Friday, May 8, 2009

The Ingalls Family

William Barber Ingalls (2nd from the left on the ground) and Amanda Reiter (right above the fence post, I think) had 5 children: Fred Arley (b. 1898); Dorothy (b. 1900), Gertrude (b. 1902), Dwight (b. 1904) and Walter (b. 1911).

While at my sister's house, I found a box of photos. The only ones that were identified were these from the Ingall's family.
L-R Dwight, Dorothy and Gertrude. Seated: Arley holding Walter. The one below is Walter with his sisters.And then, this one of Dorothy and Walter Ingalls
I have photos of several of them in 1928 at a Long Family Reunion:
According to my records the blond in the middle is Walter Ingalls (17 years old?)
Dorothy is holding Arley's oldest son Robert (who later became a Pan-Am pilot) and Gertrude is beside her. In the 1930 census Dorothy was married to Joseph Blackwell (see below) where he worked in the shoe factory in St. Louis. Living with Dorothy and Joseph were her sister Gertrude and brother Walter. Dorothy Ingalls Blackwell and Gertrude Ingalls were Bookkeepers at the Shoe Factory and Walter wasn't working. Dwight was also married (Virginia Kennedy) and living in St. Louis where he was a floor manager for a Dry Goods store. He had a son (Dwight A. Ingalls) born in 1929 (the child above looks like he was born in 1926-27)Joseph Blackwell is the man on the left. The man on the right is Arley Ingalls whom my father talked frequently about. Below are his draft records for World War I.

The military "agreed" with him. Although Dad said he went to a military academy, the 1920 census belows (4th down) indicates that he was a student in college at the Balloon School at Camp Osage, Nebraska (he was a sergeant)
My dad used to say that Arley was stationed at Parks College in Cahokia, Illinois. He probably was at Scott Air Base near Belleville, Illinois. While living in Illinois, he might have met his wife Nora Alexander. The wedding announcement is below.

According to the Scott website, the Army stopped using dirgibles in 1937:

The new mission was finally selected in 1921, when the Secretary of War authorized building a lighter-than-air (LTA) station on Scott Field. Chief of the Air Service, Major General Charles Menoher, had suggested the idea based on Scott's central location and good weather, but credit for getting the War Department's approval goes largely to the repeated efforts of Edward Daley, Secretary of the Belleville Board of Trade. With approval, and $1.25 million in funding, the Air Service set about making Scott Field into the first inland airship port in the nation.


In addition to the World War 1-era structures, Scott Field needed many new facilities to accommodate its new balloon/airship mission. The most notable addition was the new airship hangar. Constructed between Sept. 1921 and Jan. 1923, it was three blocks long, nearly one block wide and 15 stories high. One report commented that 100,000 men--nearly the entire U.S. Army in 1923--could have stood in formation inside it. Scott's hangar was second in size only to the naval station hangar in Lakehurst, N.J., the largest one in the world at the time.

A couple of highlights of Scott's LTA era (1921-1937) include the 74-mph speed record for dirigibles, set by Scott Field's TC-1 in 1923, and the American free balloon altitude record of 28,510 feet, set in 1927, by Captain Hawthorne C. Gray. Captain Gray would have set a 42,470-feet world record later that same year had he survived that flight. A series of airship mishaps led the Chief of the Army Air Corps to recommend an end to LTA activities in May 1937, and the following month Scott's LTA-era came to an abrupt end.

The promise of a new mission came on Jun. 2, 1938, when the field was selected to become the new home to the General Headquarters Air Force (GHQAF) which would have made Scott Field the nerve center of the entire Army Air Corps. To prepare for the new mission, the old wooden barracks, administration buildings, airship mooring mast, and even airship hangar had to be torn down. (Today, building P-7, a 1923 electric substation, remains as Scott's oldest building.)

But Arley Ingalls was a Lieutenant stationed in Riverside, California at an Airfield in 1930. Cousins at a recent reunion said that dirgibles were used along the coasts during World War II. They remember several family reunions when Arley would do a "fly over" with a dirgible.

These were the only photos that were identified by my parents. I'll post more photos in a few days which I'm sure are members of the Reiter family, but I don't know who they are.

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