Area History
Aviation Space in Newton County

Newton County has a prominent role in the development of flight. Hugh Armstrong Robinson, born in 1882, is a member of a very select class of pioneer aviators and much of his success can be traced back to his childhood in Neosho. After gaining an education, taking a bride and starting a business, Hugh Robinson left Neosho and became the chief engineer for Curtiss Aviation, one of the world's premiere aviation companies.

Aviation Space in Newton CountyHugh Robinson is credited with being the third man to fly an airplane, making the first right turn in an airplane, devising the art of dive bombing, making the first medical flight, conducting the first air-sea rescue and inventing the tailhook which allows planes to land aboard ships at sea.

Robinson retained his affection for Neosho and returned to his birthplace to visit his parents, family members and friend many times until his death in 1930. In 2001, Robinson was honored when the City of Neosho named its airport the Neosho-Hugh Robinson Memorial Airport.

Newton County also has a role in the development of America's space program. In 1963,Skyline Magazine called Neosho "Spacetown, U.S.A." In describing the history of space in Neosho, the magazine published the following: "The town and its youth can pridefully say that it has sent out of this world more satellites than any other town on earth, for a made-in-Neosho mark could truthfully have been placed on more than two-thirds of America's successful satellites and space probes".

The magazine listed many major space projects that were made possible because of the contributions made in Neosho. Some of the projects that benefited from work done in Neosho include the Discoverer series, Echo I, Tiros satellites, and the mighty Atlas booster engines.