ROBERT "LUCKY BOB"
ST. HENRY

AKA Castle W. Shaffer
& W. C. Shaefer
 
 
 
 
"Lucky Bob" St. Henry
Contributed by Carl St. Henry, 3-26-11
 

 
 
I need a picture of Walter for his page. If you can help, please let me know.
 
 
AVIATOR ST. HENRY AT FARGO, N. DAKOTA, JUNE 9, 1911
 
       Long before Hector Field was built in 1931, now Hector International Airport, the first successful airplane flight in Fargo occurred at the Fairgrounds. On June 9, 1911, Fargo banks closed at noon, stores closed for the afternoon, and the Fargo Forum went to press early.
      Over 12,000 Fargo townspeople gathered at the Fairgrounds where Robert "Lucky Bob" St. Henry took to the air from the grassy area inside the grand stand race course. St Henry made three flights at 3, 4, and 4:30pm in his Glenn Curtiss biplane named Sweetheart. Lucky Bob rose to a height of 1125 feet and flew over seven miles (as far east as the Red River on one flight).
      The next day, the Fargo Forum and Daily Republican headline read "ND Manbird Soars in Air Above Fair Ground."
     In the background are several of the livestock buildings on the north side of the fairgrounds.
 
 
 
 
"SWEETHEART" CURTISS MODEL D PUSHER
 
Story and Photo Courtesy of John Caron,
webmaster of "Fargo, North Dakota, Its History & Images"
I heartily recommend that you plan to spend some time on this interesting website.
 

 
 
BIOGRAPHICAL BRIEFS
via email from Joseph St. Henry, 7-7-04
     Robert "Lucky Bob" St. Henry is my great grandfather. In talking with the folks at the Curtiss Museum in New York, he was born in Nebraska in the 1880s. From talking to relatives, it is my understanding that he was quite the free spirit, living in a number of places around the country while living the life of an early aviator with Glenn Curtiss. At one point he was married in Michigan and had a son, Carl St. Henry -- my grandfather who passed away in the late 1960s (looked just like his dad). Carl St. Henry Jr. is my father; his oldest brother was Robert St. Henry. We both live in Metro Detroit. If you have any additional info on Robert St. Henry, please let me know.
Joseph St. Henry
2084 Huntington Drive,
Lake Orion, Michigan 48360,
248.393.2323.
 

 
 
 
 
"Lucky Bob"
Contributed by Carl St. Henry, 3-26-11
 

 
 
ONLINE RESOURCES
     If you search for "Robert St. Henry" +aviation, using the Google search engine,
(7-7-04), you will find about 8 links. Perhaps the most helpful are the following.
 

 
 
THE JOURNAL OF SAN DIEGO HISTORY
Winter 1979, Volume 25, Number 1
     This page on the Historical Society of San Diego website offers some 39 beautiful and unique photographs which come from their story on "The Only Safe and Sane Method...The Curtiss School of Aviation." It includes one showing St. John and Glenn Curtiss about to take off in one of his seaplanes. Each photo is accompanied with explanatory remarks and is of obvious interest to any student of early aviation and aviators. You can access the page by clicking on the title above.
 

 
 
PROVINCE CAN BOAST MANY AVIATION "FIRSTS"
(Source: The Leader-Postís special issue commemorating the 60th anniversary
of the creation of Saskatchewan. This special issue ran June 8, 1965.)

     This article on the MSN GROUPS website relates an incident in St. John's career which was a surprise to me. The lead paragraph reads as follows:
     "An American barnstormer, W.C. Shaefer, better-known as "Lucky Bob" St. Henry, is credited with making the first really successful flight over Saskatchewan."
     To read the whole story, which is very short but interesting, click on the title above.
     If time permits, I heartily recommend that you read the entire article. It mentions many other "firsts" and names many obscure pioneer aviators and flights.
 

 
 
 
 
I don't know either his date of birth or death.
 
Editor's Note:
If you have any more information on this Early Bird,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper
 
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