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World's First Flying Doctor


category : Monuments
World's First Flying Doctor Dr. Frank A. Brewster practiced medicine in Beaver City from 1901 to 1923. He established hospitals in Beaver City and at Oberlin Kansas. He realized the need for fast transportation to take care of the needs of such a large territory so he obtained a Curtis airplane from the Aeroplane and Motor corporation of New York. A letter from this corporation informed Dr. Brewster that this was the first airplane sold in the entire world, as far as known, to be owned privately and for commercial purposes (from the Times-Tribune, April 1919).

The plane was brought to Beaver City by rail on flat cars in two huge boxes and it was taken to the hangar east of Beaver City where Dr. Brewster had established the first private airport in the world and it was the only airfield in Nebraska.

The plane was assembled by Wade Stevens, assisted by Maurice Bonser. It had a wing span of forty feet and was painted grass green.

On May 22, 1919, a big celebration of "Brewster Booster Day" was held in Beaver City. It was estimated that there were 8,000 people here that day. The buggies, wagons and cars were estimated by the acre and many took their first airplane ride that day.

The plane was stored in the hangar at the Brewster airport but was tied down with ropes when located any other place. It was recorded that the early days were certainly rough on the airplane as mules ate the fabric off the fuselage and cows broke the frail structure. Hail storms were always a menace to the plane. Dr. Brewster's airplanes were always both for work and as a hobby. He went on to own several planes during his lifetime and also learned to fly.


Address: Highway 89, East of Beaver City, south side of highway

Come visit us in Beaver City, Nebraska

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