The following excerpt is from an article in the The Cincinnati Enquirer.
M. Parks Watson loved to fly
Flamboyant 1920s shows developed in flying circus
By Steve Kemme
M. Parks Watson began flying planes as a teen-ager in 1918 when aviation was considered a daredevil sport.
He and his brother, Hugh, establishedWatson Airport onCooper Road in Blue Ash in 1923, where thrilling Sunday air shows drew thousands of spectators in the 20s and 30s.
“He and his brother were major figures in early aviation,” said Mary Lou Rose, a Blue Ash historian.
Mr. Watson 93, a longtime Blue Ash resident, died of heart failure March 1 at Kenwood Terrace Nursing Home.
Two years ago, Blue Ash honored Mr. Watson at a celebration of the city’s 70 yeas in aviation.
Although he was a private man who never sought publicity for his flying adventures, Mr. Watson deeply appreciated the honor, Rose said.
“He was so proud of the framed certificate the city gave him, he wouldn’t let it out of his hands the whole evening,” she said.
Born nearAtlanta, Mr. Watson learned to fly from his brother Hugh, a World War I army flight instructor.
They traveled the country in the Watson Brothers Mammoth Flying Circus, before settling in Cincinnatiin the early 1920s, Rose said.
M. