Cushing Memorial Library, Texas A & M University

Inventory of the Jesse L. Easterwood Notebook:

26 Jan. 1908-6 Feb. 1909



Descriptive Summary and Abstract

Creator Easterwood, Jesse L.
Title Inventory of the Jesse L. Easterwood Notebook:
Dates 26 Jan. 1908-6 Feb. 1909
Abstract Jesse Lawrence Easterwood (1888-1919), known as "Red,"a veteran World War I aviator, and pioneer in military aviation, was born 5 Dec. 1888 in Wills Point, Tex. In 1905, he enrolled in Texas A & M College, now Texas A & M University. Easterwood left college in 1909 to become a businessman in Mexia, Tex. In 1917, with war declared on Germany, Easterwood immediately volunteered as an aviator. He received his early training at Pensacola, Fla., and was one of the very first Americans to qualify as a naval aviator. He served as an instructor at Pensacola briefly, then was transferred to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for engineering training. On 12 March 1918 Easterwood set sail for Europe with the first group of American pilots going overseas to serve in World War I. During his tour with the Royal Flying Service, Easterwood completed 16 missions deep behind German lines. He also served with the French air force and the Italian air force, ferrying the first Caprioni bomber from Italy to France. Surviving World War I, Easterwood remained with the U. S. Navy, flying experimental airmail flights. By 1919, Easterwood was transferred to Coco Solo, in the Panama Canal Zone. Preferring to fly the planes in his unit which had the worst mechanical problems himself, Easterwood was killed 16 May 1919 while attempting the emergency landing of such a plane with severe engine trouble. Easterwood was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously, for his heroism during World War I. Texas A & M University also sponsored a tribute paid to Easterwood's memory. At the urging of Easterwood's high school friend from Wills, Tex., Gibb Gilchrist, who had established a Department of Aeronautical Engineering during his first year (1937) as dean of the School of Engineering at the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, the new college flying field in College Station, Tex. was dedicated as the "Jesse L. Easterwood Airport" 22 May 1941. Developed first as a facility for insituting a flight-training program at Texas A & M University, the airport was later expanded to serve major carriers to and from Dallas/Fort Worth, Tex. and Houston, Tex. airports. The Jesse L. Easterwood Notebook (26 Jan. 1908-6 Feb. 1909) consists of one notebook, measuring ca. 10 x 8 inches, containing 49 leaves of machine ruled paper, in cloth over cardboard covers, which was manufactured with two-hole punched metal fasteners. Most of the notebook's leaves are filled with class notes taken from lectures, dated 26 Jan. 1908-6 Feb. 1909. One exception is the beginnings of a draft letter, dated 25 Jan. [19]08, to his father, noting that Easterwood has been recently ill for a "protracted" period of time. Lecture notes in roughly the first half of the notebook pertain to Animal Husbandry, especially causes, symptoms and treatment of conditions such as colic, heaves, constipation, dysentery, catarrh of stomach and bowels in livestock, while the latter half are concerned with a class labeled "Horticulture 4," particularly the cultivating of fruit trees and the marketing of their produce. Some of the scrawled asides give a quite colorful glimpse into the mind of a restless and enterprising cadet straying from the lecture in progress.
Identification TAMU MSS 00139
Extent .25 linear ft.
Language English.
Repository Cushing Memorial Library College Station, TX 77843-5000

Biographical Note

Jesse Lawrence Easterwood (1888-1919), known as "Red,"a veteran World War I aviator, and pioneer in military aviation, was born 5 Dec. 1888 in Wills Point, Tex. In 1905, he enrolled in Texas A & M College, now Texas A & M University, as a member of B Company Infantry. Very popular with the other cadets, Easterwood also played second base on the college baseball team.

Easterwood left college in 1909 to become a businessman in Mexia, Tex. In 1917, however, on the day the United States declared war on Germany, Easterwood sold his business and volunteered as an aviator. He received his early training at Pensacola, Fla., and was one of the very first Americans to qualify as a naval aviator. He served as an instructor at Pensacola briefly, then was transferred to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for engineering training.

On 12 March 1918 Easterwood set sail for Europe with the first group of American pilots going overseas to serve in World War I. During his tour with the Royal Flying Service, flying one of the first ten Handley-Page bombers, Easterwood completed 16 missions deep behind German lines. He also served with the French air force and the Italian air force, ferrying the first Caprioni bomber from Italy to France.

Surviving World War I, after many perilous missions, Easterwood remained with the U. S. Navy, flying experimental airmail flights. By 1919, having achieved the rank of lieutenant, Easterwood was transferred to Coco Solo, in the Panama Canal Zone. Preferring to fly the planes in his unit which had the worst mechanical problems himself, Easterwood was killed 16 May 1919 while attempting the emergency landing of such a plane with severe engine trouble.

Easterwood was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously, for his heroism during World War I.

Texas A & M University also sponsored a tribute paid to Easterwood's memory. At the urging of Easterwood's high school friend from Wills, Tex., Gibb Gilchrist, who had established a Department of Aeronautical Engineering during his first year (1937) as dean of the School of Engineering at the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, the new college flying field in College Station, Tex. was dedicated as the "Jesse L. Easterwood Airport" 22 May 1941. Developed first as a facility for insituting a flight-training program at Texas A & M University, the airport was later expanded to serve major carriers to and from Dallas/Fort Worth, Tex. and Houston, Tex. airports.

  • Bibliography
  • Chapman, David."Jesse Easterwood '09: WWI Hero and Pioneer in Naval Aviation!" Reprint article from Texas Aggie.College Station, Tex.: Association of Former Students, Texas A & M University (June 1994). [Last viewed: 02/05/2003]
  • "Gilchrist, Gibb."The Handbook of Texas Online.[Accessed Wed Feb 5 15:49:41 US/Central 2003 ]


Scope and Content Note

The Jesse L. Easterwood Notebook (26 Jan. 1908-6 Feb. 1909) consists of one notebook, measuring ca. 10 x 8 inches, containing 49 leaves of machine ruled paper, in cloth over cardboard covers, which was manufactured with two-hole punched metal fasteners.

The front cover design shows: at top "…A. & M. COLLEGE…, COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS"; in center, a black and white picture depicting the Old Main building on the Texas A & M College campus, measuring 4 ½ x 4 inches; below picture, "Department of" with a ruled space filled in by hand with ink the word "Horticulture," and "Name" with a ruled space filled in by hand in ink with the name "Jess Easterwood."; at center bottom, "PUBLISHED BY, W. M. WELCH MFG. COMPANY, 100 LAKE ST., CHICAGO, WELCH'S PATENT AUTOMATIC FASTENER."The name "EASTERWOOD" and other initials, etc. are scrawled in ink or pencil on the front cover as well.

Most of the notebook's leaves are filled in on the recto page only with class notes written by hand in either pencil or ink, labeled as taken from lectures, dated 26 Jan. 1908-6 Feb. 1909. A few pages are filled with scrawled names and phrases, repeated over and over, the phrases usually in some way related to the lecture notes, but often just variations on Easterwood's name or initials.

One exception found on leaf 19 is the beginnings of a draft letter, dated 25 Jan. [19]08, to his father, noting that Easterwood has been recently ill for a "protracted" period of time. Lecture notes in roughly the first half of the notebook pertain to Animal Husbandry [l. 1-14; l. 15-18 & 20 are blank], especially causes, symptoms and treatment of conditions such as colic, heaves, constipation, dysentery, catarrh of stomach and bowels in livestock, while the latter half are concerned with a class labeled "Horticulture 4" [l. 21-49; top half of l. 45 is torn out], particularly the cultivating of fruit trees and the marketing of their produce.

Aside from presenting an interesting taste of curriculum offerings at Texas Agriculural and Mechanical College in the early twentieth-century, some of the notebook's scrawled asides give a quite colorful glimpse into the mind of a restless and enterprising cadet straying from the lecture in progress.


 

Organization of the Papers

This collection is organized into 1 item.
Item 1. Notebook, 26 Jan. 1908-6 Feb. 1909.

Restrictions

Access

No restrictions.

Usage Restrictions

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.


Online Catalog Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog of Cushing Memorial Library. Researchers wishing to find related materials should search the catalog under these index terms.
Names
Easterwood, Jesse L.--Notebooks, sketchbooks, etc.
Organizations
Texas A & M University--History.
Texas A & M University-Alumni and alumnae.
Easterwood Airport--History.
Subjects
Airports--Texas--College Station--History.
Horticulture--Texas--College Station.
Livestock--Texas--College Station.
Military cadets--Texas--College Station.
Places
College Station (Tex.)--History.

Related Material

Easterwood Airport Exhibit [Labels used in an exhibit about Easterwood Airport] Held in Cushing Memorial Library and Archives in TAMU Collection. 1 box (.5 linear ft.).


Administrative Information

Provenance

Source unknown.

Processing Information

Processed by Aletha Andrew in February 2003


Detailed Description of the Notebook

 

Item 1. Notebook, 26 Jan. 1908-6 Feb. 1909

Housed in a phase box.