the last of this month.
Note: He does not refer to this field as previously being used by the flyers. RKW
This field is 1320 feet x 2640 feet, and part of it is in alfalfa and part in wheat at the present time. The wheat covers an area of about 700 x 2640 feet and is the nearest to the city. This wheat will be out within the next twelve or fifteen days and the Chamber of Commerce will provide a white cross to mark the landing.
If you desire to use the whole tract and will give us a few days advance notice, the alfalfa can be cut and gotten out of the way. The parties owning this field, however, would object to having the white cross marked with lime on this alfalfa field but would be agreeable to marking it with cheese cloth provided it was only to be used two or three days.
This committee assures you that any assistance you need from the Chamber of Commerce will be gladly furnished.
Arkansas City Traveler, June 21, 1919.
AIRPLANES FOR VICTORY DAY
U. S. Recruiting Office Receives Word to This Effect
Other Features Are Now Being Planned for Soldiers and Sailors Here on June 26
Through the efforts of Sergeant Roy Branstetter, of the local recruiting office for the United States army and air service, assisted by J. R. Burford of the amusement committee and Frank Jencks of the advertising committee for the soldiers and sailors home-coming in Arkansas City, Thursday, June 26, the plan to have government airplanes here on that day for exhibition has been carried to a successful end. This morning Mr. Branstetter received a communication from Col. C. E. Ide, who is the colonel of field artillery of the district recruiting office at Wichita, stating that if he would see to it that the landing field was marked with a large white cross, he would have one, two, or perhaps three planes here for that day to take part in the big victory celebration. These government airplanes reached Wichita today and they will be used there in exhibition flights, in order to stimulate recruiting for the air service.
R. E. Hughes, head of the traffic department of the local chamber of commerce, will see to it that the ground is marked as requested. The landing field, which has already been secured, is one mile north of the center of the city, on the Land & Power Co. land, where the government planes landed last winter. It is just north of the new base ball park.
This will be a big feature for the Victory day and it will no doubt attract many out-of-town people here that day, who will also have a chance to visit the returned soldier boys.
In connection with the air service recruiting, Mr. Branstetter has received the following notice:
“All applicants who are accepted for enlistment in the air service will either be given a ride from your station to Wichita, or will be given a ride in a plane before they leave this
“Any civilian who obtains a total of five applicants for the air service will be given a free ride, if they so desire.”
The following notice has been received at the local station.
“Up until July 10th only, you are authorized to accept applicants for enlistment in any organization camp, post, or station, located within 500 miles of your station.”
Word comes from the Wichita station that Lieut. Colonel Fred Lemon of the 140th Infantry, company I, Second Kansas National Guards, of Hutchinson, now located at Camp Funston, may be secured to make a short talk here that day. This matter has been placed in the hands of the speakers committee, headed by Dr. R. Claude Young.
The committee has arranged for a merry go round, a Ferris wheel, and other amusing features at Wilson park for the day of celebration, June 26.
The women’s committee is also very busy at present and they have announced that the dancing platform at Paris park will be open Thursday night to help furnish a social time for the soldier boys. The ladies of the Community service council will have this part of the entertainment in charge.
The soliciting committee reports vary favorably from yesterday’s work, but the ladies state that they have heard many complaints on account of the date set by the committee. These women are in no way responsible for the date, as the original committee voted on the date and the majority ruled in fixing it on June 26.
The community service council ladies are glad to be of assistance in any way possible, and they expect to have the required $1,000 by tonight. Mrs. C. N. Hunt states that her assistants are heartily in sympathy with the movement and they will do all they can to carry out the plans of the committee in charge.
Arkansas City Traveler, June ??, 1919.
STAGE ALL SET FOR A WELCOME TO OUR HEROES
A Big Program for Celebration Thursday.
EXHIBITION IN AIR
Huge Spread at Wilson Park At Noon.
PARADE IN MORNING
Baseball Game in Afternoon Between Ponca City and Giants.
Nationally Famed Talkers.
Arkansas City and Cowley county will show appreciation for the heroic service rendered by their sons in the world war in a welcoming celebration which will be held here Thursday, June 26, 1919.
The program has been completed and a record breaking attendance is expected, for it will be the greatest event in the history of the county.
All returned soldiers, sailors, and marines, and men and women who served in any capacity for the government during the war, are invited to accept the hospitality and appreciation of a grateful people on that day. All the fighting men or those who wore uniforms in the war, are requested to wear their army togs for the celebration. True, most of them have discarded their uniforms for civilian clothes, but they are expected to don the khaki or blue again for this occasion.
Distinguished service crosses will be given by Arkansas City to all who served from this locality.
Following the monster parade from the Newman store to Wilson park at 10 o’clock, the roll will be called and decoration of the heroes of the war with medals will take place. This promises to be the most interesting number on the program. Relatives and friends will extend congratulations to the men who answered the call of their country and served it so magnificently. Some of the gallant boys who went from here to war did not return. Little white crosses mark their resting place in France, and they are not forgotten. Medals for them will be given to relatives to keep.
How They Acted in Battle
A tremendously interesting feature of the program will be a talk by Col. John O’Connor of Winfield, if it is possible for him to be here. Col. O’Connor had charge of the 137th regiment, which is composed entirely of Kansas men, a large number of them from this locality. He was promoted from a major to lieutenant colonel in France. He served on the battle front with Cowley county boys and he can give an intimate account of their gallantry in action. It will be a talk to the home folks about the home boys by a home man. Col. O’Connor is a good speaker and he will bring an interesting message to Cowley County people about their own boys who served in the 137th. Col. O’Connor was captain of the old national guards, Company H, at Winfield for a number of years.
At 12 o’clock a big spread will be served to the men in uniform at Wilson park, free, followed by a keen musical program, sandwiched by notable speakers.
Flying Stunts in Afternoon
Lieut. G. H. McNeil of the government recruiting service at Wichita, will give exhibition flights at 2:45 from the aviation field north of the ball park.
The ball game between Ponca City and Arkansas City, at Athletic park at 3:30 o’clock, will be free to all men in uniform.
After supper a band concert will be given followed by a grand ball in the Elks hall and the park.
The parade will start at 10 o’clock sharp from the Newman building, at the corner of Summit street and Adams avenue, proceeding north to Chestnut avenue, thence west to First street and north to the park.
The soldiers, sailors, and marines will form on East Adams avenue; Red Cross units on West Adams avenue; headed by overseas Red Cross and Y. M. C. A. workers, consisting of W. L. Cunningham, A. H. Denton, Wm. Bunnell, and C. T. Main. Mrs. W. D. MacAllister will have charge of the Red Cross division. Members of the junior Red Cross organization, in charge of Prof. Funk, will wear white and carry flags. Then will come the state guards, Community Service council, and other organizations of the city. The Municipal band will be divided into units and interspersed in the procession.
The program for the celebration follows:
10 a.m.—Grand Parade—from Newman building to Wilson park.
11 a.m.—Roll-call and decoration of heroes of the world war.
12 noon—Dinner free to all soldiers and sailors in uniform.
(a)—prayer by the Rev. D. Everett Smith.
(b)—music by the orchestra.
1 p.m.—After-dinner program:
(a)—Vocal solo, Miss Dolly Varner,
(“America for Me.” Henry Van Dyke).
(b)—Addresses by Col. Fred Lemon, of Hutchinson, and Chaplain Inzer of Alabama.
(c)—Selection by orchestra.
(d)—Vocal solo by Mrs. George Sayles.
(“When Pershing’s Men Go Marching Into Picardy.” James Rogers).
2:45 p.m.—Aeroplane flight.
3:30 p.m.—Ball game at Athletic park. Admission free to all men in uniform.
(a)—Home team versus Ponca City team.
8:45 p.m.—Evening program:
TWO MORE RECRUITS
One Boy Joins Aero Service and Will Get Free Ride
Sergt. Roy Branstetter, of the local recruiting service, has signed up two more men for the service on June 24th. John Hamilton of Arkansas City, age 18, who is a son of Mrs. Lou Hamilton of this city, enlisted for service in the Quartermaster’s corps. He has served a previous enlistment in the army.
Everett Pond, of Uncas, Okla., enlisted in the aerial service, expressing a preference for Philippine duty. Under the new ruling in regard to enlistment in the air service, he will be entitled to a ride in an airship before being sent to camp. He will probably get his ride in the airplane in Wichita.
Both of these recruits left yesterday for Wichita, en route to Fort Logan, Colorado.
Arkansas City Daily Traveler, Wednesday, June 25, 1919.
BIG CELEBRATION TOMORROW
Everything Is Now in Readiness for Soldiers Home-Coming
Parade Will Start at 10 O’clock and Then the Dinner at Park—Airplane
and Then the Ball Game
Tomorrow morning at ten o’clock will start Arkansas City’s first honor celebration for the soldier and sailor boys of the late war. The program starts promptly at ten o’clock with the grand parade of soldiers, sailors, members of the S. A. T. C., Merchant Marine, and any division which participated in any manner with the government as uniformed men in the late war service.
At a meeting last evening of the executive committee, which is looking after the entertainment and program, a resolution was passed asking every industry and line of business in this city that employs one or more soldier or sailor boys, or any other person who by reason of service should participate in the parade to see that they are relieved of work Thursday all day and instructed to participate in the program which has been prepared for them. Today a committee has been engaged in making a personal appeal to the industries and places of business to see that their men take part and to allow them wages for the day off.
The parade will form at Adams and Summit street with the soldiers and sailors forming on East Adams avenue and the Red Cross and allied war workers on West Adams avenue. State Guards, Community Service Council, and other organizations will follow. The parade will march north on Summit street to Chestnut avenue, thence west to First street, thence north to the park where the first number on the program will be the roll call of soldiers and sailors and the honor decorations, which part of the program so far as the decorations are concerned will be in charge of city officials.
Two hundred good ladies of this city have prepared a feed for soldiers and sailors, and two hundred ladies will be there to serve them. It is a feature that has taken a lot of work, and the boys ought to appreciate the fact that it has been done to honor them and be glad to honor the mothers with their presence.
The afternoon program will consist of vocal solos, orchestra music, and a feature address by Chaplin J. W. Inzer of Mobile, Alabama, who was chosen as one of the most eloquent of speakers who had seen service overseas. This will be one of the biggest treats of the day.
Col. Fred Lemon of Hutchinson and Col. John H. O’Connor of Winfield will also make addresses.
At 2:45 from Kansas Avenue, Athletic park, or the Rock Road, folk may view the aeroplane demonstration. This will last for thirty to forty-five minutes, after which the ball game will occupy the program. Soldiers and sailors will be admitted free, in fact everything is free to the boys in uniform or who have procured credentials.
The evening program will be at Paris park and will consist of a band concert, grand ball for the soldiers and sailors, and a demonstration of fire works which will be worthwhile to everyone. The evening program will be one of the big features of the celebration.
Lieutenant Branstetter, recruiting officer and instructor in an officers training school, will be the commanding officer of the parade, having been named by the celebration committee to take charge of the squad of boys whom they hope will number 700 to 1000. The boys are to come in their uniforms, but they may leave their coats at home. In fact, it is suggested that all be coatless.
The one big feature is that the parade must start on scheduled time and that all parties participating shall be on hand at about 9:30. Especially will this be necessary for the soldiers and sailors, as they will have to arrange the formation of the parade at that time.
Business of the city will be entirely shut down for the afternoon. Even the post-office is going to close, and many of the business places will close in the forenoon. Everyone is going to see that their soldier or sailor boy is going to be in the parade.
Mayor Hunt announced at the meeting yesterday evening that the city had purchased $250 worth of fire works, which will be set off from the island at Paris park lake that night.
W. D. Kreamer announced that Wilson park and the rotunda would be properly decorated today.
Rev. Moore reported for the program committee and Mrs. J. W. Martin for the dinner arrangements. Mrs. W. D. MacAllister has charge of the Red Cross department of the parade.
Secretary Heffelfinger reported that the airplane exhibition affair had been placed in the hands of “Pete” Hill and that all arrangements had been completed. Mr. Hill announced that autos will not be allowed in the aviation field. Guards will be placed all about the grounds. Lieut. G. H. McNeil of the government recruiting service will bring his plane here from Wichita tomorrow morning and will give his exhibition at 2:45 p.m. sharp.
The baseball game will follow the air exhibit immediately.
All business houses have agreed to close their doors at noon, to remain closed the rest of the day.
All business houses and all residences are expected to be decorated with flags and bunting for this occasion.
THE PARADE AND DINNER
Returned Soldiers and Sailors Are Being Honored Here Today
Nearly 200 returned soldiers and sailors were in the line of march when the parade started shortly after 10 o’clock this morning, which was the opening number on the program for the homecoming celebration.
The parade started at Newman’s corner and the line of march was to Wilson park, where at the noon hour a delicious dinner was served to the heroes of the great world war by a committee of Arkansas City women and girls. The boys in uniform were cheered by hundreds of people, who had gathered along the line of march to witness the parade.
Col. Lemon of the United States army, from Hutchinson, and Lieut. Roy Branstetter of this city had charge of the boys in uniform and lined them up for the parade. The Arkansas City band led the parade, then came the local state guards, Red cross ladies, canteen girls, Salvation army, and members of the local war work committees.
Immediately after the parade, a group picture of the boys in uniform was taken at the park by the Miller & Main Studio. Then the bronze medals were given out and roll call was held.
In the afternoon there was a speaking program, airplane exhibition, and baseball game. The closing program of the gala day is to be held in Paris park, when a fireworks display will be given and other amusements indulged in by the boys in uniform and their relatives and friends.
Arkansas City Traveler, ??, 1919.
HOME COMING FOR SOLDIERS GRAND SUCCESS
400 Returned Heroes Given Medals Here.
EXHIBITION IN AIR
Great Spread at Wilson Park at Noon Hour.
PARADE IN FORENOON
Baseball Game, Splendid Addresses by Chaplain Inzer and Col. Lemon;
Arkansas City welcomed back the soldiers, sailors, and marines of Cowley County, who have returned from overseas and American training Camps since the hostilities between the allies and Germany ceased, yesterday.
The celebration lasted all day and the program provided a variety of entertainment consisting of a parade, roll call and decoration of uniformed men, orchestral music, band selections, vocal solos, aeroplane flights, baseball game, fireworks display, and dancing.
On account of the harvest, a large number of returned soldiers were not able to participate in the celebration. Also, a large number of them did not march in the procession, but remained on the sidewalks and watched the line go by. As one doughboy said: “I got all the hiking I wanted in the army, but I’ll stroll down to the park and get in on the eats.”
The airplane exhibitions by Lieut. McNeil of the government recruiting service at Wichita attracted the greatest interest of the day. The lieutenant and a sergeant arrived in the city about 11 o’clock and flew over the community, performing spectacular and difficult feats in the air before descending to the landing field north of the city on the top of the old Wiley hill directly east of the Empire gasoline plant.
Note: The landing field location has changed. RKW
These grounds had been prepared for the landing of the machine by Lieut. Wilbur (Pete) Hill of the state guards, an experienced flier as well as an expert mechanic. It was marked with a “T”, which Lieut. McNeil said could be seen from 10 miles away. He liked the field except for the high weeds which broke a piece out of his propeller when he was taking off. It took an hour or two to mend it under the direction of Lieut. Hill. This was what caused the delay in the exhibition flight in the afternoon. It was a little after 4 o’clock when Lieut. McNeil ascended for the last flight and departed for home.
