Monday, June 9, 2008

Rootbound in the Hills #127:
27 Feb 1990

by Rocky Macy

The dust had barely settled at Kitty Hawk when an Ozarks native began making his own mark in the field of aviation. It was in the fall of 1911 that Hugh Armstrong ROBINSON, son of a lumber dealer in Neosho, made news across the Midwest by flying his "aeroplane" on a solo trek from Minneapolis to New Orleans. At Dubuque, IA, one of several stops en route to New Orleans, the local newspaper gave an interesting account of the sixty mile-per-hour adventure, and a narrative of ROBINSON's life. Among other things, it noted:

The aviator built the first automobile in the southwest, obtained the first driver's license in the southwest, and was the first man to loop-the-loop on a motorcycle. Not only did Hugh ROBINSION drive racing autos and motorcycles, he designed and operated a hydro-curve boat that broke records on the Mississippi River. And, as if that wasn't enough excitement in this young man's life, he also was a balloon and parachute jumper, talents that he exhibited at the St. Louis World's Fair of 1903.

According to the article from the Dubuque newspaper, Hugh ROBINSON built the first monoplane in America and also constructed several biplanes. Likewise, he was noted for building motorcycles, and gained notoriety for constructing the "Globe of Death" in which he rode a motorcycle successfully. Perhaps his most lasting achievement, however, was the design of the apparatus that allowed airplanes to land on ships, a bit of ingenuity that made possible today's aircraft carriers.

Hugh ROBINSON was born in Neosho on Friday, May 13th, 1881. His father was in the lumber business in this area for over fifty years. Any of our readers with more information about this unique individual are asked to share what they know with Rootbound and Lester M. BELL (Rt. 4, Box 4467, Edenton, NC 27932). We'd like to hear more about this daredevil of yesteryear!

LaVerne GOOD PARSONS (5421 Pebblebrook Drive, Dallas, TX 75229) is seeking the names of the eight sons and three daughters of Graham and Elizabeth "Betsey" (SMITH) JACKSON. Graham was on the 1836 Washington County, AR, tax list. He was a justice of the peace in Yell County, AR, in 1843. Who can name those kids?

Another family of interest to LaVerne GOOD PARSONS (address above) is that of Martin and Eleanor Ellen (CLARK) CHILDERS. She settled in Polk County, MO, in 1880 with her son, Martin Owen CHILDERS, and his wife, Sarah Jane COX. Other children of Martin and Eleanor included Mosby J., who died in 1852 in Vinton County, OH, and William Ramey, who passed away in Barry County, MO, in 1904. LaVerne would like to learn the name of the couple's fourth son (possibly "John"), and also wishes to know the place of death of Martin CHILDERS. Which of our readers can assist in this quest?

The Genealogy Friends of the Library (507 W. Hickory, Neosho, MO 64850) has recently announced publication of WWI Biography and Service Records. This two hundred and fifty page accounting of Newton County, MO, soldiers who fought in the World War I is fully indexed and available from the group for the postage-paid price of just $17.50. Copies of The Records of the Bigham Funeral Home of Neosho, Missouri 1916-1945 are also still available from the Genealogy Friends of the Library for $14.25, postage-paid.

The Noel School, a place of learning that is near and dear to this columnist's heart, will be the site of the Noel School Reunion III on Saturday, June 9th, 1990, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. The first two reunions were very successful with alumnae on hand representing every class that ever graduated from Noel. For more information, please write to P.O. Box 308, Noel, MO 64854. We hope to see all of you "Tigers" there - and especially those from the class of 1966!

And what about those other reunions? Just drop a few lines to Rootbound in the Hills in care of this newspaper, and we'll help publicize your big event. We're as close as the mailbox!

Happy trails!

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