In 1911 Caddo welcomed an exciting visitor to the Corn Carnival. L.D. McKee gave an exhibition of the DeChenne Aeroplane. It was more or less successful as you can tell from these snipits from various newspapers. My thanks to the Caddo Indian Territory Museum for allowing me to scan their postcard of the "flying machine".
Monett Times, Friday, August 1911 (Missouri)
DeCHENNE AEROPLANE IS SUCCESS
The DeChenne aeroplane made some successful flights at Commanche, Ok., last week with L. D. McKee as aviator. They will now go to Caddo, Ok., and will make flights August 24 and 25. The aeroplane company will receive $1000 for the two exhibitions at Caddo.
**The Bennington Tribune (abstracted by Rozell Sangster Thomas)
August 19, 1911
“Caddo Corn Carnival, August 23-26th promises to be one of the big events of the year. They have secured a guaranteed aeroplane flight that will be worth anybody’s time to attend. This will be the first flying machine to fly in Southeastern Oklahoma.”
The Bennington Tribune (abstracted by Rozell Sangster Thomas)
September 1, 1911
“The Corn Carnival pulled off at Caddo was a success, notwithstanding the fact that heavy rains interfered with the program the first day. While the flying machine met with disaster on its first trip, Saturday it put on a good exhibition.”
The Caddo Herald, July 21, 1911
“The big Corn Carnival will be pulled off in Caddo the 23, 24, and 25th of August and will be worth coming miles to see. One of the main attractions will be an airship- one that flies like a bird. It will cost the committee much money to get this, but they feel that nothing is too good for Caddo and her visitors.”
The Caddo Herald, Friday, August 11, 1911 (OK)
(ad) Third Annual Caddo Corn Carnival, August 23rd to 26th Inclusive
3 Days of Aeroplane Flights
“The first Man-Bird to master the fickle elements and cope with the laws of gravity in Southeastern Oklahoma. It’s an occasion worth coming miles to see. Guaranteed flights which means a guarantee against disappointment. Flights on 23rd, 24th, and 25th.”
(article) Flying Machine
“The Corn Carnival Committee has made a contract with the DeChenne Aeroplane Co. for two or more flights with an aeroplane each of the three first days of the Carnival.
This will be the first airship to fly or be seen in southeastern Oklahoma, and the flights are guaranteed, so that you are reasonably sure against disappointment if you come to this Carnival.
The Committee was compelled to guarantee $1000 to secure these flights, but this is just another instance of the enterprise of Caddo people. Nothing is too good for our carnival and nothing is too good for our visitors.
Doubtless this feature will add thousands to the number of visitors who will come to the Carnival but Caddo is able to comfortably take care of the crowd.”
The Caddo Herald, August 18, 1911
“The flying machine will be a feature never before had in this part of the state, and people from a hundred miles distant are expected to come. It is a guaranteed proposition, and if no flights are made the aviator gets no pay. The flights are to be made the first three days.”
The Caddo Herald, September 1, 1911
The Third Annual Caddo Corn Carnival a Big Success
“Last Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday the Third Annual Caddo Corn Carnival was held in Bilbo Park, according to plans. Wednesday was given over mainly to getting ready, placing exhibits and getting acquainted. In the afternoon the aeroplane which had been advertised as a big thing, attempted to fly, but got only about eight or ten feet from the ground, falling into the cotton patch just south of the grounds. No further attempt was made to fly that afternoon.”
(Saturday) “The aeroplane made several straight away flights, going some distance, but hardly exceeding fifty feet in height, alighting in some pasture and returning to the grounds.”
**You'll notice that these quotes from the Bennington paper are courtesy of Rozell Sangster Thomas. I met her at the Bryan County Genealogy Library and Archives where I do much of my research. She was very helpful! She also has a book available that I plan to buy. It contains a lot of information about Caddo and other communities in the area.
The Bennington Tribune Newspaper Extractions
Reel 1, 1903-1911
Abstracted by Rozell Sangster Thomas
$30 + $2.50 shipping and handling
Send orders to Bryan County Genealogy Library and Archives
P.O. Box 153
Calera, OK 74730