Took Lieut. Hill Up
Shortly after lunch Lieut. McNeil took Lieut. Hill up for a spin in the air. During this flight Lieut. McNeil’s foot slipped off the rudder and the machine fell 500 feet in a side slip. It fell through the danger zone and was only about 1,000 feet up when the ship was righted. Lieut. Hill had flown numerous times and did not become excited. He greatly enjoyed the flight.
While the airship was falling, the big crowd realized something was wrong and stood petrified. The sigh of relief from the spectators when the aeroplane righted itself resembled the blowing off of steam by a locomotive.
Fancy stunts in the air, consisting of the Immelman turn, tail spins, and vertical bank, were performed by the aviator. He had planned to give the crowd a more thrilling demonstration in the afternoon, but his engine was not working perfectly and the break in the propeller prohibited him. Three flights were given by him.
The machine was a Curtiss J-N 4 with a Hispano Suiza 150 h.p. motor. It had a 9 foot propeller which was very frail, accounting for the accident to it by the weeds.
Lieut. McNeil and Lieut. Hill flew over the Country club golf course, and both agreed that the top of the hill would make an ideal landing field. An effort will be made to have the club put a “T” on the hill which will not interfere in any way with the golf course. All flying machines passing over the city will land there if this is done.
Roy Hume assisted Lieut. Hill in taking care of the visiting aviator and machine. Lieut. McNeil was delighted with the treatment he received here. All his supplies were on the field for him when he landed, due to the forethought of Lieut. Hill and his experience in knowing what would be required for the plane.
The air was heavy and bumpy yesterday, Lieut. Hill said, making high altitude flying very difficult.
The rock road was packed with automobiles like sardines. The road became choked and the cars got locked so they couldn’t get out from either direction for some time.
Distinguished service crosses were presented to Lieut. McNeil and the sergeant with him by Arkansas City, and the lieutenant said they would “knock ‘em dizzy” when they got back to Wichita with their “Croix de guerres.”
A large crowd attended the ball game which resulted in a score of 5 to 0 in favor of Ponca City. The crowd had a good view of the flying machine from the grandstand.
Medals Pinned on Heroes
Mayor Hunt asked V. E. Creighton, chairman of the celebration committee, to make the presentation speech on the medals given to the men who served the country in the war, on account of having labor troubles at the Empire steam laundry yesterday morning. Mr. Creighton made an excellent address. The medals were distributed by the members of the Community Service council, on request of Mrs. C. N. Hunt, president, who said the money for the celebration had been collected by them and they should be allowed to hand out the crosses. The original plan to have this done by members of the Red Cross chapter was abandoned.
The distinguished service cross is a bronze medal bearing the state seal and inscription: “Presented by Arkansas City, Kansas, in recognition of world’s war service.” It is suspended from a red, white, and blue ribbon, and there is a place for the name of the recipient to be engraved. Over 400 of these medals were presented yesterday. Relatives will receive crosses for the boys who paid the supreme sacrifice.
Mr. Creighton’s presentation speech follows:
“Ladies and gentlemen, it was to have been the pleasure of Mayor Hunt to greet you at this time and to give you the right hand of fellowship as a token of our esteem for you and our welcome home. It was only at a late hour this morning that Mayor Hunt advised us he would not be able to be at the meeting until afternoon and he has requested me on behalf of the city and community to extend to you the right hand of fellowship and tell you of the high esteem in which we hold you and to tell you how glad we are that you are with us once more.
“There is no need for me to tell you of the valiant service you performed overseas, or the valiant service you were ready to perform the minute you entered the training camp, even though you did not go over seas. It is all right for England to say she won the war because she furnished the largest number of soldiers and because she maintained the blockade of the high seas. It is all right for Belgium to say she won the war because she stopped the Huns in the first onward march to Paris and held them in check for eight days while England and France could muster their armies for resistance. It is all right for France to say she won the war because the greatest number of battles were actually fought on her soil and the sacrifices made by her people can never be described by tongue or pen. It is all right for each of the other nations who participated in this great struggle to set for their claims for the great deeds they did. The truth remains, however, that the Germans maintained a comparatively steady march toward Paris with not very much interruption until they came face to face with the American soldiers. It was then that they encountered the real resistance, it was then that they encountered the American spirit—which is the spirit of Victory.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, it is needless for me to say to you that this was the turning point of the war and all glory should be given to the American soldiers for the service rendered by them in behalf of civilization.
“The American soldiers were fine citizens before they entered the war and made a study of our government and the economic conditions of this country. We recognize them as fine citizens and the government recognizes them as fine citizens when they called them to defend civilization. You were infinitely fine citizens before entering the war, but let me say to you that we recognize you as finer citizens now than before you answered your country’s call.
“You are coming back to us after going through the refining fires to defend civilization. You have literally gone through the crucible, the melting pot of civilization, and your valor has won. You have world visions of greater things than those of us who remained at home can ever have, and so I say you are coming back to us finer men and finer citizens than before you answered your country’s call. You will be a greater force in molding the character and the destiny of this nation than ever before and greater than you would have been had you not taken part in the world’s great war. We are looking to you more than ever before to guide us in building a country which shall ever be for the people and by the people and we know we will not be disappointed.
“The Associated Press and the United Press kept us informed daily of your heroic deeds and from thousands of our witnesses we have been told of the heroic sacrifices made by you in our behalf. We want you to know how much we appreciate these sacrifices on your part and how much we honor you for the things you have done. Nothing will ever erase from our hearts the monuments you have built there; and so long as we shall live together, we will continue to hold you in that high esteem to which you are justly entitled.
“To the mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters of Cowley County who gave up your sons in this great crisis, we want you to know how the people of this county appreciate the sacrifice you have made. You gave up that which was more precious to you than any material things of life, you gave your own son, and we want you to know how this community honors you for this sacrifice on your part; and it is with heartfelt gratitude that we welcome these boys back to our home.
“Some of you made the supreme sacrifice, some of our boys will never come home, and we want you to know they are this day not forgotten. Their names are inscribed in our hearts and in the archives of this city, and we will always remember them as the defenders of our civilization. It is to you today we extend our deepest sympathy which can come from human hearts and the medals which are presented to you today from the city of Arkansas City are tokens of our remembrance of the sacrifice made by you and by your sons.
“Again, on behalf of the city and on behalf of the community, we welcome you home. It is your day, the city is yours, and everything in the city is free to you today. Your uniform and your badge are the only pass words you need and the services you have performed will always be cherished by us as the greatest deeds performed by human beings.”
The Afternoon Program
The afternoon program opened shortly after one o’clock, or as soon as the tables had been removed from the rotunda at Wilson park, and W. L. Cunningham was the master of ceremonies. He first introduced Col. Fred Lemon, of Hutchinson, Kansas, who is still in the service at Camp Funston. Col. Lemon is quite well known here and he made many more fast friends during his short stay in the city. He is a very pleasant gentleman and an officer who was well liked by his men. He spoke of Col. John H. O’Connor, who was with the famous 137th, 35th division, and made some very complimentary remarks regarding Mr. O’Connor, who is well known here and whose many friends were greatly disappointed because he could not be here for the big event. Col. Lemon had charge of the 140th in the great battle of the Argonne, and he related some interesting facts in this regard.
He highly praised the Kansas boys and also the people at home, who helped materially in winning the war. He referred to Lieut. Louis Thorp, a Winfield boy, who was killed in battle while not over 50 feet from the commander officer. Col. Lemon stated that he was glad to be here and said he certainly appreciated the nice medal given him on this occasion.
Mr. Cunningham then caused tears to rush into the eyes of many persons in the audience by eloquently stating that the people of this country wanted to remember that it is a fact that the American boys turned the tide of the great war and that this must never be forgotten for an instant in this country. Mr. Cunningham then suddenly said that he had almost forgotten he was not to make an address but was simply the toastmaster on this occasion. However, he made several statements that will never be forgotten by his hearers.
Chaplain John W. Inzer
Chaplain John W. Inzer, of Mobile, Alabama, was the second speaker, and he certainly injected American “pep” into those who might possibly have become lukewarm since the boys have returned. The advance notice in regard to his being eloquent and interesting was more than true, for on this occasion, he demonstrated the fact that he is an American from his head to his feet. While in the city Chaplain Inzer was a guest of Captain R. Claude Young. The subject of his address was “The American Legion.” He gave the creed of the Legion and said that, “It was organized before it was organized and that it was, naturally, an organization before it was an organization.” This was made possible, he said, on account of the feeling of the boys before they returned from overseas. Their feeling expressed in words was, “Just wait till this war is over,” he stated. That splendid feeling was the cause of the organization being perfected in St. Louis several weeks ago.
The speaker dwelt at length on the declaration of independence and said that America was just now coming into its own.
Some Splendid Music
The musical numbers on the afternoon program included vocal solos by Miss Dollie Varner, who sang “America for Me,” and Mrs. George Sayles, who sang “When Pershing’s Men Go Marching into Picardy” and “There’s a Long, Long Trail a Winding.” Miss Louise Jones played the accompaniment for Miss Varner, and Miss Pearl Buck for Mrs. Sayles. These numbers were delightfully rendered and they greatly inspired the members of the large audience.
A seven-piece orchestra, under the direction of Ernest Hatley, furnished splendid music during the dinner hour from 12 to 1:30 o’clock.
The Big Feed
The dinner served at Wilson Park following the parade and roll call was a splendid treat for the boys. The committee, headed by Mrs. J. W. Martin, had prepared food for 700, and as there were only about 300 soldiers seated at the tables, it was decided to invite the boys’ relatives to eat also.
Some 800 or 1,000 people ate of the delicious food and there was plenty for all. This was a wonderful sight and it was a feature of the day’s program which will not soon be forgotten by the soldiers and sailors. At this time many of the home boys met companions whom they had not seen before since returning home and they also made many new acquaintances there. The army of women and girls who prepared and served the dinner deserve much praise and special mention, but space forbids the using of all the names, at present. They certainly conducted the affair in a splendid and capable manner.
In the afternoon many of the boys shed their O. D. W. uniforms on account of the excessive heat and therefore the crowd of soldiers did not seem to be as large as it really was about the park grounds.
As stated by one returned soldier, this was a great day for one particular reason, if for no other, and that was that the soldier boys for the first time had an opportunity to see all the home folks who worked for them while they were in the service and also the home workers had an opportunity to see and visit with all the boys who served from this city and surrounding country.
The Evening Program
The evening program was given at Paris park, where boating, bathing, riding on the merry-go-round and Ferris wheel, and dancing also, were indulged in by a large crowd. The park was filled to overflowing long before dark and the crowd there certainly had a merry time. The fireworks display was handled by City Commissioner R. J. Murray and the city purchased the fireworks for this occasion.
The Community Service council conducted the dance platform and V. E. Creighton was the master of ceremonies there. All boys in uniform or those wearing the Arkansas City bronze medal were admitted to the dance platform and all other amusements of the day, free of charge. A well trained orchestra furnished music for the dancers last night.
Many persons residing in and about Arkansas City were greatly disappointed yesterday afternoon on account of the failure of Col. John H. O’Connor, of Winfield, to appear on the platform. However, Col. O’Connor was, no doubt, with the boys in spirit and he may be secured for another date to come to this city and talk to the boys. He is now in the employ of the Winfield Daily Courier and was unable to get off from his work in time to come here for the afternoon program.
The Parade and Photo
The opening feature of the day’s celebration was the parade given in the morning at 10 o’clock. About 200 boys in uniform, including members of the infantry, artillery, navy, aero service, and marines, were in line. Col. Fred Lemon, of Hutchinson, commanded the parade and gave some familiar orders to the boys in uniform. The Arkansas City municipal band led the parade. The soldiers came next, then the State guards and Red Cross department, canteen committee, the Salvation army, and war work teams. A pleasing feature of the parade was the little boy, Lyle Mitchell, riding in a small automobile and carrying a banner representing team No. 9 of the local war work committee.
A representative of the Miller studio took a fine photo of the soldier boys, the local Red Cross workers, and the officials of the Salvation army at the park yesterday immediately after the parade and the pictures were being offered for sale at Paris park last night.
The names of the boys who received medals and who registered yesterday will not be in shape to publish for a day or two or until the committee has a chance to copy and compile the list in regular order.
Flying Machine at Wellington Injured Three Spectators
Mr. and Mrs. Foss Farrar and children spent the Fourth at Wellington with relatives yesterday. They saw an airplane accident there in which three persons were injured. The airship, piloted by Mr. Ferguson, had been taking off down a hill all day, but the wind changed in the evening and the flier started to take off in the opposite direction. His machine struck some telephone wires and nosed down, striking a Ford car occupied by Mr. Livingston (of Argonia), his wife, and little daughter. The aeroplane bounced off the Ford and alighted without injury to the flier or the passenger in his machine, but the little girl in the Ford had her skull fractured. The man had the little finger of his left hand completely severed. The woman was severely bruised but not seriously injured. The plane was extensively damaged.
PARACHUTE DID NOT OPEN
At Newkirk, the man who made a balloon ascension Thursday evening, July 3, 1919, making three parachute leaps, was injured internally by a fall. The balloon did not go high enough before he cut loose and the parachute did not open soon enough to save him. He was unable to make an ascension Friday night.
DIVED 1,000 FEET TO GROUND
An airplane piloted by H. F. Giese, a discharged soldier from the French army, and carrying Oscar Pepper of Newkirk as a passenger, fell at Newkirk on the morning of the Fourth, injuring both men perhaps fatally.
A spectator said the ship was flying swiftly in a southernly direction and suddenly turned to the north and then plunged downward, striking a stack of wheat shocks head first. The two men were removed from the demolished machine in an unconscious condition. Giese regained consciousness later in a hospital at Newkirk and was released in a few days.
Oscar Pepper was brought to the Mercy hospital in Arkansas city in a delirious condition. The attending physician said Pepper showed symptoms of having internal injuries. He has a deep cut over his right eye, one ear is nearly cut off, a knee cap is badly cut, and there is a possibility his skull is fractured. He died on July 7 at the age of 22. He was a son of Mr. and Mrs. H. A. Pepper of Newkirk.
It is not known what altitude they were flying when the machine started to dive toward the earth, but spectators estimated it anywhere between 1,000 and 3,000 feet, the former probably being nearer correct. The machine fell on an angle of about 40 degrees into a wheat field east of the fair grounds. It is not known what caused the airship to fall. It was a Curtiss JN-4 type. It seemed to be the belief of some of the spectators that Giese was not an expert flyer and that the machine got out of his control.
It was rumored at first that Pepper had grabbed hold of the rear controls over the aeroplane, but this was disputed by the man who first arrived on the scene. It is always customary to disconnect the rear controls when inexperienced passengers are taken up. Giese was taking up passengers for $15 a trip, and was also engaged to give exhibition flying at the celebration in Newkirk yesterday.
“Pete” Hill and Beachy Musselman of this city helped to take the wrecked machine apart and load it on a wagon. Hill said the dash had on it wording to the effect that the plane belonged to Sergeant E. G. Elliott of El Dorado. It is said to be the property of the El Dorado Aircraft corporation.
ABOUT THE LANDING FIELD
R. E. Hughes, chairman of the traffic committee of the local chamber of commerce, is in receipt of the following communication in regard to an aviation landing field here:
Wabash, Ind., July 8, 1919. Chamber of Commerce, Arkansas City, Kansas. Attention of Mr. R. E. Hughes, Chairman of Traffic Committee.
