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Friday, Nov. 28, 2014

Building the Vision: Local airport was busy in late 1920s

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Sometimes ... well, maybe a lot of times ... I don't sleep very well at night. Therefore, I am probably one of the most informed insomniacs around. During those waking hours, I hit every news cast at least once, and sometimes more. Good news for me ... IMUS in the Morning is on one half hour earlier now, so I can start watching him at 4:30 a.m. I'm old enough to remember when television was on only from about 6 a.m. until midnight. "The Star Spangled Banner" ended the day, then the test pattern with the Indian stayed on all night. Not very entertaining programming for the sleep-deprived like me!

All of this is leading to the fact that I saw a clip (several times) last night of an air show that had a tragedy. A stunt pilot was the victim of some horrible circumstance, and his plane plunged to the ground, killing him in a fiery inferno.

My thoughts went to the old-time air shows like I have been writing about. I reviewed, in my mind, the antics of the stunt pilot I wrote about last week, who dipped down close of the ground during most of his act. The "Beat Goes On," as they say, and men are still foolhardy and brave in their way. Hats off to those who make life a little more exciting for those of us who are much tamer!

I wrote about a doctor and his son who landed at the Marshall airport at night, and because of the lack of adequate lighting were involved in a serious crash. I am following now, with an article in The Marshall Democrat-News from Nov. 7, 1929, that addresses a temporary solution to the lighting problem:

"Light Nicholas-Beazley Airport Temporarily

"Government Sends About Fifty White and Red Lanterns To

"Be Used Until More Permanent Equipment is Secured

"Boundary lights were placed around the Nicholas-Beasley Airport Tuesday night, following receipt of them from the Department of Commerce by H. K. Ferrill, airways mechanician, of Marshall. The lights are white and red lanterns and are to be used only temporarily and until more permanent equipment can be secured.

"The Department of Commerce sent the lights here after the recent accident, in which a plane was damaged in lighting near the airport after dark, was reported. The plane turned over when it landed in an adjoining field near the airport.

"The transportation committee of the Chamber of Commerce, in whose hands the matter of lighting the airport has been placed, was called together Tuesday following receipt of the lanterns and arranged for lighting them at dusk and their maintenance by a Marshall Flying School student.

"It was stated at the meeting Tuesday that the local airport is the best field between St. Louis and Kansas City for day flying and will continue to be the best after it is lighted. With the placing of the temporary lights here Tuesday, all fields between St. Joseph and St. Louis are now lighted, Mr. Ferrell said. Mr. Ferrell maintains all beacons and boundary lights which have been installed by the government across Missouri."

We'll move on now to a lengthy, but interesting article from Oct. 24, 1929, about the popularity of and activity at the Marshall airport. We were, indeed, a busy little town!

"Local Airport Attracts Many Visiting Ships

"Each Week Sees Number Stopping Here to Be

"Serviced Increasing ... Good Service

"Nicholas-Beazley Airport, 10 minutes south of Marshall, is more and more becoming an important link in the east and west cross state air transportation. Each week sees the number of cross country ships stopping at the airport increasing.

"Last week twenty-four ships having an aggregate value of $150,000 stopped at the airport for hangar service or for field service, gasoline and oil. Following is a list of these airplanes:

3 Kenner American eagle biplanes

4 Barling NB-3 monoplanes

2 Eagle Rock biplanes

3 Travel Air biplanes

3 Waco biplanes

1 Spartan biplane

1 Stearman monoplane

2 Fairchild monoplanes

1 United States Army biplane

1 Swallow biplane

1 Curtis-Robin monoplane

1 Karl Keen monoplane

1 Standard biplane

1 Travel Air cabin 6-place biplane from Canada

"There is a reason for the popularity of Nicholas-Beazley Airport. Here the pilots can secure anything they might need at any time for their planes. The great three-quarter million dollar stock of parts and supplies on hand at the Nicholas-Beazley Airplane Company can be secured within ten minutes after the a plane's arrival.

"Then, too, the local airport has a corps of high-class mechanics available for instant service. Airplane pilots generally are in a hurry and must land and make a quick getaway. This sort of service is found at the airport here.

Many Planes Over Field

"Besides the number of ships landing, there were scores of planes which passed over the airport without landing. Many of these could be recognized from the ground, but many transit planes were flying so high they could not be recognized. Those which were listed follow:

28 Tri-motors

7 Fokker single motors

3 Curtis Condors, two motors

14 Boeing mail single motors

1 Balanca single motor

1 Stinson-Detroiter single motor

"Four 12-passenger tri-motor ships pass over each day. They carry passengers only. Two Fokker Universal monoplanes, 6-passenger, pass each day. They carry mail only. Both of these are cabin ships and are monoplanes.

"Two Boeing mail biplanes pass daily. The big Curtis Condors which fly over every other weekday, are 18-passenger cabin biplanes, powered with two motors. They are the largest ships flying the course at present."

Check this out ...

The Marshall Democrat-News, Oct. 31, 1929 ...

"Rabbits Don't Fly But Do Multiply

"Fur farming is becoming more popular in Marshall. Mr. Russell Nicholas, of the Nicholas-Beazley Aircraft Company, Inc., widely known airplane manufacturers, is developing a modern rabbit fur farm on his airport acreage. His breeding stock of prized registered fur rabbits was secured from the Englewood Fur Farms of Independence, Missouri, through their representative, Mr. Fred Field, 462 W. Yerby, Marshall, Mo.

"Mr. Nicholas has devoted several years to the air industry and has been quite successful in education the public to become air minded. He is planning on giving this new business a few moments of his time. Mr. Flagg resides on Mr. Nicholas's farm just south of the flying field.

"Their fur farm is conveniently located and it is my candid opinion that they will rank among the first and most successful pioneers of the fur farming industry and will do their bit to educate the public to become rabbit minded as there are great possibilities in this new and fast-growing industry," says Mr. F.D. Bauer, sales manager of the Englewood Fur Farms, who personally supervised the delivery of the Flagg-Nicholas stock.

"This is the second fur farming concern of importance to commence operation in Marshall, however, there are a great number of people who have started on a smaller scale. The Englewood Fur Farms have a Branch Sales Yard at 462 W. Yerby, operated by Mr. Fred Field and his sister and one can spend some very interesting moments there. Visitors are always welcome.

"The registered breeding stock delivered to Messrs. Flagg and Nicholas, last week consisted of five different popular breeds of fur bearing rabbits, "Havana Minks," "Himalayan Ermine," "New Zealand Whites," chinchillas, and "New Zealand Reds." The fur of the Havana rabbit resembles the Mink very closely and is used extensively. The Himalayan rabbit comes from the Himalayan Mountains of India, the highest in the world. Its fur is of a silky texture and is used in imitation of Ermine, one of the most expensive furs. The other breeds are used extensively in the making of fur coats and garments.

"It appears that within the year the firm of Flagg and Nicholas, will have another industry that Marshall will be proud of."

Building the Vision appears Wednesday.

ANITA WRIGHT, Columnist
Building the Vision