I need a picture of him. If you can help, please contact me.


Kansas City Times
Kansas City, Missouri: September 21, 1912, Saturday
Transcribed by Bob Davis - 6-17-04
Kansas City Flier Killed at Fall at Shenandoah, Ia.,
Fatal to Russell G.Blair. Had Been in the Business Only a Month
First Flight at Overland Park - Balky Engine Caused the Accident
     Fifty feet above a carnival crowd at Shenandoah, Ia., yesterday an aeroplane bucked suddenly in a gust of wind, the wings crumpled and the machine fell heavily to earth. Death came to Russell G. Blair, Kansas City, 22 years old, chauffeur and aviator. He fell, pinioned beneath the 140-pound motor, his neck broken and his body cut by the propeller. Death was instantaneous.
     Blair was making his second flight of the afternoon - his contract called for but one. The engine of his Curtiss-Farman type biplane, which was built in Kansas City by J. C. McCallum and Frank W. Smith, was working poorly. He descended to a field to investigate the trouble. Soon he started back to the aviation park. His machine struck an air pocket and fell.
Was a Chauffeur for Ernest Jaccard
     A year ago last spring Blair, the son of Frank Blair, an employee of the post-office living at 404 East Twenty-seventh Street, became a mechanician for McCallum. He had been a motor car driver for several years and was a student of gas motors. When the machine McCallum was perfecting was completed Blair learned to fly it. In Coffeyville, Baldwin and Fort Scott, Kas., and Butler, Mo., he made several exhibition flights. In Fort Scott his machine struck a tree and fell eighty feet. It was damaged but Blair was not injured.
     The McCallum company discontinued operations finally and Blair became chauffeur for Ernest Jaccard of the Jaccard Jewelery Company, last summer McCallum and Smith rebuilt their machine, using a Smith 40-horsepower motor. Its speed was forty-five miles an hour. On August 27 Blair made two 18-mile flights at Overland Park and a dozen shorter ones. But his engine gave him much trouble and often burned out. A week ago he was saved from injury only by alighting in a corn field near the park. Blair and McCallum left for Shenandoah Wednesday night and expected to return Sunday.
Was Born in Kansas City
     The young flier was born in Kansas City and had lived here continuously. After finishing the ward school, he was employed by the Brown Book and Stationery Company five years. Then he became a motor car driver. During the last two years he had been attending the Kansas City Business College. Burial will be here."
Information provided by:
Sara J. Nyman, Special Collections Librarian,
Missouri Valley Room
Kansas City Public Library
14 W. 10th Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64105


Daily Journal and Tribune,
Knoxville, Tennessee: September 21, 1912,
Transcribed by Bob Davis - 6-10-04
"Aviator Blair Killed in a Fall"
"Shenandoah, Iowa, Sept. 20. - Aviator Russell Blair of Kansas City, while making an exhibition flight here today was killed in a fall from a height of 300 feet."
Bob Davis

     If you search for "Russell Blair +aviation" using Google, (6-10-04), you will find about 15 links, one of which is very helpful.
History of the American Nation
     The page on the website offers a brief mention of Russell Blair. In addition, you will find a Chapter which summarises the most important events in aviation in 1912. This is really quite a remarkable resource and offers many bits of important information, most notably the death of 46 pioneers. You can access the page by clicking on the title above.

Russell Blair was killed in a crash in 1912.
R. G. Blair's Funeral Today.
The Kansas City Aviator Was Killed in an Exhibition Flight Friday
Kansas City Star, September 22, 1912,
     Funeral services for Russell G. Blair, the 22-year-old Kansas City aviator, who was killed by a fall from his machine while making an exhibition flight at Shenandoah, Ia., Friday, will be at 3 o'clock this afternoon at the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Blair, 404 East Twenty-seventh Street. Burial will be in Union Cemetery."

Blair Family Headstone
Information via email from Rick Graff, 2-17-05
     Russell G. Blair is buried in Sec 6 Lot 6 of Union Cemetery in Kansas City, MO along with many members of his family.
Photos courtesy of Rick Graff, 11-1-06
Blair Family Headstone

Editor's Note:
If you have any more information on this Early Flier,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper
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