We are pleased to acknowledge receipt of your letter of June 21st and want to thank you for your kind attention and prompt reply.
We regret that Arkansas City has, as yet, no landing field for the use of commercial airplanes; but feel satisfied that the interest you have taken in placing this matter before your committee will eventually lead toward the establishment of such a field for your city.
In compliance with your request for more information regarding such a field, will say—
first, that there are no fixed dimensions. The field should contain not less than twenty acres and as much more as can be had, within or as near the corporation limits as possible. It should be comparatively level although it is well to have a gentle slope so that it will be well drained. The field should be about square, but this is not absolutely essential. If it is oblong, its greatest length should be in an easterly and westerly direction; an airplane always lands into the wind.
The various rules and regulations governing the use of a landing-field by commercial airplanes should be formulated by your city’s legal department.
Other cities are planning landing-fields and we have received several letters enclosing blue prints and plats showing field locations, their proximity to the city, etc.; and these places have gladly offered their fields for commercial use— realizing the benefit the city and public in general may receive from this mode of transportation.
There are, no doubt, returned aviators or men who have been in the aviation branch of the service, in or near your city, who will gladly act as a committee to assist in the laying-out of a landing-field; and they would furnish points in detail which are very essential to the establishment of a perfect field.
May we not hear from you in the very near future stating that you have a field ready for use? If there is any help we can extend or any other suggestions we can make, please feel free to command us.—Service Aviation Training & Transportation Company, G. E. McCaskey. Signed: G. E. McCaskey, Asst. Manager.
Arkansas City Traveler, July ?, 1919.
AVIATOR KILLED AT LAWTON
Pilot Who Flew in Winfield on the Fourth.
Winfield, Kans., July 14—Second Lieutenant Charles W. Stell, air service, United States army, who entertained thousands in Winfield the Fourth of July with his daring flying, was killed at Lawton, Okla., Friday, when his airplane fell.
Lieut. Stell was but twenty years old and had been flying more than a year. That he was considered a skilled flyer was attested to by the position he held as instructor at Post field, Fort Sill. He had taken two courses in advanced flying in addition to the usual reserve military aviator’s training.
In conversation with a Courier reporter in Winfield on the Forth of July, Lieutenant Stell said he had flown more than five hundred hours without an accident; then, with the aviator’s superstition, he walked to a nearby door and promptly “knocked on wood.” In addition to his skill as a pilot, Lieutenant Stell had a very attractive personality and those who met him on his Winfield visit feel deeply his untimely death.
Few particulars of the accident in which he lost his life have been received in Winfield. It is reported he was flying with a flying circus at Lawton in the interest of army recruiting at the time of his fall and was flying at a low altitude. He was not carrying a passenger at the time of the accident. His home is in Brownsville, Texas, and he enlisted soon after the United States entered the war, having been at that time a student in the University of Texas at Austin.
MANY ARKANSAS CITYANS FLY
Dozens of Arkansas City people were standing in line at the landing field north of the city last night (Wednesday, July 23, 1919) waiting their turn to be taken up by Aviator Warren Kite in his American built Curtiss aeroplane. Among the people of this city who took flights with him were Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Maxey, Bob Finney, Gavin Younkin, F. E. Goodrich and son, Mrs. Lester Rhoads, Miss Marie Carlton, Walter Matthews, Harley McElhinney, Joe McGiboney, and many others whose names were not learned. Those who went up with the birdman say there is not the sensation in flying that they had imagined, except when the machine is coasting down to the ground and then they feel their breath slipping away from them. When the machine turns around in the air, the passengers grab for a handhold. The flight consists of a trip over the city lasting about 10 minutes. The aviator is taking up passengers here again this afternoon and tonight. He flies until about 9 o’clock. He may stay here another day. He is accompanied by his bride of a few weeks, and mechanician, G. Caton.
Air Mail Men Strike
New York, July 25 — A strike of aerial mail pilots began today, no aviator appearing to take out the plane with Chicago mail due to start for Bellefonte, Pa., at 5 a.m.
The strike, the first of its kind in this country, follows the refusal of the post-office department to reinstate two aviators who refused to take out planes on Tuesday on account of the fog.
Post-office officials at Belmont Park, L. I., the landing field for mail planes, stated that they had received instructions to give out no information concerning the aviator’s action.
Protest against the discharge of two pilots, Leon Smith and Hamilton Lee, was sent to Second Assistant Postmaster General Praeger, Wednesday. Mr. Praeger in his reply which was received by the aviators last night, announced that the order discharging the two men had not been revoked.
“They came into the service,” Mr. Praeger’s telegram said, “as every other pilot, with the knowledge that they must comply with the department’s orders to fly with the mail and where flying conditions are such that they cannot operate they have the option to resign.”
The aviators state they have complained on several occasions that the planes supplied them were poorly equipped for flying, even in good weather, because of their high speed. They said they desired lighter and slower machines, as in misty or foggy weather the visibility was so poor as to make high speed dangerous. The men declared that since July 15 no less than fifteen accidents have occurred in which ten planes were demolished and two aviators killed.
Aviators of planes at Chicago, Bellefonte, and other points will join in the strike.
In a statement today, Otto Praeger, second assistant Postmaster General in charge of the air mail service, denied specifically that mail planes used are unsafe or that the department forced pilots to take the air regardless of weather conditions. Published statements attributed to the striking pilots in New York have contained such criticisms.
Mr. Praeger said the Curtiss R-4 equipped with a liberty motor, had a safe, minimum speed of about 65 miles an hour, or five miles faster than the smaller, less powerful JN-4-h, which is being abandoned. He said the statement that the R-4's cannot be flown at less than 100 miles was incorrect.
The discharge of pilots Lee and Smith, which precipitated the strike according to the statement, followed their refusal to take the air except in machines of their own selection.
The necessary dangers attending airplane work, Mr. Praeger said, had been reduced to a negligible quantity, for mail flyers.
A Striker Explains
New York, July 25.—Hamilton Lee, one of the discharged aviators, said today in speaking of his dismissal, “I won’t go up in foggy weather with a big machine which travels 100 miles an hour. The smaller ships are right because they are slower.
“In foggy weather it is often necessary to fly only 150 to 250 feet above the ground and a high compressed Liberty motor is apt to get hot at a low altitude, causing a forced landing. If I am traveling over a large city, such flying is dangerous to people below as well as to me.”
Arkansas City Daily Traveler, Friday, July 25, 1919.
STUNT FLYING FOR REPORTER
Aviator Kite Makes Special Trip With a Traveler Man
Looping the Loop, Immelman Turn, Tail Spin and All the Fancy Tricks of the Air Were Staged on Friday, July 25.
“When he loops the loop, keep your back stiff and brace your feet,” were the cheering parting words of G. Caton, mechanician, to a representative of the Traveler, whom he had strapped into Warren Kite’s Curtiss aeroplane, at the landing field, at 7 o’clock, last evening, and the newspaper man was trying to get the lump out of his throat to say that he had a family to support and really didn’t crave any of the loop the loop stuff; but by the time he got his throat cleared and looked around to speak, the ground was gone and he was up in the clouds with nothing but his conscience in the front seat with him and his heart in his mouth. When the driver of an automobile is stepping too hard on the gas, you can tell him to cut it out; but in an aeroplane you hold no conversation with the pilot. The roar of the engine makes it useless to let out the big squawk. The aviator pays no attention to you whatever. There you are all by yourself and all the sins you have ever committed knock at the door of your befuddled brain, all trying to gain access at the same time. Maybe you never prayed before, but you sure do breathe something that resembles a prayer now. You remember the comic who asked, when he was invited to ascend in an airship, “Suppose the engine stops up thar. Where you all going to put your foot to crank it up?”
Well, after the ground was left a thousand or two feet behind and the machine was sailing along beautifully, the news chaser began to get a breath now and then and take in the scenery. You will never know how beautiful Arkansas City is until you fly with Aviator Kite. It presents a picture that is indescribably picturesque. At this time of the year when the trees and lawns are green, the view of the city from an airplane is entrancing to the eye and enthralling to the brain.
Stunt flying cannot be described by the passenger on his first flight into the air, and details cannot be given here, but suffice to say that all the thrills you have read about in fancy flying are real and not fictitious. When the ship began to turn over, in the Immelman turn, or whatever they call it, the reporter began silent communion with St. Peter. The Germans might have been slow and meditative getting off the Vesle, but they were not two thousand feet up in the air either.
No sooner had the man-made bird emerged from the Immelman turn, then it plunged into the loop the loop. This sensation is like turning a somersault off a skyscraper and hoping for the best when you strike the pavement below. Three times the aviator heartlessly looped the loop; and had his acquaintances been able to see the face of the reporter at that moment, they would have been recommending their favorite undertaker to him for if anyone ever looked like a sick man he surely did.
Then the aviator seemed to go into a fit. The ship was rocking back and forth and flopping up and down like a cork in a whirlpool. He saved the tail spin for the final crushing blow to the nerve of the passenger. This sensation is exactly like having your stomach turned completely inside out, similar to a sudden drop in an elevator. Your heart has done jumped out of your mouth and about the only thing you have left is your stomach, and now the demon air monster is determined to get rid of that. The mechanician said to keep a stiff back, but who is going to have a stiff back when his spine is limp as a rag? During the execution of the various stunts, the aviator shuts off the engine—and you can imagine what a glorious feeling that gives you! You rejoice over it about as much as you would if your wife told you that your mother-in-law was coming to make her permanent home with you. When the engine is killed by the aviator, your heart is making a racket like a boiler factory and you can tell the world your ears are strained to hear that motor begin talking again; and when it does come back to life, the Rex orchestra would sound like the beating of a pom pom compared to the music of that engine, which has never entirely stopped running, but you think it has.
They say the life of an aeroplane motor is about 50 hours, and when this machine was looping the loop, the Traveler man firmly believed that 49 hours, 59 minutes, and 59 seconds had done gone, and the wires were singing: “Nearer My God to Thee.”
When the downward flight begins and you realize the flight is ending, you have an irresistible desire to remain aloft. Nothing can compare with the fascination of taking a spin in the air. But on the level: when your feet are planted safely back on terra firma, you may not own a foot of land, but you feel as good as if you had just inherited a thousand acres if you have been doing what the birdmen call stunt flying. It is a great life if you don’t weaken.
Aviator Kite said today he probably would remain here until after Sunday. His waiting list was so long last night that he couldn’t accommodate all those who wanted to fly and Mrs. Kite returned $150 that had been collected from waiting passengers. They will have the chance to go up with the birdman this afternoon and this evening.
Aviator Kite wins the confidence of the people who want to experience the sensations of a flight by the superb skill he displays in handling his machine. He makes a perfect landing and he ranked about 17th in the army on the number of hours spent in the air. He is accompanied by G. Caton, an expert mechanician who keeps the ship in perfect condition. Mrs. Kite, whose romantic courtship by her flyer husband took place a few weeks ago at Larned, goes with her husband and she loves to fly. She is going to learn to fly the machine by herself. Her husband was first attracted to her by the wonderful nerve she displayed in her first flight with him when he looped the loop eight times and she never batted an eye.
The landing field where passengers are taken up is north of the city on the rock road.
NOTE: I believe that the Traveler man was R. C. (Dick) Howard. RKW
ENJOY THEIR SPIN IN AIR
Rosella Conrod and Irene Bloomhart Fly With Kite.
Probably none of the passengers who have flown with Aviator Kite in this city enjoyed the flight in the air more than the Misses Rosella Conrod and Irene Bloomhart, who went up with the airman on Friday, July 25. The birdman gave them an altitude flight, and they were sorry the trip to the sky did not last longer. They said they weren’t a bit nervous and both of them are eager to go up in the air again, and the next time they said they would choose stunt flying instead of the ordinary trip, which they are now accustomed to, and desire the more thrilling experience of looping the loop, nose dive, tail spin, and Immelman which the aviator has done for three or four passengers here.
Arkansas City Daily Traveler, Saturday, July 26, 1919.
For Aviator Kite and Wife
Friday night, July 25, at their home on North B street, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Hill were host and hostess at a dinner party given in honor of Aviator Warren Kite and wife and G. Caton. The affair was a very pleasing one for all parties concerned, and it was one long to be remembered by the guests. On this occasion Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur (Pete) Hill were also guests. Wilbur and Arthur Hill are brothers, and the latter was acquainted with Mr. Kite some years ago, at Springfield, Mo. Mr. and Mrs. Kite are newly weds and the dinner party was given in their honor.
IN A SPECTACULAR FLIGHT
Dr. R. L. Baker Was a Glutton for Stunt Flying
Spectacular air flying was witnessed by the large crowd at the aviation grounds, north of the city, Friday night, July 25th, when Aviator Kite did a lot of stunts with his American built Curtiss airplane with Dr. R. L. Baker of this city the lone passenger. The doctor didn’t get his fill of stunt flying on the first trip so he engaged the birdman to take him up a second time and give him all he had. The doctor was fully satisfied when the machine landed for the second time.
In addition to the loop, Immelman turn, and tail spin, the aviator did the whip stall for Dr. Baker. This sensation, it is said, is something like a chiropractor cracking down on your spine except that nearly every bone in your body feels like it had been dislocated. During the flight the belt around the doctor’s waist came unbuckled and the aviator says he never saw a pair of hands work as rapidly as Baker’s in trying to adjust the strap again. Kite reached over and helped him. The aviator conversed with the passenger when they were about 2000 feet in the air by slowing down the motor, and their voices could be distinctly heard by the people on the ground. Dr. Baker experienced a very thrilling ride, and he is an enthusiastic fan for stunting in the air.
Mrs. Pete Hill was given the thrill of a loop by Aviator Kite in her spin into the air last night. Straight flying was enjoyed by the following persons yesterday: Russell Rogers, Roy Bernard, Jim Woods, Miss Vera Pickett, Jack Taylor, Herb Kroenert, Noble Nelson, Ray Pybas, J. C. Pybas, H. Smith, J. R. Sims, Miss Irene Bloomhart, Miss Rosella Conrod, Mrs. D. C. Reder and daughter Ruth, W. W. Dixon, Jim Saxon, Miss Verna Collier, Miss Eunice Brown, Orvil Samos, Harry Fry, Harry A. Derry, Cleve Mitchell, and M. U. Larson.
Aviator Kite will remain here until tomorrow eve. He and Mrs. Kite are mighty nice people and they have made a large number of friends here who will regret to see them leave. They may go to Pawhuska, Fairfax, or Winfield. When the airman, his wife, and the mechanician are riding from town to town in the air, they use a hand language invented by themselves with which to carry on conversation. In picking a landing field, Aviator Kite selects a field and encircles it three times getting an idea of the lay of the ground and location of trees and telephone and telegraph wires before descending. He usually picks out meadow land in which to make a landing. He says it is very difficult to tell how hilly the ground is from the air as it all looks pretty level from up where he is. When the crowd sees him land a couple of times, any person with the least desire to fly has the utmost confidence in going up with him, so skillfully does he handle the machine.
Asa Dean was seized with a desire to fly while watching Aviator Kite making trips north of the city Friday night, but he neglected to take any currency with him. R. J. Grover quickly remedied that by advancing the amount necessary and telling Dean that he could drop into the Union State bank this morning and pay it back. Mr. Dean said, “I may drop into the bank tonight, instead of waiting until in the morning,” but he was brought safely back to the ground by the birdman.
