Tom McGoey
  EARLY M'GOEY PLANE--Tom McGoey, who died Thursday, built and flew the first airplane in Grand Forks. The picture above shows him piloting his flying machine at the fairgrounds here during the summer of 1911. After a crash that fall in Calumet, Mich., Mr. McGoey quit flying. For the last 24 years he had operated an electircal business here.
Collection of Greg Powers, 9-21-06

>Peter Colovan
Kenworthy-McGoey's Biplane
J. Doug Morgan seated in plane
Collection of Jerry Blanchard, 9-9-09

     Funeral services for Tom McGoey, 61 hears old, pioneer resident and Grand Fork's first aviator who died Thursday, will be Monday at 9 A.M. in St. Michaels Church with Rev. William McNamee officiating. Burial will be in Calvary cemetery.
     The body will lie in state at the Kasper Funeral Home from Friday evening to Saturday afternoon and at the home, 23 Fenton Avenue from Sunday afternoon until the funeral.
     Active pallbearers will be John K. Ness, J. J. Donley, J. J. Daly, James Lyons Sr., A. P. Stump and WIlliam Hogan. Honorary pallbearers will be William Trearmann, John Burton, William Colson, Willliam Alexander, Martin Colton, Dr. E. P. Robertson, Dr. C. L. Wallace, F. C. Gustafsson, Elmer Urrlauf, Lew Taylor, Charles Dow, Henry Hauges, C. F. Peterson, Peter Grady, Al Dunsmore, J. U. Zorkelbach and Howard Mosley.
     Mr. McGoey had been in the electrical business for 24 years, gracing Grand Forks with his presence on March 31, 1914. He was born in Toronto June 1, 1877.
     For three months in 1911, Mr. McGoey flew exhibitions from North Dakota to Michigan, attracting huge crowds everywhere. He built his plane, the first one here and made his first trip at the state fair grounds July 12, 1911. That trip was a 15-minute jaunt near the Bacon farm.
     With F. C. Kenworthy as his manager and Eugene Ester and Al Forsythe as mechanics, he flew before thrilled crowds at Thief River Falls, Little Falls, Sauk Center, Hillsboro, Langdon, Hibbing, Rochester, Superior and Duluth, and other cities.
     He crashed twice. The first time at the fair grounds here and the second time at Calumet, Mich. in the fall of 1911. He gave up flying then.
     Mr. McGoey was a member of the Elks Lodge and the Knights of Collumbus. His home was 23 Fenton Avenue.
from the Grand Forks Herald
Friday, Nov 18, 1938

To Gregory Powers via email
from James A. Davis, Head of Reference
State Archives and Historical Research Library
State Historical Society of North Dakota, 10-12-06
Mr. Powers,
     I was intrigued by your mentioning the background of Mr. McGoey so I ran the obituary search and found that he flew for three months in exhibitions from North Dakota to Michigan, beginning in July of 1911 and ending with a plane crash at Calumet, Michigan in the fall of 1911. According to the obituary he gave up flying at that time as it was his second plane crash. It appears that his total flying career consisted of these three months but nonetheless he was a pioneer in aviation in North Dakota. This is good information for our files. Although his obituary does not state the cause of death it appears to have been from natural causes.
     If you would like a copy of his obituary please provide your address and I will send you one at no charge. I look forward to hearing from you.

     I also ran a copy of the of the Grand Forks Herald article on his first flight and I did find a brief article that he was going to fly in Superior, Michigan on October 15, 1911, so I would suspect that it may have been close to the end of his flying career, which according to the obituary, terminated due to a crash. If I get time, I may run an additional search, but I do appreciate your providing this name and date to add to our files. I hope you enjoy the copies when they arrive.

BackNext Home