Does Larned Want an Aeroplane Exhibition?

The Larned, Kansas Tiller and Toiler posed that question on the front page of its October 14, 1910 edition. The paper, the editor reported, had received a letter from Charles Scott, son of former Larned resident Colonel William Scott and representative for the Boore Carburetor Company, who asked whether Larned might be interested in holding an aeroplane exhibition.

Scott was offering the services of William Evans – now styled Captain Evans, following the example of his hero and new mentor, Captain Thomas Baldwin. “Capt. Evans,” the paper reported, “has a new bi-plane, very powerful, and can fly 500 feet high.” Scott had seen Evans and Baldwin fly in Kansas City and felt that he could take advantage of a limited window of opportunity before the men left for the coast to attend the 1910 exhibition at Los Angeles.

It was also an opportunity for Larned to get ahead of other Kansas towns. Evans and Baldwin were scheduled to exhibit at Hutchinson “and one or two of the larger towns in Kansas,” but Scott, who had recently equipped Evans’ plane with a carburetor, felt sure he could persuade the men to abandon Hutchinson for Larned if the townspeople were interested. [1. “Does Larned Want an Aeroplane Exhibition?” Tiller and Toiler (Larned, KS), 14 October 1910, p. 1]

The editor left it up to the town to decide but offered his own opinion: “This is a rare opportunity to see an aeroplane flight exhibition, and is probably the only chance we will have in some time, as there are few aviators ‘living’ today, and their services will be exclusively taken up for a long time to come by demands from the bigger cities.” [2. “Does Larned Want an Aeroplane Exhibition?” Tiller and Toiler (Larned, KS), 14 October 1910, p. 1]

Larned, it seems, did want an aeroplane exhibition, and eventually Evans and his friend, Kansas City aeroplane inventor J. A. McCallum, were booked for a four-day gig at the Larned Fair Grounds.