A PERFECT LANDING FIELD
Arkansas City has one of the best landing fields in this part of the country north of the city where Aviator Kite has been taking off and descending in his flights here, G. Caton, his mechanician told the Traveler today. He said it was a perfect field if it was fenced off so spectators cannot get onto the field and a few other improvements made.
The Traveler suggested that the Chamber of Commerce lease the land some weeks ago, and make it a landing place for airships. It was suggested by a director of the Chamber of Commerce this morning that it should be a municipal aviation grounds and that the city commissioners should be asked to lease the land for that purpose. Flying is progressing fast and soon aviators will be flying over this city nearly every day and they will stop here if there is a suitable landing field properly marked with a “T.” Unless a landing place of this character is provided the airmen will pass up this city.
No better test as to the suitability of this land for an aviation park could be asked than the demonstration by Aviator Kite, who has been making between 40 and 50 landings a day since he arrived in the city, and not a single accident has resulted to his machine.
Given Complimentary Air Spin
The Misses Alice Goodell and Edna Craik were given a complimentary flight by Aviator Kite Saturday afternoon in appreciation of the exceptionally high grade of gasoline which he has been securing from the Lesh refining division of the National Oil company here. These young ladies are employed in the Lesh refinery office. Aviator Kite is delighted with the superior quality of the Lesh gasoline, which he says “is the best that has been used in his engine since he struck this state, and as good as any that he has ever used.”
AVIATOR KITE TO PAWHUSKA
He Flew to Winfield, But Another Machine Was There
Mr. and Mrs. Warren Kite, the aviator and his wife, who have been here for the last several days, flew to Pawhuska Monday afternoon July 28th where he will take up passengers. His mechanician, G. Caton, preceded him there yesterday.
Aviator and Mrs. Kite and Mr. Caton went to Winfield Sunday, but they found another aviator had arrived first and they returned here. Mr. Kite was in an automobile accident while there. He was going to town in a big Cadillac to buy some gasoline for his machine when the car turned over. He was not hurt.
Quite a number of persons flew Saturday and Sunday with Aviator Kite, but all of their names could not be obtained. The Misses Frances Carlton, Ruby Brooks, Ted Carlton, and Dorothy Brooke took the tail spin.
Harold Hill, six-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Hill, went up with the aviator and greatly enjoyed the trip. He was the youngest chap in the city to go air planing.
Aviator Kite’s airship was slightly damaged Saturday night by a cow, which hooked its horns into the wings and walked on the rudder and elevator. Evidently the animal resented the invasion of its green pastures by the strange looking object. The damage was soon repaired.
Stunt Flying by a Woman
Mrs. Wilbur (Pete) Hill went stunt flying with Aviator Kite Saturday afternoon. All the various stunts, including the loop, nose dive, tail spin, and Immelman turn were done for her and she is the only young woman in the city who had this thrilling experience. She says the sensations described by the Traveler reporter a few nights ago were not overdrawn. Mrs. Hill’s husband is an experienced flyer and she has now become as great an enthusiast for the game as he.
CAME HOME IN AIRPLANE
Cecil Lucas, Back from Overseas, Is Now at Fort Sill.
Much has been said and written recently in regard to the aviator of today sailing home in his airplane for a visit with his parents and other relatives, but the reality of this saying was carried out one day very recently when a Kay County boy flew home in his army plane and landed on the farm for a several days stay. The young man in question was Cecil Lucas. He is a son of Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Lucas, of nine miles southeast of the city. He is now located at Fort Sill, Okla., but he has been overseas and served his country well and successfully. The young man is well known in the city. He was on the firing line when the first American troops opened fire on the Germans, and he was there when the last shots were fired and the armistice was signed.
A few days ago Cecil flew from Fort Sill to the home of his parents, being on furlough at the time, and landed in the farm pasture. His parents, brothers, and sisters knew of his intended visit and were looking for his airship to come in. Relatives and friends gathered around the plane to greet the army hero flier and he was given a royal welcome home, amid many tears of joy and happiness. The dear old mother clasped her son in her arms, and the boy who served his country against the inhuman Hun keenly felt once more the love and kindness of home folks and home ties.
Before returning to Fort Sill, Cecil gave the residents of Newkirk, Ponca City, and Blackwell a great thrill by giving exhibitions at each of these Kay County towns with his army plane. The young man probably will be discharged from service in the near future and he will then return to the farm.
Arkansas City Traveler, August 6, 1919.
FLIES AROUND PIKES PEAK
Former A. C. Boy First to Perform the Daring Stunt.
Alexander Lendrum, formerly an Arkansas City boy, residing at 314 South B street, has won national fame by circling the summit of Pikes Peak in a Curtiss Oriole three-seated biplane with an observer, at an altitude of 15,400 feet. It is the first time the feat has ever been accomplished. It is considered an extremely dangerous stunt on account of so many air pockets to go through.
Alex Lendrum is a son of James Lendrum, formerly general foreman of the Santa Fe shops in this city. An account of his air exploit is contained in a Colorado Springs newspaper received from J. F. Hoffman by W. H. Nelson. The Lendrums were neighbors of the Nelson family when they lived here.
Arkansas City Traveler, Friday, August 8, 1919.
The Best Gasoline in Kansas.
That’s What Aviator Kite Says of the Lesh Product.
“Lesh gasoline has the greatest power and biggest kick in it of any gasoline I have used in my engine in this state,” says Aviator Warren Kite, who is taking passengers up in this city in his American made Curtiss ship at present. His verdict of the Lesh gasoline was endorsed by his mechanician, G. Caton, who said it was as good as any gasoline that has ever been used in the engine, and better than any other brand he had used in this state. It was first used by them at Belle Plaine and they immediately noticed the difference. It has unlimited power and a greater amount of “pep” than any gasoline they had previously used.
Which is being used by Aviator Kite, is not a special gasoline, but the very same gasoline that you use in your automobile.
Drive Up and Get a Filling at the Following Places
BIGLEY FILLING STATION
HILL-HOWARD MOTOR CO.
COLLINSON AUTO CO.
RED CROSS GARAGE
UNION MOTOR CO.
Lesh Gasoline and Oil
“BEST BY TEST”
The Lesh Refining Division Of the National Oil Company
Arkansas City Traveler, August ??, 1919.
AERIAL MAIL SERVICE
Topeka, Aug. 13.—The contract between this city and the United States government for aerial mail service includes the provision that the city shall maintain a landing field. This field was selected recently by a representative of the aerial mail service, who chose a pasture about three miles from the post-office. It is estimated this will require an outlay of $2,000 a year by the city.
According to plans outlined to the city, Topeka is to become a terminal for the aerial mail service and as such will be the home station for not less than five big government planes and the services of a staff of at least 20 clerks, mechanics, and pilots will be required. Also, it will be necessary for the government to provide hangars and machine shops for the planes.
Postmaster Rigby says the aerial mail service to Topeka probably will be started about October 1.
Arkansas City Traveler, October 25, 1919.
FLEW HERE TO TRADE
Arkansas City had visitors from abroad yesterday and today to take advantage of the trade week specials, who came by the air route. Mr. and Mrs. Bagwell, of Fairfax, Okla., flew to the city yesterday afternoon in their own machine and spent the afternoon shopping with the local merchants. Mr. Bagwell landed on the hill north of the city and he thought it was a fine landing field. Late in the day yesterday Roy McElhinney, a local auto liveryman, rode with Mr. Bagwell in the airplane as a passenger.
Arkansas City Traveler, October 31, 1919.
TO ESTABLISH AVIATION HERE
Arkansas City is going to have aviation established here in the next week or two if the Chamber of Commerce accepts the proposition of Errett Williams of Fort Worth, Texas, and Wilbur (Pete) Hill of this city. All the chamber is asked to do is to buy or lease the landing field north of the city where Williams and Hill will build hangers and go into the business of exhibition flying, teaching, and selling.
Arrangements have been completed for an exhibition flight here in November. Zeno Michaels, a former Ringling circus acrobat of international fame, will stand on the wings while the aeroplane piloted by Errett Williams is breezing through the air at terrific speed. He will do a lot of novelty and daring stunts on the plane and he will drop 5,000 bills bearing advertising matter of local firms.
He will pull off a parachute jump in the air, dropping from the aeroplane to the ground in the parachute.
Seven towns were bidding for Lieutenant Williams, but he preferred to come to Arkansas City. He was in the city yesterday but he has gone to Fairfax to get his machine. He served in the war and saw active service at the battlefront in France. He is an experienced flier and knows the air as well as the pedestrian knows the ground.
“Pete” Hill has had experience as a flier and he is an expert mechanic on an airplane. Williams is coming here particularly on account of this being the home of Hill. They are old school chums and will make a fine team in this venture.
Mr. Hill said if the landing field is provided for them, they will immediately begin the construction of the hangers and shop and a storehouse for supplies which will be furnished to transient aviators. They will bring three airships here at once and they will take the agency for the Curtiss make of ship and also another aeroplane. The Arkansas City Aviation Co., will be the name of their firm. Hill has had a dream for some time of getting into the game and it now looks like it is going to be realized. He is ablaze with enthusiasm in this enterprise.
It will be announced in a few days whether the Chamber of Commerce can secure the landing field for the proposed company.
It will be a big advertisement to have aviation established here, and a drawing card that will bring hundreds of people to the city and the stores will profit from the enterprise. Exhibition flights will be given all over this part of the country and it will advertise this city extensively. Lessons in aeroplaning will be taught by Williams and Hill. They will have a regular school in aviation like the instruction that is given at Dewey, Oklahoma. This will attract prospective fliers to the city and perhaps some of the young men who live here will take up the game. Hill has his heart set on the proposition going through and it is believed the Chamber of Commerce will not let this big thing get away from the town.
Mr. Hill stated this afternoon that passengers will be carried November 11th, like Lieut. Warren Kite did when he was here several weeks ago.
Arkansas City Traveler, November 5, 1919.
THRILLING JUMP FROM SKY
Roy Burford, manager of the Rex Theater, has completed arrangements for the most thrilling sight the people of Arkansas City have ever seen here Armistice Day, Nov. 11th at 4:30 o’clock, when a drop of 3,000 feet will be made by the performer he has secured with only the aid of a huge umbrella. The first person alighting will be given 10 passes to the “Miracle Man,” the greatest picture Manager Burford has ever booked for his theater.
Aviator Errett Williams will pilot the ship when the performer makes the death defying leap from the clouds. The descension will be made from as near over the center of the city as possible so that everyone may see it. At first Mr. Burford declined to engage the sensational act on account of the peril involved in the stunt, but evidence was produced to him to show that it had been done a number of times and he agreed to let the people here see it.
In addition to this spectacular performance, Zeno Michaels, formerly a leading acrobat of Ringling Bros. Circus, will perform stunts in the air on the flying aeroplane that will make the crowd hold its breath.
Mr. Burford engaged the act described above because he thought it was such a miracle performance that it would fit nicely into his advertising scheme for “The Miracle Man,” for surely none but a miracle man would attempt to defy death in such a sensational manner.
Aviator Williams and Mr. Hill said today that doctors will be taken on hurry up out-of-town calls in their aeroplane. This will be a regular service established by them here.
Quite a lot of interesting history is connected with the airship which will be used on Armistice Day. It formerly belonged to the late Vernon Castle and was constructed especially for him by the Curtiss company. It was his private machine and was used by him on special exhibition flights.
The construction of the hangars on the aviation grounds north of the city will begin in a few days. Three or four ships will be kept here all the time as Williams and Hill will sell planes and also teach flying in addition to their other activities. Supplies for aviators passing through here will be kept at the landing field all the time.
The Chamber of Commerce is leasing the field for Williams and Hill.
Proclaimed a Holiday
The mayor is proclaiming Tuesday, November 11th, a holiday, and asking all places of business and public buildings to close at 11 o’clock to celebrate the remainder of the day. The significance of 11 o’clock is due to the fact that the armistice was signed at that hour on the 11th of November, and the 11th month of the year, 1918.
E. L. McDowell acted as chairman and the committee appointed by him to plan for the celebration is as follows: Dr. E. F. Day, chairman, Robert Cox and John N. Floyd, representing Shelton Beaty post of the American Legion, and H. S. Collinson and Mrs. C. N. Hunt.
Only a tentative program had been arranged as yet today, but the committee will meet again tonight at Dr. Day’s office and arrange a definite program.
It is planned to have a big parade, in charge of John Floyd, in which the school children, Red Cross, members of American Legion and all ex-service men, and any organization that may desire, participate. The Chilocco band and students will be invited to join in the celebration and procession which is scheduled to take place at 2 o’clock.
Marvelous Stunts in Air
From 3 to 4 o’clock Aviator Williams and Zeno Michaels, acrobat, will perform thrilling stunts in the air. This will be a great attraction and is expected to draw a huge crowd of out-of-town people.
In the evening it is planned to have a musicale at the auditorium of the high school at 8 o’clock, and perhaps two or three dance halls in the city will be engaged for dancing after 9 o’clock. None of the attractions will cost anything.
Dr. Day was trying today to arrange a boxing match between two fast and clever lightweights he saw in action while he was in the service at Fort Worth. If they can be secured, the bout will be staged at the Fifth Avenue theatre at 10 o’clock.
Possibly a track meet will be arranged with prizes for the winners. It will probably be for ex-service men only and many of them are in good trim for this affair, having had considerable experience in the army.
The finance committee: R. T. Keefe, chairman, C. E. Masters, Foss Farrar, A. H. Dohrer, Claude Vaughan, Roy Burford, Doug Wilson, J. B. Lantz and Chas. Spencer.
To Become a “World Day”
At the meeting last night, Rev. Nichols expressed the opinion that Armistice day would become a “world day” and that all nations participating in the war would celebrate on that day to commemorate the historic ending of the war. He thought Arkansas City should get in on the ground floor.
Dr. Young suggested that a special program should be arranged for observance by the schools on that day, explaining to them the causes of the war and why Armistice day is going to be perpetuated in the world’s history. He said more people in the world will celebrate Armistice day than will celebrate Christmas because the number that knew about the war are in excess of those that knew about the birth of Christ. It was his opinion that this would become the greatest day in the world.
Mayor Hunt expressed disappointment in the attitude of Arkansas City toward the world war veterans. He held the opinion that this city had been apathetic and tardy in arranging a program for Armistice day. The indifference of the people, he said, had made him wonder what had happened to the spirit of the city.
Chairman McDowell and Chas. Spencer blamed the mayor for not taking the initiative in the armistice day celebration. Mr. Hunt demanded to know why he should have initiated the movement, and he told Mr. Spencer that obligation rested more with a newspaper than with him, and referred to the fact that Mr. Spencer had not been so enthusiastic for the memorial bonds as he was for a demonstration armistice day.
The tentative program for Armistice day is as follows:
11 a.m.—Whistle and bells and cease work for balance of day.
2 p.m.—Gigantic free street parade—A. C. band in uniform; ex-service men in uniform; army nurses in uniform; state guards in uniform; Red Cross ladies in uniform; Y. W. C. A.; Chilocco band in uniform; 350 Chilocco students in uniform; A. C. school children; vehicles. Each section of this parade will be in charge of an overseas sergeant.
3 p.m.—Aerial exhibition of daredevil, hair-raising stunts by Aviator Errett Williams and Zeno Michaels, former circus acrobat.
