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All-Ohio Chapter History 

Two years after Amelia Earhart founded the Ninety-Nines in 1929, Laurett Scmimoler, founder of the Aerial Nurses Corps of America, got together all the women flying in and around Cleveland Ohio. Thus, the year 1931 saw the birth of what later became the All-Ohio Chapter 99's.

Then about October 1932, the Cleveland Chapter of the Ninety-Nines was founded under the direction of Lauretta who was then the Secretary-Treasurer of the National organization of the 99's.

At the May 20, 1934 meeting of the Cleveland Chapter, it was decided that the Chapter should be open to any woman pilot in the state. In 1936, the group consisted of Anne Barille, Clara McCormic Birney, Abbie Putnam Dill, Mary Winstanley, Leora Stroup, Mary Domin, Helen M. Marson, Margaret Lennox, Mrs. M.T. Davis, Mrs. J.E. Lambie, and Mrs. Harry Playford. Arlene Davis was the Cleveland Chapter's first President. Other officers were: Abbie Dill, Vice-President, Anne Barille, Secretary-Treasurer. By 1936, other members included Mrs. Louise Humphery Lambie, and Mrs. Hazel Huntley.

On June 28, 1936 the state was split, and the Northern Ohio Chapter was organized, and the meeting was called to order by Miss Abbie Dill, Secretary-Treasurer, and Mrs. Charles King, Program Chairman.

The next meeting was held August 1, 1936 at the home of Miss Susanne Grant of Columbus, Ohio. This was a joint meeting of the Northern and Southern Ohio Chapters. The Southern Ohio chapter was organized at the August 1st meeting. It was agreed at this meeting that the Northern Ohio Chapter would hold its meetings on the second Saturday of each month at 1 P.M.

Members meeting from the Southern Ohio Chapter were from Cincinnati and Dayton. Members attending were Edith Lackner, Elizabeth Meyer, Manila Davis Tulley, Nedra E. Lewellen, and Ione Coppedge.

Then a tragedy befell the Southern Ohio Chapter when Edith Lackner, the Chairman, had a fatal accident, In the winter of 1938, the two chapters joined forces and once again became the All-Ohio Chapter 99's.

The official application for Chapter was not applied for until January 19,1942 and was received in Washington, January 22, 1942. The Charter was sent on February 11, 1952. The delay, of course, being due to the war and the general reorganization that had to take place after the war ended.

During the war years, 1942 through 1945, the All-Ohio Chapter did not hold official meetings for it was impossible at that time to obtain an airplane anywhere, and everyone was very busy with volunteer work. Florence Boswell as Chairman did an outstanding job of keeping in touch with the Ohio flyers even though her volunteer work schedule kept her extremely busy. Some of the women served in the WASPs, WAFs, and other military organizations and did some flying and some teaching. Arlene Davis sold war bonds using her airplane to take her all over the country.

After the war the group was reactivated and began to grown and expand, the group worked hard to dispel the warlike aspects of flying and began working with Wing Scouts, sponsoring breakfast flights, etc., and through racing, to prove the safety and convenience of flying.

By the 1950's, the group had grown to a membership of 60 members, all were active women who flew. As the group grew bigger, the activities started to expand to become active in all levels of the 99's, and by the 1970's our membership had grown to 150 members. Some of our chapter members are holding offices in the National and Sectional.

Some of the Chapters activities that are annual are the Achievement Award Banquet, at which time we honor one among us that has been most active in the chapter and in flying in general. Each summer, we had an annual Poker Party, which is open to all pilots, male and female within the state, and promote good fellowship among all pilots with our area. For safety in flying, the All-Ohio Chapter has had an active part in air marking and safety foundations held throughout the state.

The first Buckeye Air Rally was originated in Columbus in 1976 and was held as a speed race. It later became a handicap speed proficiency rally and continued to held annually until the last rally in 2006. In 2007, the chapter replaced the Buckeye Air Rally with a Poker Run originating in Coshocton, Ohio.

Starting in 1985 the Chapter sponsored Flying Companion Seminars. The first was held in Columbus. Other seminars have been in Toledo, Dayton, Middletown, and Ashland.

Numerous Air Marking have been painted. The Compass Rose has been painted at Port Clinton, Mansfield, Newark, Lima, Ashland, and Coshocton, Ohio. We have even repainted some when the paint needed to be redone.

All-Ohio has been active in NIFA. Our chapter sponsored the "Top Woman Pilot Award" and trophy. Joan Mace, former director of the Aviation Department in the College of Engineering and Technology at Ohio University presented the award annually at the NIFA meeting. Many of our members have acted as judges at the events. All-Ohio members have taken part as timers and hostesses for the Powder Puff Derby, the Angel Derby and later the Air Race Classic. Sever overnight stops have been in Ohio and in recent years have Terminated twice at Clermont County Airport, Batavia OH. Our long time member Pat Fairbanks and 49 1/2 Don Fairbanks were the Chairmen both times. Sporty's Pilot Shop sponsored both events.

In 1986, the International Women’s Air and Space Museum originated in Centerville OH. It remained there until it was moved to Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport in the 1990's. Our longtime members Joan Hrubec and Connie Luhta were the original organizers and remained active until Joan's death. Connie is still the President of IWASM.

Dottie Anderson and Jean Sloan have flown 30 Air Race Classic flights. This year they placed 6th in the 2008 race.

We have the following members that have been inducted into the Forest of Friendship: Dittie Anderson, Joan Mace, Bernita Nickell, and 49 1/2 Roger Nickell, and Roger Blodgett 49 1/2.

Many of our members have been longtime All-Ohio 99's. They include Kay Gasker 67 years, Leah Higgins 66 years, Marge Gorman 61 years, Dottie Anderson 60 years, Bernita Nickell 57 years, Janice Kuchenmeister 55 years, Joan Mace 48 years, Clara Claxton 47 years, Pat Collier 46 years, Connie Luhta 46 years, Pat Fairbanks 44 years, Lee Rock 44 years, Lu Damschroder 40 years, JoAnn Stype 40 years, and Vi Blowers 39 years. We thank these women for their dedication to All-Ohio 99's and their efforts to keep this an active organization.

Acknowledgement: Marcia Greenham for keeping the historical record for the All-Ohio Chapter

From Waypoint (October 2008) - written by Marilyn Collette and Sylvia Sears


Last updated: 11/30/2008