Perhaps because of our recent visit to the Tulsa Air and Space museum, I couldn't resist posting this. It isn't really a Caddo story, but surely the folks from Caddo went to Bennington to see this guy!
The Durant Weekly News
June 12, 1914
One Armed Balloonist
Made Sensational Ascension at Bennington Monday Despite
Heavy Wind and Parents Entreaties to Abandon the Attempt
With the aged mother nearby praying for the safety and that something would prevent the flight, and his father offering liberal sums of money if he would abandon the attempt, Choice Holden, one-armed farmer youth, 17 years of age, made a sensational balloon ascension at Bennington Monday in the presence of several thousand persons.
He went up several thousand feet in spite of a heavy wind, made a perfect parachute drop, and reached the earth two miles from the point in town where he started.
One week ago Holden attempted a flight, but was unable to get the balloon to rise, something having gone wrong in filling the bag with gas. This time friends and relatives attempted in vain to persuade him to abandon the flight made dangerous by a strong wind, and good luck attended his efforts.
Holden for several years has been studying aviation methods and once attempted to enroll in an aviation school at Chicago, but was refused admission to the class because of his missing arm. He then took up the balloon flights to earn money with which to purchase an aeroplane. He has a big new balloon on which is painted, “Bennington, Oklahoma” and will give flights during the summer in several western states. It is expected his work, because of his crippled condition and age, will prove a great drawing card.
Last fall Holden made a trip in an aeroplane with an aviator at the Bryan County fair at Durant. His balloon flight was his first original attempt at air travel.
The Choctaw Herald, Hugo OK
October 22, 1914
Balloon Ascension Sunday
There is going to be a big time at the Sportsman’s Park here next Sunday when Choice Holden, the famous one-armed balloonist, makes his first ascension in Hugo. He is going four or five thousand feet high and when he has reached his greatest height he will turn a goose loose and the person who catches the goose and returns it to The St. Louis Store will be given a pair of $4.00 shoes free.
You may ride a horse, run, walk, or any other way to catch Mr. Goose.
The ascension is for the benefit of the Hugo Band and the band will furnish music for the occasion. Come to the park Sunday and see the big balloon go up and see Holden drop from the clouds. The whole thing, goose and all, will be worth seeing and very exciting.