4 p.m.—Band concert.
5 p.m.—Adjourn till 7 p.m.
7 p.m.—Band concert.
8 p.m.—High-class entertainment at junior high school auditorium (west on Fifth avenue); “America” by audience; Robinson and Ogram, whistling and singing; Miss Cecil Day, vocal solo; Dr. Brody, short talk; Prof. Temple, violin solo; Stanley Rotary quartette; Y. W. C. A. open house with musical program for ladies and their soldier friends.
9 to 12—Dancing at Elk’s hall.
11 p.m.—At Rex theatre—Battle royal: five colored warriors. Referee’s instructions (from the side lines): “Whenever you see a head, hit it, and the last man out of the ring gets the money.” Ten round boxing contests; two fast light weights from Ft. Worth.
7 p.m. to 12 p.m.—Carnival night on the streets, confetti, clowns and open house in general.
Subject to change without notice. Everything free.
The state guards will meet and report in uniform at the point where the parade starts and the following will have charge of the parade: Frank Hunt and Forrest Kuhn in charge with these men assisting: Sergeant Branstetter, Cecil Agan, Henry Newcomb, Harry Derry, Roy Lane, Chet Breon, Tony McAdam. Captain Foss Farrar of the state guards expects to have the discharge paper for his men ready for service immediately after the parade, and therefore all are expected to appear in uniform.
The schools will be dismissed at 11 o’clock and the teachers will reassemble the students in the afternoon for the parade.
Pete Hill reports that Beachy Musselman arrived today from Tulsa with the second airplane and it is assured that there will be two, and possibly three, ships here for the celebration.
A special invitation is extended to the veterans of the civil war and Spanish war, and to members of the Women’s Relief Corps to march in the parade tomorrow afternoon.
Arkansas City Traveler, November 12, 1919.
THOUSANDS IN BIG CELEBRATION HERE
Armistice Day was celebrated in Arkansas City by a mammoth crowd that witnessed thrilling stunt flying by Aviator Williams and Zeno Michaels, acrobat, a big parade and a variety of entertainment including a splendid program at the junior high auditorium, and boxing match in the Rex theatre.
Several thousand people saw the parade, the sidewalks being jammed until it was impossible to wiggle an elbow, and a lot of people with stiff necks today from trying to watch the procession and the aviators flying low over Summit street simultaneously.
The parade was led by Forrest Kuhn, ex-service man, upon a magnificent steed. He carried a large American flag. Following him came the Arkansas City band, which arrived late and caused a delay of half an hour in the start of the parade, but they rendered some snappy music in the march.
Veterans of the world war came behind the band, a splendid looking bunch of fellows in uniform and in squad formation, marching with heads erect and eyes to the front. Cheers welled from the throats of the crowd as they passed by. It was a glorious reception for the boys who fought and brought home the “bacon.”
Army nurses and Red Cross women followed the ex-service men, and written into their faces was the splendid service and sacrifices they rendered to support the men in the trenches. This section received much applause.
The Chilocco band led the students of Chilocco, and a more attractive body of boys and girls cannot be found. In their natty uniforms they presented a striking appearance and their marching was in perfect rhythmic motion presenting a striking effect of military training in the schools. The Chilocco band is a splendidly trained musical organization and its playing was a distinct feature of the parade.
Next came the Salvation army corps of this city, and the vocabulary of an ordinary news mongrel is inadequate to describe the respect and exalted regard the public has for the valiant service rendered in the war by the Salvation army. The appearance of the local corps was a signal for cheers and applause. Members of the Elks cheered from their lodge rooms. The Elks furnished scads of money to the Salvation army, which is said by large numbers of ex-service men to have been the most popular organization serving at the front.
The next section of the parade was composed of the Arkansas City school children, the smaller grades taking the lead. Spectators remarked that these children should have been on the side lines for they produced more noise than all the side lines could muster. Their unrestrained enthusiasm was contagious and spectators responded with a greater volume of noise than they had produced up to that time.
The last section of the parade consisted of numerous decorated automobiles led by the Y. W. C. A. automobile float, which was artistically decorated, and it received its share of the applause.
Thrilling Stunts in Air
Two airships sailed over Arkansas City the greater part of the day, giving the final touch to the Armistice day celebration. Advertising circulars and tickets to the Rex theatre were showered upon the people below.
Aviator Williams performed thrilling stunts in the air including the loop the loop, tail spin, Immelman turn, and the famous acrobat, Zeno Michaels, entertained the spectators by climbing around on the wings of the plane and hanging from a part of the machine by one leg. Owing to a misunderstanding he did his stunts first over the aviation grounds and was not seen by the vast throng of people that filled the streets uptown, but the gallant acrobat climbed into the aeroplane with Aviator Williams later and flew over the center of the town where all the people could see him perform. The program in the air gave complete satisfaction, and flying was increasingly difficult yesterday because the air was extremely bumpy on account of the terrific wind; but the daring aviator and the acrobat braved these conditions and performed their stunts according to contract despite the extreme hazards encountered by the wind. Aviator Williams and “Pete” Hill flew over the city for about an hour while they were engaged in dropping the advertising matter from the local stores. On account of the strong wind, it was impossible to drop the bills so they would light in the business section although they dropped them from the air a mile or two south of the city.
The “Miracle Man” made the drop with only the aid of a big umbrella. This stunt created great excitement. It was a dummy, but the aviator and acrobat pulled it off so cleverly that the crowd was fooled. They went up in the air and dropped the dummy. When Williams landed Michaels dropped off the plane out of sight of the crowd, which surged around the ship and tried to find him.
Beachy Musselman, former flier in the army, made several ascensions in one of the ships. He took his mother up with him on the last flight and he said it was the first time he had ever been nervous in flying, but his mother greatly enjoyed the trip and displayed not a bit of nervousness.
Plenty of entertainment was provided for everyone in the evening. An exceptionally fine program was given at the junior high, and a big dance was held at the Elks hall, also at the Yeoman’s hall.
A ten round boxing match between the champion of the A. E. F. and a regimental champ was pulled off at the Rex theatre following the picture show, and it was a fast bout. The boxers were welterweights, and they gave an exciting exhibition of the manly art of self defense. Don Wilson introduced the boxers. Leb White acted as referee and Dr. E. F. Day was timekeeper.
The program in the evening at 8 o’clock was carried out at the junior high school auditorium as planned, with one or two exceptions. The crowd in attendance was not as large as expected nor as large as should have been on an occasion like this. Supt. C. E. St. John, of the city schools, was chairman of the meeting and the principal address was given by the Rev. Dr. Brodie, pastor of the First Presbyterian church of Wichita, who is well and favorably known here. He is an eloquent speaker and is equal to any occasion on subject.
He has the faculty and earnestness to thrill his audience, and having lost a son in the late world war, he is well versed on that subject. He also visited the war zone last year and he always has a splendid message when called upon to talk. He made a short but very impressive address last night. Dr. Brodie has a number of warm friends in Arkansas City, who are always glad to see and visit with him. He has delivered stirring addresses here on several different occasions before this event.
The meeting last night was opened by the audience singing “America.” Then Miss Cecil Day favored those present with one of her very choice vocal solos, which was greatly appreciated.
C. J. Robinson, formerly traffic manager of the Kanotex refinery, and now with the Cosden Oil Co., at Tulsa, rendered a whistling solo that took the audience by storm. He possesses rare talent in this respect and is a high class entertainer. He also has other gifts in a musical way, being more than an ordinary violinist and pianist and has composed a number of clever pieces on the piano. His many friends were glad to see him here again yesterday. The famous Rotary quartet from Wichita also gave several up-to-date and very pleasing numbers. These four young men are quite well known in Arkansas City, especially among the Rotary club in the Presbyterian church.
Following the program at the school house, the Y. W. C. A. ladies gave a reception for the girls and their soldier boy friends at the Y. W. rooms. Many young folks also went to the Elks hall to attend the free public dance given there by the celebration committee.
The Armistice day celebration was a huge success, and the committee is deserving of much praise for providing so much entertainment upon so short a notice. They only had about two days to arrange the program, but they went “over the top” in splendid style.
Arkansas City Traveler, November 12, 1919.
FIRST AEROPLANE FUNERAL
The first airplane funeral service to be performed in this section of the country was that carried out yesterday, when in spite of the cold and disagreeable weather Errett Williams and “Pete” Hill, of the Williams & Hill Airplane Co., of this city, carried the corpse of a little girl from Kaw City to Fairfax, Okla., for burial at the latter place. The casket bearing the little girl was strapped to the airplane and Aviators Williams and Hill made a successful flight to Fairfax, landing within 25 feet of the grave which had been prepared for the corpse. Then the funeral rites were said and the body given over to mother earth, from whence it came.
The little girl was a half sister of Pete and Arthur Hill of this city and was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. M. T. Hill, of Kaw City. Her death occurred on Monday and all arrangements had been made for the funeral on Tuesday, but when the train which was to carry the body from Kaw City to Fairfax arrived at Kaw City, for some reason it was denied passage on the train. Then Messrs. Williams and Hill quickly made plans and carried them out, in the manner described above. They had flown from here to Kaw City in the morning and then after making the trip from there to Fairfax, they had covered about 60 miles in the airplane. They then returned to Arkansas City in the evening, making a total flight for the day, and in zero temperature, of 120 miles.
The Williams-Hill Airplane Co., of Arkansas City, Kansas, therefore claims the distinction of having performed the first airplane funeral the middle west has ever had.
Arkansas City Traveler, November 12, 1919.
To Take Up Passengers
Aviator Errett Williams and Wilbur Hill flew to Ponca City today, where they will do stunt flying at a roping contest there tomorrow. They will return to the landing field north of the city tomorrow night and passengers will be taken up from this field on Sunday. Quite a number of persons have expressed the desire to fly with Aviator Williams and their wish will be granted. He has demonstrated that he is an expert flier and confidence is bestowed in him by the people who want to go up. He makes a beautiful landing and takes off beautifully. He flew a plane at the front during the war.
Arkansas City Traveler, November 18, 1919.
Aviator Errett Williams and Pete Hill flew to Kaw City today in their aeroplane. They will remain in Oklahoma until next Sunday, doing stunts and taking up passengers, and they expect to be here Sunday to take up those who want to experience the sensation of flying.
Arkansas City Traveler, December 1, 1919.
Will Fly at Ponca City
Aviators Pete Hill and Errett Williams went to Ponca City this morning, where they are making arrangements to put on a flying exhibition next Saturday. They were joined here by F. L. Armstrong, who will join them in the exhibition at Ponca City, with a parachute leap from a height of 5,000 feet, from an aeroplane. Mr. Armstrong is a professional at this business and he will no doubt, with the able assistance of Aviators Hill and Williams, put on a good attraction for the Ponca City people.
Arkansas City Traveler, December 5, 1919.
Flew to Kaw City
Thursday morning a traveling man missed his train in Arkansas City, so he made arrangements to head it off in a Curtiss aeroplane. He passed the train at Uncas and landed in Kaw City and was on the depot platform when the train pulled in. Missing the train is not so bad any more if you have the money and the nerve to ride in a plane.—Newkirk News-Journal.
Arkansas City Traveler, December 15, 1919.
Mrs. G. E. Moody is in receipt of a telegram from her son, Dwight Moody, saying that he had arrived at New Orleans from Panama where he has been the past year in the aviation service. From New Orleans he will go to Little Rock, Arkansas, where he will be discharged from the army.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 2, 1920.
Aviators Home From Oklahoma
Aviators Pete Hill and Errett Williams are back in the city after having spent the past few days in neighboring towns carrying passengers. They visited Ponca City, Guthrie, Enid, Coil, and Red Rock, Oklahoma. They reported a good trip and excellent business. The aviators say they had no trouble whatsoever. They arrived here at 4:30 yesterday afternoon.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 3, 1920.
ARMY BALLOON LANDS HERE.
A “free” army balloon, manned by Lieutenant C. F. Bond, Lieutenant T. E. Knode, and Sergeant Harry Gamblin, made a successful landing at William and Hill field yesterday evening at 7:05.
The balloon left Post Field at 5:30 Monday afternoon with New Orleans as the objective point, but the air conditions were such that the balloon was carried northward. A distance of 150 miles was made in one hour and thirty-five minutes.
The flight was made without incident and was one of their many successful training trips. The same balloon passed over Arkansas City about two months ago and landed at St. Johns, Kansas.
Lieutenant Bond was in charge of the crew, and told of their many successful flights, especially a 600-miles trip to the Mexican border a few weeks ago. Regular flights are made from Post Field, the object of which is a more thorough training in this branch of the service. He also stated the government was paying more attention to the balloon branch of the air service and was investing heavily in dirigibles as they carry more passengers, more freight than the airplanes, and can travel as fast.
This balloon is known as a “free” balloon as it is free to travel the way the air currents will have it go. Other types are known as “captive” dirigibles. The “free” balloon has a capacity of 35,000 cubic feet of hydrogen gas, and not having the hydrogen service in Arkansas City, it will be shipped to Post Field this afternoon. The crew will return to the field at the same time. Post Field is a permanent one and has one balloon company and one aerial squadron stationed there.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 23, 1920.
Neal Pickett sold, via airplane, the Eft 320 acre farm 17 miles southwest of Arkansas City to Sam Berry, a prominent contractor and builder of this city. Mr. Berry was too busy to go by train to see the place, the bargain would not last, and the bad roads would not admit of auto travel so the airplane was used. The party left here at 12:10 Wednesday, visited the place, and had landed at the aviation field north of the city at 12:35. At one o’clock Mr. Pickett and Mr. Berry had finished their lunch, closed the deal, and Mr. Berry was back at his work with the consolation that he had picked a real bargain. “It’s an ideal way to see a farm,” said Mr. Berry, and his money talked for he was ready to purchase immediately upon landing. This makes 960 acres of land that Mr. Berry has bought of Mr. Pickett.
This puts Arkansas City on the map as having used an airplane for the first time by a real estate man, and that it was successful is shown by the fact that the land sold readily.
Arkansas City Traveler, February 2, 1920.
Buy New Airplanes
Aviator Williams and “Pete” Hill arrived in the city from Dallas, Texas, Saturday night in a new Standard airplane they have purchased for training purposes at the local aviation grounds. They were in Winfield Sunday where they took up passengers all day. They left for Dallas Sunday night to get another ship. They have purchased six machines during the last few days. Two or three of them have been sold.
The Hill-Williams Airplane Co. and Flying School have engaged Jimmie Ward, an aviator of 13 years flying experience without a single accident, to give instructions to novice fliers at their aviation field north of the city. He will be here next week and he will move his family to this city.
Arkansas City Traveler, February 9, 1920.
FLYING SCHOOL ESTABLISHED
Pete Hill and Errett Williams arrived in the city Saturday evening with a brand new aeroplane for their station north of the city. They drove the machine from Houston, Texas, in exactly nine hours against a strong wind nearly all the way. It is said to be seven hundred miles from here to Houston and this was certainly a record flight with no accidents of any sort. Messrs. Williams and Hill have four planes at the station north of the city now, and they have purchased five others which will be brought here very soon.
Today Messrs. Williams and Hill gave their first lessons in flying in connection with their school of instruction to two local boys, Virgil ‘Runt’ LaSarge and Monroe George, who were the first to take flying lessons here. These two boys were taken on flights above the city this morning and they will soon be flying alone. Mr. Hill says they are adaptable pupils and he is well pleased with the flights made this morning. One of the planes, which was seen flying above the city this morning and which appeared to be very high, was 6000 feet above the earth it was said.
