Lee Howell

ORCID Identifier(s)


Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in History



First Advisor

Gerald D Saxon


This thesis examines the acquisition of a flight training facility by the city of Wichita Falls, Texas during the early years of the twentieth century. During a period when progressive reform was addressing societal problems, members of the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce were diligently working to develop their community. At the time, aviation remained a relatively new technology. Chamber members, Joseph Kemp and Frank Kell, took the lead in the city's attempt to establish aviation as a developmental industry in its local commerce. The legacy left by both men is that of pioneer builders, whose focus for their city ranked first and foremost. Railroads, regional irrigation, milling, and finance comprise a portion of the industries touched by these men. Yet, world events regularly bring about changes which differ from an original plan. In the case of Call Aviation Field, the declaration of war in 1917, committing the United States to the war effort as one of the Allied Forces, did just that. During the previous year, Wichita Falls tried to attract a "permanent" army flight school. Alternatively, the contract for Call Field established a temporary military encampment, which closed eighteen months later, with the end of the war. Using original Chamber of Commerce records, Call Field archives, and newspaper accounts, backed by secondary sources, this study attempts to analyze the city's quest to attract an aviation presence through its relationship with Call Aviation Field.


1st Aero squadron, Army air, Air service, Aviation, Call field, Joseph Kemp, Frank Kell, Signal corps, WWI, Wichita Falls


Arts and Humanities | History


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

History Commons