First Stewardess from Howard County
A year later, 1930, a local girl, Ellen Church, was instrumental in organizing a Stewardess Service with the Boeing Company. Miss Church felt that institutional training should be combined with aviation. The Boeing Company was the first in the history of aviation to employ women as members of their flying force, and it was also the first to engage institutionally trained women as a third member of their crew.
According to Miss Church, the duties of the stewardesses were to look after the interests and comforts of air passengers and to take complete charge of such to the passengers' destinations. While enroute the stewardesses pointed out places of interest in cities, towns, rivers, mountains, passes, altitudes, etc. She was a licensed pilot and approached the Boeing Company with the idea that she could serve as a nurse and substitute pilot on their planes. Early specifications for flight attendants were that they be no taller than 5 foot 4 inches and must weigh less than 115 pounds. With these specificaitons they would be able to manuever around the plane with the lowe celings and narrow aisles. Attendants other duties were to take tickets, load luggage, gas the plane and help push the machine into the hanger. Ellen Church was instrumental in hiring the first team of attendants. Through her work and calming presence, she helped convince the public of the safety in flying.
Cresco constructed a new air landing strip in 1959. This landing strip was located west and south of Cresco. The airport today is on this same site and is named "Ellen Church Field" after the first stewardess.
The winter 1997-1998 issue of the Iowan Magazine features Ellen Church
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