James Ward has been retained by the Williams & Hill Co. to act as flying instructor and he is now engaged in that work here. Mr. Ward is an expert flier and has been operating machines for thirteen years without an accident of any sort.
Arkansas City Traveler, February 19, 1920.
TO TEACH WOMEN TO FLY
Students in flying at the Hill-Williams Flying school in Arkansas City are increasing in number almost daily.
Mrs. Bobbie Jewel of Wichita has engaged Hill & Williams to teach her to pilot an airplane, and she is expected here some day this week to start upon her training course. She will learn to fly from the aviation grounds north of Arkansas City.
In addition to Mrs. Jewel there are several young men taking lessons from the Hill-Williams flying school of Arkansas City, and they are progressing rapidly. A young man by the name of Barrett of Ponca City is a new student.
Hill & Williams are also taking many orders for flying machines. Chas. C. Derr of Oklahoma City has purchased a ship from them and he will send a man here to be instructed in flying.
Aviator Williams flew to Pawhuska and back yesterday with a young man by the name of Revard. The passenger engaged him to meet him at Ponca City today and take him back to Pawhuska.
The Hill-Williams Airplane Co. and Flying School has installed a fully equipped motor school in the Vale & Hill machine shop in the basement of the Dye building. Overhauling and instruction will be given in motor mechanics. The company already has an airplane motor dissembled in the shop and ready for instruction. It is the only motor school of this kind in the southwest, neither Wichita or Oklahoma City having anything like it. Wilbur (Pete) Hill is an expert mechanic and he took a full course in airplane motor instruction. Errett Williams is an expert flier, having been a lieutenant in the army during the war. They make a fine team and flying airplanes here is being very popular.
Arkansas City Traveler, February 19, 1920.
GIVES FRIEND SPIN IN THE AIR.
William Stryker, president of the Security National bank, used a novel method yesterday of entertaining a friend from Kansas City, a Mr. Smith who designed the interior of the new bank. Mr. Stryker took his guest to the aviation field north of the city and engaged Aviator Williams to give him a spin in the air. After Mr. Smith had enjoyed a flight, Mr. Stryker was taken up into the clouds. Both gentlemen were treated to the loop the loop and other fancy stunt flying by the airman, and they greatly enjoyed the sensations that are produced by the airship about 5,000 feet above the ground.
Arkansas City Traveler, March 2, 1920.
PURCHASE AIRPLANE ENGINE.
The Williams & Hill Airplane Co. has purchased a 180 horse power airplane engine from the Curtiss Plane Co. The name of the engine is “Hispano-Suiza,” and is the same make of motor that was used on the battle front. It came second under the class of the Liberty motor. The price of the engine alone is $5,000. It has a 5 inch bore and 7-1/2 inch stroke.
The motor is equipped with the latest and most up-to-date fittings. This and the Liberty motors are the only motors that will climb the height as did Schroeder, just last week, it is said.
The motor is on display at the Vale-Hill garage, but it will be installed in one of the planes of the company for exhibition and school work very soon. This motor will no doubt surprise the people of Arkansas City, as never before have they had the privilege of seeing a motor of this class and it will be worth the time of anyone to look at this motor.
The plane is equipped with an electric starter, as two men could not crank the motor at all. It is also said that the engine will permit the plane to go so high that it cannot be seen on a clear day, and no doubt the people of the vicinity will have the chance of seeing this same plane go out of sight in the air.
Arkansas City Traveler, March 4, 1920.
The Williams & Hill Airplane company of this city lost two high-priced planes last night on account of the severe wind storm, and it is doubtful whether or not the planes can be repaired. The two planes which were blown from the landing field north of the city were staked down, but the wind nevertheless picked them up bodily and carried them several hundred feet, landing them in a ravine and smashing them almost to pieces. One of the planes was a new Standard and cost the company $3,850. The other one was a new Curtiss Canadian plane and was known as the white machine. It cost $2,500. The worst part of it is that the company had no tornado insurance on either of the planes. The young men had neglected to have the insurance papers made out; therefore, they are the losers to the extent of several thousand dollars.
Another plane of the company is now in Missouri, Errett Williams having driven it there several days ago. Pete Hill remained at the landing field yesterday afternoon to look after the company’s property and thought he had the two planes well tied down and anchored. He came into the city at 7 o’clock to eat his supper and upon his return there he found the planes had been blown from their resting places and were practically destroyed. It is certainly a hard blow to the new enterprise and the friends of Messrs. Williams and Hill are very sorry to learn of their heavy loss.
Building Damaged By Wind
The high wind damaged the front of the one-story brick building located at 111 North Summit street, to the extent of blowing off the brick wall that extended above the roof, at the front. The building is occupied by Ellis Billings Plumbing Shop. The brick from the front wall was blown onto the sidewalk between 7 and 8 o’clock last night. Fortunately, there was no one injured by the falling of the brick. The building is owned by Attorney Albert Faulconer.
Arkansas City Traveler, March 20, 1920.
JIMMIE WARD, AVIATOR
Local Flying Instructor Is Oldest Commercial Aviator Living.
“Jimmie” Ward, who is now engaged at the task of instructing in flying for the local airplane company, the Williams-Hill Aviation Co., and who now is making his home in Arkansas City, is the oldest commercial aviator living. He is a real live young man, being 38 years of age at the present time, and he likes Arkansas City so well that he has located here. He and his estimable wife are residing in a part of the Mrs. W. H. Hume (parents of Roy Hume) residence, at 126 North A street. They have two children, who are now attending school in Tennessee, where Mr. and Mrs. Ward formerly resided. “Jimmie” is small of stature, but he is a man nevertheless and he certainly understands the art of mastering the airplane and the air.
Mr. Ward began his flying career in 1907 at Hammond’s Port, New York. He learned to fly there with Glen H. Curtiss and at that time used the airplanes, “June Bug” and “Silver Dust,” the first two planes to be used for commercial purposes in the United States. He came to Kansas in 1910 and first gave exhibition flights in Wichita. Roy Hume, who was in the government airplane corps in Texas during the war, and other Arkansas City people here, saw Mr. Ward fly in Wichita at that time. In the year 1917 he joined the government service as a flying instructor. After that he was located at Dayton, Ohio, on the Wright field for eleven months. He then spent one year at Park field, Tennessee (where his children now reside); then four months at San Diego, California, field; and more recently was located at Dallas, Texas. He is a fine fellow to meet and talk with as he possesses a pleasing personality; and he says Arkansas City is the best city he has ever seen.
Arkansas City Traveler, March 11, 1920.
Monroe George has purchased the interest of Barney Vale in the Vale-Hill garage located in the basement of the Dye building. Mr. Vale sold out on account of ill health. He has been quite sick for the past several months. Monroe George is well known as a mechanic in the city as he has been very successfully repairing cars while working in different shops in this city.
Arthur Hill will retain his interest. Mr. Hill is an automobile mechanic with fourteen years experience. He was with the Western Motor Company, of Springfield, Mo., eleven years before coming to this city.
The name of the new firm will be George-Hill garage and it is one of the best equipped shops in the southwest. Besides just recently installing a reboring machine to rebore cylinders in engines, they are installing a new 15-inch lathe which will enable this firm to make any part of an automobile, a service when parts in a car are broken. Instead of sending to a factory and waiting for the parts, they can make the parts on this machine and do not have a delay. This firm is also getting a reputation on efficient airplane motor repair work as they have done several jobs for the Williams-Hill Airplane Co. of this city.
Arkansas City Traveler, March 13, 1920.
FLY HERE FOR CHOCOLATES.
J. P. Donahue, representing the Kendall Drug company of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Aviator Paul H. Meng of the same place, arrived in the city yesterday evening, making the trip here in a big Curtiss aeroplane. These two Tulsa gentlemen came to Arkansas City for the purpose of purchasing and taking home with them a quantity of the famous Ranney Mallow-Milk chocolate made by the Ranney-Davis candy factory here. Aviation Meng and Mr. Donahue were forced to land six miles south of the city yesterday evening because their supply of gasoline had become exhausted. They landed at the L. J. Pudden farm, which is located on route No. 2, and the plane was left there overnight. This morning Mr. Donahue visited the Ranney-Davis candy factory and made a large purchase of the goods manufactured by that firm. Manager Henry of the candy plant provided the Tulsa men with a large order of chocolates and Mr. Donahue and Aviator Meng returned to Tulsa today, carrying 100 pounds of the chocolates in the aeroplane.
The trip to Arkansas City was made as an advertising feature of the Tulsa advertising club and it was planned for the two men to land in Tulsa today while the advertising club was in session and to carry the candy to the club room. Aviator Meng drove his plane from the Pudden farm south of the city to the Williams-Hill field north of town this morning, where he secured a supply of gasoline and the start was made from that place at 10:25. It was planned to make the trip from here to Tulsa in one and one-half hours. The trip from Tulsa to the city yesterday was made by the aeroplane in two hours, and this is considered excellent time as the machine was bucking a stiff northwest wind all the time.
Mr. Donahue, who represents the Kendall Drug company of Tulsa, a distributor for the Ranney candy in that city, purchases 500 pounds and sometimes more of these chocolates each week. Pilot Meng represents the Southwest Airplane Co. of Tulsa.
Arkansas City Traveler, March 31, 1920.
AN AEROPLANE EXHIBITION.
Arrangements were made today with the Williams & Hill Co. to exhibit at the automobile show, April 8, 9 and 10th, the famous Hispano-Suiza motor. This motor is 150 horse power, weighing less than 400 pounds, belonging to Captain Geymnemer, who is the Ace of Aces, having 96 German planes to his credit. This is the type of motor used in the French Spads as a pursuit plane. During the show Williams & Hill company will make exhibition flights in their new three-passenger plane. They have secured as an additional pilot, C. E. McElvaine, who was a first lieutenant with Eddie Rickenbacker. Lieutenant McElvaine trained under the British flag, was shot down August 1st, when in pursuit of five German planes, 25 miles back of the German lines. The magneto was shot from his engine; and in order to carry out the instructions which every aviator has, “not to permit the plane to land so as to be used by the enemy,” Lieutenant McElvaine drove it into a stone wall. When he awakened, he was in a German hospital; but the plane was wrecked according to orders.
Mr. McElvaine is a banker at Redding, Iowa, and has just purchased a new standard, three-passenger plane, with a Curtiss 90 horse power motor from the William & Hill company. Delivery was made to Mr. McElvaine at Houston, Texas, and he is now on his way back home; but he has consented to stop off and take in the show and incidently show a few thrillers at the same time.
The city commissioners today granted permission to Geo. L. Sayles to use part of Summit street and Walnut avenue, between First and Summit, in order to provide additional room for the tractor and automobile show.
The request for space has been so great that it has been necessary to arrange for tents on the outside of the building. These tents will house trucks and farm machinery.
Arkansas City Traveler, April 3, 1920.
STRING OF AEROPLANES HERE.
The Williams & Hill aeroplane landing field north of the city was the scene of a string of real planes today, when planes from other parts landed there; and it is planned to have the five ex-service men now in the city fly in formation this evening or tomorrow morning provided the wind goes down so that this is possible. The field today was made more distinguished by the fact that five former army men were there at the same time and each of them has a machine there. Geo. B. Cornish, the local photographer, went to the landing field at noon and made pictures of the men and their planes. The members of the crowd, as it might be called, were:
C. E. McElvaine, of Redding, Iowa, an ex-service man who is flying his Standard plane, purchased from Williams & Hill. He took delivery at Houston, Texas, and is en route to his home. He is accompanied by his mechanic. Mr. McElvaine was intending to remain here and give an exhibition for the auto show, but he is compelled to go on home immediately.
S. Q. Noel, of Kansas City, who is flying from Waco, Texas, to his home. He is accompanied by his mechanic, John Rose.
Beachy Musselman, a local boy and ex-service man, who is now attending college at K. U. and is at home for the Easter vacation.
Mr. Zimmerman, of Kansas City, who happened this way and stopped because he saw a good landing field. He also secured some repairs here from the George & Hill garage.
Errett Williams, of the Williams & Hill Co., of this city, is the fifth man. He is well and favorably known here, and is a partner of Pete Hill in the company established in this city to sell planes and conduct a flying school.
While in this city Mr. McElvaine secured the services of a local mechanic, H. E. Crow, of the George & Hill garage, and Mr. Crow will accompany Mr. McElvaine to Redding, Iowa. Mr. Crow is an expert in this line and he will take care of Mr. McElvaine’s Standard plane in the future.
A large number of people visited the field today and saw the planes. They desired very much to witness the formation flying, but on account of the high wind, they were disappointed in this regard.
The Williams & Hill Co. has had built a large stand for the big Hispano-Suiza motor and also one for the Curtiss motor at the George & Hill garage, and these two engines will be on exhibition at the motor show next week.
Arkansas City Traveler, April 8, 1920.
Aeroplane Engine Display.
The George-Hill garage has on display at the automobile show one of the 90 horse-power aeroplane engines which they have just finished overhauling. The engine is a Curtiss Motor belonging to the Williams-Hill Aeroplane Co. They also have on display a new 180 horse-power Hispano-Suiza motor. This motor was the one that was used so successfully on the western front by the allies in the recent world’s war. This engine alone cost $5,000. This firm is also displaying the official insignia of the 95th aeroplane squadron. This squadron is credited with bringing down 54 German planes on five different fronts—the Toul, Chateau-Thierry, St. Mihiel, Verdun, and Champagne. The insignia was taken off a wrecked American plane and shows a jackass kicking the iron cross.
Monroe George of the George-Hill garage has on display at the automobile show several pictures taken of Arkansas City by aeroplane. Mr. George took these pictures while making a flying trip over the city several days ago.
Arkansas City Traveler, April 20, 1920.
Jimmie Ward and Roy Hume Go to Galveston For Airship.
Jimmie Ward, aviator, and Roy Hume will leave for Galveston, Texas, this evening to buy a Standard airplane and to fly it back to Arkansas City. The machine will be the property of a bunch of Arkansas City men, who are buying it for an investment. It will be flown by Aviator Ward in taking up passengers in this city and elsewhere.
Aviator Ward and Roy Hume are both interested in the airship. Roy will continue to work at the Security National bank, but Ward will devote his time to flying the ship. He is an expert flier having a record of a large number of hours spent in the air. He is a careful flier and is considered a highly skilled pilot. Hume was in an aviation camp in Texas during the war and acquired considerable experience in the mechanical science of an airplane. He can rebuild automobiles and do most anything in the mechanical line, having been greatly interested in all mechanical things since he was a small boy.
Arkansas City is becoming an important aviation center. The Hill-Williams Airplane company and school for flying has been established here on the aviation grounds north of the city, and the company has prospered. It encountered some hard luck during the windstorm several weeks ago when considerable damage was done to two machines, but this did not deter the company from going ahead with its plans to put Arkansas City on the map as an important center for aviation activities.
Arkansas City Traveler, April 21, 1920.
Another New Plane.
Pete Hill and Cecil Lucas returned last night from Tulsa, bringing home another new plane for the Williams-Hill Aeroplane Co. of this city. They drove the plane here from Tulsa without mishap of any sort and stopped over at Ponca City for lunch. The wind was so strong that they spent several hours at Ponca City and drove on here late in the evening.
Arkansas City Traveler, April 24, 1920.
DIRECTORS HELD A MEETING.
At a meeting of the directors of the chamber of commerce yesterday afternoon, it was decided to appropriate $500 toward the cost of the construction of a hangar for the Hill & Williams Airplane company on the aviation grounds north of the city.
It is understood that the men who have assumed the indebtedness of the baseball team in the O. K. league last season will sell the lumber in the grandstand for $500 to help build the hangar. This lumber, at present day prices, is estimated to be worth about $1,120. The baseball debts amount to approximately $1,200; and the boosters who stood good for that amount are willing to make the sacrifice sale of the lumber so that the hangar can be constructed.
Arkansas City Traveler, April 29, 1920.
WARD ARRIVES BY AIRPLANE.
Jimmie Ward, aviator, landed at the aviation grounds north of the city yesterday in a new Standard aeroplane, which was flown from Houston here by him. He was accompanied as far as Oklahoma City by Roy Hume, who took the train to this city so he could get back to his work in the Security National bank.
Aviator Ward flew from Oklahoma City to this city yesterday morning. The machine was purchased by some Arkansas City men through the Hill-Williams Aeroplane Company & Flying school of Arkansas City. It will be used to take up passengers. Ward will leave shortly for a trip on the road. He has spent one whole year of his life in the air. He first went up with Curtiss in 1907. He is a careful and experienced flier.
Arkansas City Traveler, May 11, 1920.
FLYING CIRCUS TO NINE STATES
Hill-Williams Company Are Going to Stage Big Enterprise.
The Hill-Williams Airplane company of Arkansas City is going to pull off a spectacular flying circus trip through the country covering at least nine states as follows: Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, North and South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado. It is the first flying circus attraction that has gone on the road so far as known.
In the party will be the following pilots: Errett Williams, Pete Hill, Cecil Lucas, and Dick Phillips, accompanied by Zeno Michaels, the former daredevil of Ringling Bros. circus, and who leaps with a parachute from a flying plane at 4,000 feet, besides walking on the planes and hanging from them while the aeroplane is traveling at a terrific rate of speed.
An advance man has been secured to precede the circus and make the dates. He is L. A. Babb of Wichita, formerly an aviator in the Royal Flying corps of England. He will cover all the states mentioned above and make engagements for the circus. The enterprise will be known as the Arkansas City Flying Circus, operated by the Hill-Williams Airplane Co.
It will also be in the nature of a booster trip for Arkansas City, for the company will distribute scads of advertising matter which has been furnished by the local chamber of commerce. This is an opportunity to scatter advertising over a bigger territory than has been accessible to this city at any time in its history.
The Hill-Williams Airplane Co. was established in this city several months ago and its aviation grounds and hangars are located on a hill north of the city. The young men who own the company are both well known here. Pete Hill has lived in this city for a number of years and is very popular. Errett Williams was an aviator in the army and he helped lick the Germans.
The people of Arkansas City will wish the flying circus big success on their trip for they are all Arkansas City boys and they will put Arkansas City on the map where it probably has never been heard of before.
Arkansas City Traveler, May 18, 1920.
Buys Garage Partner Out.
Arthur Hill has purchased the interest of Monroe George in the George-Hill garage and henceforth it will be known as the Hill Garage. Mr. Hill is one of the highest class mechanics in the city and is thoroughly acquainted with all the business pertaining to a garage. The same courteous treatment and prompt service will be extended to all the patrons as has been done in the past.
Arkansas City Traveler, May 21, 1920.
FLYING CIRCUS AT EMPORIA
Arkansas City Birdmen Will Carry Passengers There.
The advance guard of a flying circus arrived in Emporia last evening ahead of the storm from Arkansas City. Dick Phillips, Errett Williams, Gene O’Michaels, and Pete Hill are the flyers who came to Emporia in two Standard Curtiss machines. The airmen landed at Hatcher Field.
“You have an A-1 field,” Mr. Hill said today. “I never have seen a better one, and it is conveniently located. If your Chamber of Commerce will spend $30 marking the field, it will be a good investment.”
The Arkansas City flying circus will carry passengers in Emporia for two days. The circus has three airplanes. The flyers are Errett Williams, Pete Hill, Cecil Lucas, and Gene O’Michaels. They advertise Zeno the famous aerial acrobat, who leaps 4,000 feet from a moving plane.
Rates are $10 a flight, school children two for $15. Stunt flights, including the latest in air maneuvers, cost $25.
The two airplanes made the trip from Arkansas City in 1 hour and 15 minutes. The time from Arkansas City to Strong City was 1 hour. The trip from Strong City was made in 15 minutes.
“The wind helped us last night,” Mr. Hill said. “We had no trouble locating the field, and the cattle in the field did not make the landing difficult. We always can dodge cattle. They are afraid of airplanes and do not bother us.”—Emporia Gazette, May 19, 1920.
[AD: GEORGE-HILL GARAGE.]
Arkansas City Traveler, May 21, 1920.
Whenever accident or wear makes your car go wrong, bring it in here and you’ll understand what real economy in motor repairing is. There’s economy in our charges and effectiveness in our work.”
Basement of Dye building, 502-504 South Summit street
“The only airplane engine repair shop in the Southwest”
Arkansas City Traveler, May 24, 1920.
Errett Williams, the aviator who went out with Pete Hill and several other members of the party on the flying expedition several days ago, returned to the city from Emporia yesterday, and he is quite sick. He has been admitted to the Arkansas City hospital for medical treatment.
Arkansas City Traveler, May 29, 1920.
NEWS FROM FLYING CIRCUS
Boys From Arkansas City Having Some Bad Luck at Present.
Art Hill, brother of Pete Hill, who is a member of the flying circus of the Williams-Hill Airplane Co. of this city, received a letter from his brother today. In the letter Pete stated that the flying circus, composed of Cecil Lucas, Dick Phillips, Zeno Michaels, and himself, is at present in St. Joseph, Mo. They have been encountering stormy weather nearly ever since they left the city. However, they have made flights at Emporia, Atchison, Kansas, and St. Joseph, Mo. They will leave St. Joseph today. Errett Williams, one of the aviators who started out with the circus, had to return to the city on account of sickness, but he intends joining them again in about a week. Pete stated that Zeno Michaels, who does the parachute drop from the airplane, was injured last week and was laid up for four days. Zeno was out riding on a motorcycle, which fell with him and bruised him up considerably. He is now able to be on duty again, however. Errett Williams is in the Arkansas City hospital for medical treatment at present. He returned to the city last Saturday, one week ago today.
[AD. BIGLEY-LESH SERVICE STATION.]
Arkansas City Daily Traveler, Monday, June 21, 1920.
Are being exclusively used in the operation of aeroplanes from the aviation field north of Arkansas City. Their use will develop the same feeling of satisfaction and security to YOU.
Gasoline producing the maximum of power; Lubricants which really lubricate.
For Sale At
BIGLEY-LESH SERVICE STATION
126 North Summit Street
Arkansas City, Kansas.
Arkansas City Traveler, June 21, 1920.
Many Ride in Airplane.
Pete Hill and Aviator Lucas, with one of the big airplanes of the Williams-Hill Aeroplane Co., of this city, did a land office business Sunday in carrying passengers. The plane was located on the landing field north of the city and all day long the passengers were taken up for the unusual experience of a ride in the air. There was a large crowd at the landing field in the afternoon and there was not time enough for all who cared to ride to be accommodated that day.
The baseball game, which was scheduled to be played Sunday afternoon by the Oak Grove team and a picked team from this city, was called off on account of wet grounds. The diamond at Athletic park north of the city was too soft to play on at that time, but it is said to be in good condition for the city league game this evening.
Arkansas City Traveler, June 29, 1920.
AN AIRPLANE REPAIR SHOP
Art Hill Has the Only One Between Tulsa and Omaha.
Going after and getting the airplane repair work throughout the southwest is what one of Arkansas City’s enterprising businessmen is doing. Art Hill of the Hill Garage, is the gentleman referred to. Mr. Hill conducts one of the finest equipped automobile garages in the southwest and he has now broken out into the airplane repair work.
Mr. Hill has in his employ H. W. Beach, an expert mechanic. Mr. Beach has traveled throughout every country in the world, with the exception of Japan and China. He was a member of the John Willy’s corps of mechanical engineers who went to Europe several years ago and studied the mechanism in the European automobile motors. Later he worked in the mechanical department of the White Motor Truck Co. For the past three years Mr. Beach has been in the army and he was head mechanic at the Rich Flying field, at Waco, Texas. Mr. Beach, besides being a first class mechanic on airplanes and automobiles, is also an expert airplane pilot.
Note - This is the first reference to any person named Beech or Beach. The Traveler mixed up the name: It should have been Walter H. Beech. RKW
The Hill Garage has now in its repair shop an airplane from Smith Center, Kansas, which was badly damaged in a fall, also two more planes coming which were wrecked in falls at Caldwell, and Albany, Mo., to be thoroughly overhauled and put in flying shape by Mr. Beach. Either Friday or Saturday of this week, Mr. Beach will fly over this city in the plane he is now repairing from Smith Center. He will do every flying stunt known to the flying world, testing out the plane he has overhauled and seeing that it is in perfect shape before delivering it to the owner.
The establishing of an airplane repair shop in Arkansas City will give the city much advertising as it is the only repair shop between Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Omaha. Mr. Hill intends carrying a full stock of parts for Standard, Curtiss, and Canuck airplanes. He invites the public to visit his airplane shop at any time.
The late Mrs. Bess Oldroyd had the following interview in her unpublished and undated notes.
“It was about the year 1920.
“Early one morning, Walter Beech came to Art Hill’s car repair shop, seeking employment. The shop was located in the basement of the Dye building at 500 South Summit Street, formerly the Dye carriage factory.
“Clyde Armstrong was working for Art Hill at that time. He remembered after Beech was hired, he asked Art to advance him money, that he might go buy his breakfast before starting to work. At that time Beech didn’t own a car, he didn’t smoke, he only spent money for necessities, nor was he interested in girls. Clyde owned a Chevie touring car, and he and Beech took many rides together.
“Later Beech bought an old army surplus biplane that was in need of repairs. Art Hill let him put the plane in his shop. Beech and others, including Clyde, worked nights repairing the plane. They were called “rags and sticks” planes, since the wings were a wooden frame, covered with a canvas-like material. The material was stretched tightly over the frame, then coated with a shellac-like liquid called “dope.” The “dope” would shrink the fabric, making it exceedingly tight on the frame. It also water proofed the fabric.
“When Beech was ready to start on his barnstorming tour of the country, he wanted Clyde to go with him; however, he declined because his mother was in poor health.
“Such are some of the remembrances of when Walter Beech was in Arkansas City, as told to me by my late husband, Clyde P. Armstrong.”
[Signed] Irene Armstrong.
Arkansas City Traveler, June 30, 1920.
TO WINFIELD IN 6 MINUTES
Jim Ward and Roy Hume Take Carl Kinslow On His First Plane Ride.
This is Essex week all over the world and every Essex dealer is supposed to demonstrate the endurance, speed, power, and the economy of this wonderful four cylinder car.
Carl Kinslow of the Kinslow Motor Co. had planned to race the Essex against an airplane between this city and Winfield. He, Jimmie Ward, pilot, and Roy Hume, manager of the Arkansas City Aerial Co., left Arkansas City at nine o’clock to go to Winfield to make the necessary arrangements for publicity, etc. The three of them climbed into the Arkansas City Aerial Co. plane, (Note: This is the first appearance of a second airplane company. RKW.) piloted by Jimmie Ward, and started to Winfield. After arriving in Winfield, they could not find a landing place and returned to the city. The race was scheduled for tomorrow afternoon, but it has been called off because the necessary arrangements could not be completed by that time and could not be postponed until later in the week as Mr. Ward with his machine is going on a tour Friday morning. The Essex will race the plane later. Mr. Kinslow will have the Essex perform some other sensational feat before the week is over.
This morning’s ride was Mr. Kinslow’s first, and he is wild over the flying sport. He said they flew to Winfield in six minutes this morning and it was the finest ride he has ever taken. Carl said you couldn’t appreciate the beautiful scenery of Cowley County until you observed it from an airplane.
Arkansas City Traveler, July 2, 1920.
Fly to La Junta in 5 Hours.
Pete Hill, of the Williams-Hill Aeroplane Co., received word this morning from Errett Williams, stating that he arrived in La Junta, Colorado, in fine shape. Errett left the flying field here yesterday morning at 5:30 o’clock and made the trip to La Junta in 5 hours and 20 minutes. He will do stunt flying at the celebration at La Junta the Fourth of July.
Arkansas City Traveler, July 2, 1920.
Art Hill, of the Hill garage, received one of the finest lathes ever placed in an automobile repair shop this morning. He ordered the lathe last January and just received it. It is a Carroll-Jamieson lathe and cost Mr. Hill $1,100.
Arkansas City Traveler, July 4, 1920.
THE FIRST MILITARY FUNERAL.
Private Albert Campbell, who died in France in October 1918, was buried in Arkansas City yesterday by the Shelton Beaty post of the American Legion with full military honors. The services bore the usual impressiveness of a military funeral. Many people of the city realized for the first time the solemnity and the appropriateness of such a ceremony, this being the first military funeral ever conducted here. The American Legion and all who assisted deserve praise for the creditable manner in which all the details of the ceremony were observed. Sergt. Roy Branstetter was in charge of the military formation.
The body of Private Campbell lay in state at the Presbyterian church from 10 o’clock in the morning until 3 p.m., the hour of the funeral. During this time an armed guard of honor was present at the church, and the flags all over the city were flown at half mast.
The members of the legion met at the club rooms in full uniform and marched to the church in a body. Several members of the post served as ushers at the church. There were fifty or more ex-service men in uniform who participated in the ceremony.
The ladies’ auxiliary, which had charge of the services at the church, and the Daniels professional band, which furnished the music for the procession, also proceeded to the church in a body.
The church was entirely filled with friends of the family and others who desired to show their respect for the soldier who gave his life in the world war. The Rev. J. E. Henshaw, a former pastor of the Christian church here, preached the sermon, which consisted of some fitting remarks appropriate to the occasion. The music for the services was given by a quartet composed of Mr. and Mrs. R. Otis Fowler, Mrs. Fred Gould, and J. Harry Oldroyd. Two beautiful selections were sung by the quartet. Prof. E. M. Druley was at the pipe organ. Following the church services, which lasted about an hour, the band, in charge of Director A. C. Montin, took a position in the street facing the church, while the members of the legion took a corresponding position in line to the right of the band.
The military escort formed on the steps of the church in two parallel lines facing each other. The flag draped casket was born through the two lines of the escort and was placed on a caisson, which was draped in black. The pall-bearers were members of the Legion especially selected for the occasion. While the casket was being placed on the caisson, the band played “Nearer My God To Thee,” the escort presented arms, and the members of the Legion stood at attention and saluted.
The procession passed up Adams avenue to Summit street and then went north on Summit. First in line was the band in uniform, which played a funeral dirge during the procession. The work of the band on this occasion showed the careful training of Director Montin, who has had a number of years of experience with army bands. Following the band came the firing squad, and after them the caisson and pall bearers. The caisson was drawn by two teams of horses with mounted men. Behind this marched the legion in column, and after them the mourners. A large number of cars bearing friends and attendants at the ceremonies drew up the rear of the procession.
