Via email from Rob Smith - 12-18-03
The recent attention to the 100th Anniversary of the Wright Brothers first flight led me to research a bit of family history. I was happy to find and read with interest your article on L. L. Walker. He was married to my first cousin, twice removed, Eulalie "Weer" Walker, (nee Eulalie Chivers). My mother seems to recall that Weer was the first woman to fly over Houston.
I contacted another cousin, the family historian, who said that he, too, had heard (but could not confirm) that "Weer" Walker had been the first woman to fly over Houston.
(The death of L. L. Walker, Sr. was noted in the last issue of The Chirp, but no biographical sketch was
available at the time. The following information has been provided by his son, L. L. Walker, Jr. of Houston, Texas.)
(L. L. Walker Sr., was born in Willow Springs, Mo., on Oct. 2, 1888. He attended Oklahoma A & M College, but left that institution to take employment in the construction of the Panama canal. In 1909 he returned to Houston and became shop foreman for the Auto and Motor Boat Works. During that same year, he began construction of his first airplane --- a Bleriot monoplane powered by a Kemp 4-cylinder engine. His first flights in the plane were made in 1910.
(Mr. Walker was associated with Fred DeKor in the Southwest. He flew for his Aero Club of America license in 1915, and continued to fly until just before the start of World War I. At that time he became associated with the Curtiss School of Aeronautics as student and instructor. He was also employed by the Stinsons at San Antonio, and by the government as civilian instructor. He owned and flew various aircraft until World War II, and then resumed activity after the war. A serious illness in 1949 terminated his actual flying although he owned a plane until two years ago.
(At the time of his death on Aug. 5, 1960, Mr. Walker was president of the L. L. Walker Company, one of the oldest continuously certificated propeller stations in the U.S.
(The biographical note written by Mr. Walker, Jr., concludes; "My father found a great deal of pleasure in his association with The Early Birds, and I am sure that the high points of recent years were the reunions he attended.
If you have any more information on this Early Bird,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper