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Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015

Building the Vision: N-B received notoriety in Mexico, reports show

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

When I got up this morning, I found myself still spotting scraps of wrapping paper and ribbon lurking under a couple of chairs and an end table. They served as reminders of the wonderful time spent with family and friends over the past weekend, and the realization that I have to try to get "back to normal"... whatever that is. I hope you had a fulfilling holiday.

Turning back to the Civic Center/Nicholas-Beazley Project, I am excited about the fact that we have come so far in the past months, and that we see the remaining one-third of our goal attainable ....with your help, of course. One last reminder, it's not too late to make a charitable donation as we are a 501 (c) 3 organization.

I am returning to The Sampler, a special edition of The Marshall Democrat-News, for the final time, to tell you about a man named Floyd Kuhn. At the time of this 1983 article, Floyd Kuhn was the attendant at the Marshall Airport. He learned to fly in 1935. Kuhn remembered paying $6 per hour for lessons from Lawrence Short, an instructor with Nicholas-Beazley's Marshall Flying School. He reported that in 1935 the airfield was all grass and pilots could take off in any direction.

Kuhn told about planes not having any brakes on them. The tail skid dragged the plane to a stop. Steering was done with rudder pedals, for horizontal movement, and an aileron for vertical. Kuhn said you had to coordinate so as to bank around turns. By lifting the nose on landing, the tail skid would dig in and stop the plane.

Kuhn took lessons along with Virgil Leathers, Bill Brame and Archie Lawless. He explained, "We'd get up in the air and fly around and bump those clouds and the short stacks on those planes would spark and shoot fire. Boy, we were next to heaven and having so much fun!"

Kuhn commented that, "Barling engines run backwards to what ours turn. They were made in England and those English always do things backward. Flying was lots of fun back then. Now, it's all business. It's too expensive now to do for fun."

Kuhn had been a mechanic and was fascinated by the novelty of early flight. He began working on planes and during World War II he worked for five years for TWA doing maintenance. After the war, he went to California and worked for the Probert-Divine Aviation Company. While in California, Kuhn had an engine shop for over 20 years. In 1973 he retired and returned to Marshall.

In the last couple of weeks I have "strayed" from The Marshall Democrat-News articles of the late '20s and '30s and have drawn from The Sampler edition of The Marshall Democrat-News of 1983 and the Missouri Valley College yearbook, Sabiduria, from 1931. Before I return to the former source, I must digress one more time, to mention some of the businesses of Marshall that purchased ads in the college yearbook. I find this past history fascinating, and would like to name a few of the businesses from '31 that now are just memories. Do you remember any of these merchants and/or services: Dr. George T. Nuckles; Collis Photography Studio; Bell's Ready-to-Wear shop; Carlstrom's (Quality Jewelers); Rea and Page Milling Co.; Hershberger's (Athletic Equipment); Hansbro Confectionary; Marshall Ice and Fuel Company; Hatcher Drug Co.; Mark Bros. (Paints, Wallpaper, Glass, and Statuary); Cooper Clothing Co.; Clif. B. Goodwin, Wholesale Grocery; Green Mill Confectionery, Scott Stores (5 cents to $1.00); Daniels Lumber Company; and Call's Café?

Now back to the the history.

May 23, 1929, The Marshall Democrat-News

"May Visit Marshall

"Mexican Representative of Nicholas/Beazley Coming to U.S. Soon

"W.F. Potter, export manager for Nicholas-Beazley Airplane Company, has just received notification of the definite date of the arrival in the U.S. of Manuel Leon Ortega, president of the Mexical Aeronautical Association, and Mrs. Ortega. Mr. Ortega is secretary and treasurer of the Cia Mexicana de Avaicion, S. A., who are the affilifated company and representatives of the Nicholas-Beazley corporation in Mexico.

"Mr. Potter plans to meet Mr. and Mrs. Ortega in Wichita, Kansas, taking them through the various manufacturing plants whose products Nicholas-Beazley handle in the export division. The party will come east, probably visiting plants in Kansas City, as well as the Marshall factory.

"Mrs. Ortega is said to be one of the few Mexican women who is at present actively interested in aviation."

June 6, 1929, The Marshall Democrat-News

"Ready to Go in Mexico

"All Documents Signed Organizing N-B Company There

"W. F. Potter, export manager of the Nicholas-Beazley Airplane Company of Marshall, is in receipt of a letter from G. N. Anderson, Mexico City, Mexico, stating that the last of the public documents organizing the Nicholas-Beazley supply company there had been signed and that operations would begin soon.

"Mr. and Mrs. Ortega will make a visit to the U. S. soon and will probably visit the Marshall plant.

Check this out ...

June 6, 1929, The Marshall Democrat-News

"Carries N-B Story

"Pictures of Local Plant also in Brazilian Magazine

"The current issue of "Automobilismo," published in Sao Paulo, Brazil, carries a feature story about the Nicholas-Beazley Airplane Company of Marshall. The story is adorned with pictures of the local plant and its products."

Although unable to read it, it apparently is a nice story because it occupies a whole page in the periodical."

Building the Vision appears Wednesday.

ANITA WRIGHT, Columnist
Building the Vision