A couple of airplanes hovered over the line of march and followed the procession to the cemetery to drop flowers on the grave. One of the machines was piloted by Pete Hill, and the other by Walter H. Beach, accompanied by Art Hill.
At Vine avenue, the members of the legion entered automobiles furnished by the chamber of commerce and were transported to the gates of the cemetery, where the march to the grave was resumed. The band, the members of the legion, and the firing squad — in charge of Sergt. Branstetter, were grouped around the grave. The services at the grave were in charge of Colonel Griffith of Wichita, who presided as chaplain, and who conducted the brief rites prescribed by military regulations.
Following the lowering of the casket, the firing squad fired three volleys over the grave, and the impressive ceremony was concluded by the blowing of taps by the bugler, A. J. Bredenkamp.
Arkansas City Traveler, July 6, 1920.
JIMMIE WARD INJURED.
Jimmie Ward, pilot for the Arkansas City Aerial company, suffered a painful accident at Newkirk yesterday when he caught his hand in the propeller of his machine while cranking it preparatory to a flight. The little finger and a small portion of his left hand were cut off. Ward was in this city all last week, and made several flights to neighboring points with Roy Hume, who is one of the members of the aerial company, and other Arkansas Cityans. Ward was brought to this city and placed in the A. C. hospital. He is reported to be getting along all right at present.
Jimmie Ward is well and favorably known here, as he has made this city his home for some time past. He is an aviator with many years of experience and has been fortunate in not having an accident of any serious nature before. His friends will hope for his speedy recovery and all will be glad to see him once more on the flying field in the very near future.
Arkansas City Traveler, Monday, July 19, 1920.
ZENO MEETS HORRIBLE DEATH.
Elmer Michaels, better known as “Zeno,” daredevil wingwalker and circus performer, was instantly killed at Winfield last Saturday afternoon when the wing skid on which he was performing when flying at a height of 800 feet gave way. His body plunged into a clump of trees just behind the grandstand, which was filled with spectators.
The hundreds who packed the grandstand at the fairgrounds there when the round-up was being held were horrified to see the acrobat’s body suddenly separate from the airplane and plunge earthward. Men groaned and women fainted as Michaels’ body crashed into the clump of trees in plain view of everyone.
The pilot was not injured, as the plane was not disturbed in the flight by the fall of Michaels.
Michaels and Errett Williams, his pilot, had staged similar stunts at Arkansas City that morning, says the report from Winfield.
The airplane performer’s home was in Bethany, Missouri. He was 25 years of age and during the war was with company G of the thirty-fifth division. He was formerly an acrobat engaged by Ringling Brothers circus.
The people of this city and vicinity were shocked and more than startled at the news of the sudden and untimely death of Zeno, as he had become well acquainted here. He had been in and out of this city for the past several months and many people here knew of him as the daredevil of the air. That he gave his life for the amusement of the masses, there is no doubt, and it is safe to say that everyone who had ever seen him perform in the air was anxious to see him again, as they are anxious to see the airplanes time after time. It is said that Zeno was a daredevil in the real sense of the word, and that he thought or cared little for the dangers of the pastime he chose to indulge in. He did not seem to realize the dangers of the stunts he pulled off in midair, and he did not seem to care, taking it as a matter of course much in the same manner as a railroad man takes to his work when he is in danger at all times and must watch every step and movement lest he make a slight mistake and forever do away with his earthly career.
In fact, it is said by Zeno’s associates that he had been instructed and warned not to hang onto the wing skid piece, which was made of wood, and was not intended for such use. He weighed about 170 pounds, it is said, and the small piece of wood could not hold his weight. The wing skids on some of the planes are made of metal, but not so with those on this plane. It is further stated by the associates of Zeno that he was not engaged to perform at the Winfield show, but that he happened to be there and went up with Errett Williams of his own accord. There were three planes at the show at that time and they were arranging to form and fly in formation at the time the fatal accident occurred. Williams did not know that Zeno was hanging on the wing skid; but when the acrobat fell, the man at the steering gear realized it at once. There was, however, no possible chance for any of the other planes to get under the man and make an attempt to save him. One of the planes made a dash as though to get under him, but this was impossible as it is said that the man was only about five seconds in descending to the ground from the plane. Pete Hill, who was in the city this morning, reported that the man had no life insurance. Williams, Beach, Phillips, and Walker were the men who were engaged to put on the airplane show at Winfield that day, Mr. Hill states.
Elmer Michaels, alias “Zeno,” had been a natural acrobat all his life, it is said, and he had performed many different kinds of stunts in his lifetime. He was with Ringling Bros. circus a number of years and he joined the army in the recent world war. He served in the 35th division with Co. G, and was a motorcycle messenger. Pete Hill says that Zeno fell about 1,000 feet instead of 800 feet, as the first report stated. The fatal accident occurred at 4:30 in the afternoon.
Many Arkansas City people saw Zeno the last time he appeared here, which was last Saturday about the noon hour, and he was seen hanging by his toes from the airplane as it hovered over the business section of this city.
The body of the acrobat was taken to Bethany, Mo., the home of his mother, being escorted there by Mr. and Mrs. Errett Williams. The mother of the young man was notified of his sad ending last Saturday evening over the telephone, and she ordered the body sent home for burial.
Examination of the body of Zeno on Sunday showed that every bone in the body was broken with the exception of the right arm. His face was crushed beyond recognition, it is said. His body struck a tree—and the limb which he hit and which was at least 8 inches thick, was broken off entirely.
Arkansas City Traveler, July 19, 1920.
A. C. Airplane Damaged.
Roy Hume of the Security National bank, who is one of the promoters of the airplane industry in Arkansas City, received some bad news today concerning the new machine which he, C. J. Lucas, and W. J. Weigle recently purchased, and which was being brought to this city by C. J. Lucas, pilot. Mr. Hume received a message this morning from Lucas, saying that he had a crash yesterday afternoon. He said that the light air let him down into a tree, and that the two lower wings, one upper wing, part of the landing gear, and the propeller of the plane were damaged. According to the message, no one was hurt.
[AD. HILL GARAGE.]
Arkansas City Daily Traveler, Friday, July 23, 1920.
[AUTO/MECHANIC SKETCHED IN]
From front to back, from top to bottom, inside and outside, we can give your car the attention it needs. No matter what the trouble, great or small, we can repair it so it will be in as good condition as it is possible to put a car.
“Service is our slogan”
ART HILL, Manager
Basement of Dye building, 502-504 South Summit street
“The only airplane engine repair shop in the Southwest”
Arkansas City Traveler, July 30, 1920.
Pilot Walter H. Beach, Roy Hume, and Miss Mary Huffman flew to Ponca City yesterday afternoon. Miss Aliene Stimson of this city returned here with them for a visit with Miss Huffman, Mr. Hume coming back by train.
Arkansas City Traveler, August 21, 1920.
Will Fly Tomorrow.
The Williams & Hill Aeroplane Co. has a new machine in the city and it may be seen at the landing field north of the city tomorrow. At that time Walter H. Beech will carry passengers and show them the high waters in the two rivers and other places about the surrounding country.
Arkansas City Traveler, September 13, 1920.
Roy Hume and Cecil Lucas, aviators, were at Braman, Okla., Sunday where they spent the day carrying passengers and they report a good business there.
Arkansas City Traveler, September 27, 1920.
Aviator Pete Hill made a spectacular fly in one of the Williams-Hill planes last Saturday night after dark over the celebration grounds on North Summit street, at which he attracted the attention of all those on the ground for some time. The plane made a fine appearance in the moonlight and the sparks from the exhaust of the big machine appeared as a beautiful fire works display.
Arkansas City Traveler, October 19, 1920.
AVIATORS FLY HOME.
Aviators Errett Williams and Pete Hill flew to the city this afternoon from Garber, Okla., where they have been for the past few days, engaged in carrying passengers. They report having had a splendid business there and on Sunday there was a large crowd at the landing field at Garber. There was also a big baseball game there on that day and some other sports events. Williams and Hill flew to this city from Garber this afternoon in thirty-two minutes. These two aviators are about to close a deal to put on a flying circus in a southern Oklahoma town on Armistice day, November 11. Should this contract not be closed as is now expected, these two men may decide to put on a flying circus here on that day.
Arkansas City Traveler, November 6, 1920.
FAST DOGS COMING.
The Arkansas City Coursing club held a meeting last night and made arrangements for a coursing meet here on Thanksgiving day and the following day. At this time the majority of racing dogs owners in this section will be here with their dogs to enter the meet. The Arkansas City Coursing club is expecting at least 100 of the fastest dogs in the southwest to be here for these two days.
Arrangements have already been completed for the setting up of the course and 1,000 yards of new burlap has been purchased to make the course with. The races will be held on the aviation hill north of Arkansas City and a silver cup now on display in the Eagle jewelry store, and several hundred dollars in prizes will be awarded the winners.
The Arkansas City Coursing club is affiliated with the National Coursing association and the course for the races will be regulation size and run under the National Coursing association rules.
Arkansas City Traveler, November 22, 1920.
Greyhound Races on Thanksgiving.
The Arkansas City Coursing Club has arranged for some of the fastest greyhound races for Thursday and Friday afternoon that have ever been run in this section of the country. Fast dogs from all over this state and surrounding states will be here for these races. $500 in prize money and a $100 silver loving cup will be given to the winners. The burlap for the coursing meet is being laid today on the racing course on the hill north of the city. Fifty rabbits arrived today especially for this meet. It is expected that the races will be witnessed by a large crowd each of the two days.
Arkansas City Traveler, November 23, 1920.
BOOK ON LANDING FIELDS
Arkansas City is Listed in This Interesting Volume.
The chamber of commerce has received a new book, “Municipal Landing Fields & Airports,” edited and compiled by George Seay Wheat, and published by C. P. Putman’s sons, New York.
This book explains the needs for landing fields, the present condition of air transportation, and descriptions of field equipment and types of airplane and dirigibles. It also lists the fields that are now available in the various states and gives a map showing their location. Arkansas City is listed in this book and on the map is one of five in the southern half of Kansas. Illinois has the greatest number of landing fields. Oklahoma is among the front rank of states having available landing fields. This is a very interesting book and Secretary O. B. Seyster expects to turn it over to the library as a reference book.
Arkansas City Traveler, December 2, 1920.
BIG AIR FROLIC DECEMBER 12.
Arrangements were completed today for the first real air frolic to be given here, by the Williams-Hill Airplane Co. of this city, the date being fixed for Sunday, December 12, the location of the affair to be from the company’s landing field north of the city and for which invitations have been issued to a number of the commercial and government flyers from all sections of the country within a radius of 200 miles in all directions from Arkansas City. Already it has been assured by the managers of this big event, Errett Williams and “Pete” Hill, that there will be on the flying list that day here planes from all the larger cities and flying fields such as Tulsa, Okmulgee, Oklahoma City, Wichita, and Post Field at Lawton, Okla. These will include regular fighting planes from the government fields, planes with Liberty motors, De Haviland planes, and the famous German “Fokker.” The latter will be something that the people of this section of the country have never before had the chance to see, and it will be a treat in itself to even get a glimpse of this plane. It will be seen in the air stunts along with the other makes of planes it is promised by the management. One of the planes of the local company that will be seen on the field that day is a new one, which has just been received here and which was seen flying over the city this afternoon. It is the “Blue Bird” and is a Curtiss plane. It was also seen at the Derry Top Co.’s place of business on A street this morning, where it was left for the purpose of having a cover made to fit it. The machine was designed by Walter H. Beech, engineer and designer for the Williams-Hill Co.
The purpose of the flying frolic here at this time is to raise funds for the local company with which to erect hangars on the field north of the city. On this occasion the price of admission to the grounds will be $1 for adults and 50 cents for children between the ages of 6 and 12 years. The campaign to sell tickets is now on and every business house in the city is going to have the tickets on hand beginning tomorrow and from now until the date of the big affair. The business men in general and the chamber of commerce are behind the movement to sell the tickets, the promoters report, and it is planned to sell several thousand of them at least. In this connection there will be prizes given to the person who sells the greatest number of tickets for the derby on that day.
One of the feature attractions of the flying circus is the “Human squirrel,” who will be seen in all manner of stunts on the wings of the planes. He will be seen sitting and standing on the center section of the plane while the machine is looping the loop; he will stand with outstretched arms on the upper wing, will be seen hanging by his toes, his knees, his teeth, and by his hands. The human squirrel offers $1,000 to anyone in this city who will duplicate his stunts.
The event is to be advertised in all the papers in towns surrounding the city, and it is expected that there will be a crowd of several thousand visitors here on that day. The loving cup for the winners of the various events are to be given by the business men of the city, according to the present arrangements.
The program of events shows the following:
First event at 1 o’clock—Battle formation of all the planes in the exhibit.
Second event at 1:30—Landing for mark with motor from 1,000 feet. This is open to all. Parachute jump at 2 o’clock and at 2:30. This is to be one of the most exciting events of the entire day, it is said.
Third event at 2:30—Will be a 30 miles derby free for all, with a loving cup for the prize.
Fourth event at 3 o’clock—Will be consecutive take offs and landings, points to be judged as follows: Time, one point; take off, one point; landing, three points. Prize: a loving cup.
Fifth event at 3:30—15 mile handicap, open races free for all. Prize: a loving cup.
At 4 o’clock will come the thriller—The human squirrel in all manner of stunts.
Sixth event at 4:30—Looping contest, from 2,500 to 1,000 feet, free for all. Prize: a loving cup.
Seventh event at 5 o’clock—Five mile altitude climb for commercial planes. Prize: a loving cup.
Arkansas City Traveler, December 2, 1920.
NEED FOR LANDING FIELDS
Improved Aircrafts Demand Their Development in America.
The World War brought aircraft and their engines to a very advanced state of development in a short space of time; but it did nothing to develop landing fields in America. Aeronautics is in the position of a railroad with its right-of-way and equipment, but no terminals.
Landing fields are as essential in flying as yards and stations are to railroads, as docks and harbors are to steamships; and when fields are established, there is no question but that aircraft will utilize them. Remember there are around twenty-five thousand who at one time were army and navy fliers in the United States. Landing fields will get them back into the “game.”
The example of automobilists who patronize the towns and cities blessed with good roads will be followed by fliers in establishing air routes from point to point connecting all the cities which have good landing fields. One thing is without argument. The locality failing to provide an aerial port will certainly be without this means of transportation.
Landing fields should be established under municipal control by cities and towns. Many individuals and corporations are ready to purchase large numbers of planes and airships for passenger and express service when assured of the establishment of these landing fields. The traverse of the United States by regular lines running airplanes and airships carrying passengers, express, mail, and light freight is dependent directly on the speed with which our country provides these facilities. The element of risk, unnecessarily associated with flying, is at once removed by a widespread network of airdromes. Safety in cross-country flying depends upon the possibility of being able to land conveniently upon properly prepared ground. The problem of insurance for aircraft, crew, passengers, express, and freight is directly modified by the number and character of landing fields over any particular route.
The business and industrial interests of the country are reminded that by aiding in the development of commercial flying, they are contributing in no small way to national defense. The future development of aeronautics and the allied sciences depends on the growth of commercial, sport, and governmental flying. With the best engineering thought in the country centered upon such problems, the United States, the birthplace of flying, is sure to keep in the van of aeronautical development.
Major-General Charles Trencher, chief of the Army Air Service.