|CURTISS F-BOAT, ILLINOIS NAVAL MILITIA, 1915|
Mr. and Mrs. Converse Lloyd of 3441 Monroe Street announce the marriage last Thursday, June 17, 1915 of their daughter, Loa, to Walter Edwin Lees. The wedding took place at high noon at the home of the bride's parents, The Reverend Mr. William Moore, of Milwaukee, officiating.------
Mr. Lees is pilot of the passenger carrying hydro-aeroplane of the Illinois Naval Reserve of Chicago, and has the honor to drive the first aircraft to be attached to the Naval Reserves of the United States.
After the ceremony, the happy couple and their immediate relatives were taken to the Columbia Yacht Club where the groom's hydro-aeroplane was taken from its hangar. Mr. Lees first took his father for a trip in the air. He then took his bride into the machine, glided over the water, arose into the air and after circling high over the club like an immense bird, the bride waved her handkerchief which could be scarcely seen on account of the great height at which they were flying. The craft was headed north on their honeymoon trip in the direction of Milwaukee, where spectators watched them until they disappeared from sight in the sky.
Actually it was Walter's parents who received the ride on the wedding day.
"I gave both my dad and mother a ride in the boat (Curtiss F-Boat). Dad enjoyed it, but Mother was scared every minute."
Loa's first flight was on June 20, 1915, three days after the wedding. She was Walter's 13th passenger. Walter planned it this way as he was superstitious about the number 13. He always thought it was his lucky number. (In 1924, when he made his first parachute jump on Friday the 13th, it became even luckier for him.) They soared to a breath-taking 1,300 feet and kissed. Thirty minutes later they were safely on Lake Michigan again.
Loa's second ride was on Lake Geneva to a luncheon as a guest of President Hotten at a YMCA camp. " I was surprised when we landed to find lines of people waiting just to shake my hand. They thought I was so brave. Not many women had flown in 1915."
"After we landed, we were invited to breakfast at one of the BIG homes on the lake. It wasn't the Wrigley Gum estate, but one near there. I remember being so impressed when a butler waited on us."
Walter carried passengers, one at a time, for $20 for a 15 minute ride at Lake Geneva for about a month
"At Lake Geneva I gave a man a ride. Loa and I owed a bill at his restaurant and I talked him into taking it out in trade. Actually, his friends talked him into it. He wasn't so keen on it. As soon as we got away from the shore and I opened up the motor, he put his head down between his hands and leaned way down, and never looked up or out until I was on the water again taxiing into the shore. Then he raised up. On shore he told all his friends what a wonderful ride he'd had. I never squealed on him."