John W. Pattison
Collection of Greater Milford Area Historical Society
Courtesy of Suzanne Pattison Zesch, 6-1-08
Via email from Linda Wasson,
Promont House Museum,
(father John M. Pattison, Ohio's 43rd Governor; mother Aletheia Williams Pattison):
Born March 10, 1884, died January 24, 1957 at age 73. His family divided their time between town homes in Cincinnati and Promont, their country estate in Milford Ohio. John W. went to Ohio Wesleyan and Kansas State Universities, then Harvard Law School. He was the Vice President and Chairman of the Board of the Union Central Life Insurance Company. Among his many professional, social and civic involvements, John was a member the Cincinnati Country Club, the Harvard and University Clubs, a 32-degree Mason, and the American Legion.
When war broke out in 1914, John W. was 30 years old. He was rejected for service in the United States Army Air Corp due to illness, but went overseas anyway, at his own expense, as a volunteer YMCA worker. His physical condition was so poor, he was not expected to return home, but after two years driving a truck in France and Belgium, his health returned. He joined the Air Force for what would later become Poland, fighting for two years before finally being discharged with the rank of Captain.
John never lost his interest in flying. He became a Captain in the U.S. Air Reserves, obtained his private pilot's license, was active as an aerial photographer and was considered to be a leader in civil aviation. John W. was one of the founders of Lunken Airport, the Director of the National Air Transport Company and American Airlines, maintained close associations with the Ohio National Guard and was a member of "The Early Birds" and "The Quiet Birdmen."
John W. also had a political career. Like his father, he was a Democrat. He was elected to the office of State Treasurer, but was defeated in runs for Congress and Lieutenant Governor.
John W. lived on Hayward Avenue in Mt. Lookout with his wife Marie and their two daughters. Daughter Suzanne Pattison Zesch is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Greater Milford Area Historical Society and has been instrumental in the preservation of Promont, the Pattison family's home in Milford which is now owned by the Historical Society, where young John spent his formative years.
Editor's Note: Linda has kindly shared this biographical information with us, which comes from the Docent Handbook for the Promont Historic House Museum. In addition, she included the following comments:
"We have John W.'s "Early Birds" certificate on display in the library at Promont. On the Web site for Promont, you will find additional information on the Pattison family."
If time permits, I heartily recommend that you visit the Promont Historic House Museum website where you will find a wealth of information on the house itself and on the family. You will also learn that the Museum sponsors a whole series of events of interest to the community.
Via email from Arlene Pattison, 2-2-06
Editor's Note: Arelene has offered an important clue as to the identity of this pioneer aviator. I can't confirm her suggestion myself, but I hope that someone may be able to help us. I will be happy to receive and to forward any information which you may be able to provide. Thank you for your help.
Via email from Kathy McCurdy, 6-1+08
It has come to my attention that you need a picture of John W. Pattison, an Earlybird. I am attaching such picture with the permission of his daughter, Suzanne Pattison Zesch.
Can you verify that Pattison was a member of the U.S.Air Reserves? If so, we would like the source of that information to add to our research papers . Also, his daughter Suzanne stated that her father John W. ran for State treasurer, but she thought that he was defeated in the bid. Hope this helps you some.
John W. Pattison was indeed the son of Governor John M. Pattison, who died in 1906.
Kathy McCurdy, Librarian
Promont House Museum
Greater Milford Area Historical Society
If you have any more information on this Early Bird,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper