Special Collections and Archives

KSU Airport records

Special Collections and Archives

KSU Airport records

Kent State University Airport records, 1942-2004

Finding Aid

Prepared by Chris Casey, July 22, 2005; Updated April 2016
1 document case, .33 cubic feet, 11th floor

Historical Note (excerpted from former airport director Eugene G. Ripple from his March 1976 Thesis at the University of Akron titled: History of Aerospace Technology at KSU, 1941-1976)

Kent State University's Andrew W. Paton Field was the first airport in Summit County and was opened in 1920 under the name of Stow Aviation Field. The field was created by The Ohio Flying School and Transport Company, and $100,000 worth of stock was issued. Part of the money was used to lease thirty acres of farm land from Fred Smith and to construct a hangar to house the school's four Jenny airplanes. In 1921, The Ohio Flying School and Transport Company went bankrupt and was then purchased by Joseph Ash who ran both the school and the field until approximately 1923 when he went bankrupt as well. In 1925, A. T. Simmons and Hugh Robbins formed the Robbins Flying Service, which built a small hangar in 1930 after the original hangar burnt down in 1927. During these early days, Charles Lindbergh, Eddie Rickenbacher, and Floyd Bennet were known to have used the field. Financial woes in the early 1930's forced the Robbins Flying Service to suspend operation.

The new operator, Frankie C. Renner formed Stow Flying Field, Inc. This made her one of the first, if not the first, female airport operators on record. In 1939, Rudy Van Devere purchased the 78 acre farm from Smith and the airport became known as Stow Field. By 1940 three sod runways were in use. In 1945 Van Devere built the terminal building and then in 1947 he erected the large army surplus hangar on the field. The University purchased the airport from Van Devere in 1943 and renamed it the Kent State University Airport. In 1964, the name of the field was changed to Andrew W. Paton Field to honor the professor who taught the University's first aerospace course in 1947.

Scope and Content

This collection, arranged alphabetically, contains a variety of materials including newspaper clippings, brochures, reports, appraisals and facilities pertaining to the Kent State University Airport. Most items date from the 1960's and 1970's, with a few from the 1940's, 1990's, and 2004. Materials will be added to the collection on a continual basis.

Box 1

Folder -- Contents

  1. Airport Facilities-Preliminary Requirements, February 15, 1967
  2. Appraisal of Airport: "Appraisal of Airport Belonging to Rudy A. Van Devere..." 1948
  3. Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic Brochures, 1989
  4. Flight Plan and Flight Log, 1978
  5. KSU Airport Information Brochures and Cards, 1996 and undated
  6. Newspaper Clipping, "Kent State's Flight Tradition is Still Intact," October 8, 1991
  7. Newspaper Clipping, "KSU Airport Concerns Raised," November 11, 1992
  8. Newspaper Clipping, "KSU Airport Move Unlikely," June 3, 2004
  9. Newspaper Clipping, "KSU Takes Over Airport," 1942
  10. Newspaper Clipping, "KSU to Request Decommission of Airport," April 30, 2004
  11. University Airport Master Plan, undated but possibly 1975
  12. University Airport Report, 1964
  13. University Flying Club Correspondence to George Hoagland, Manager KSU Airport, 1968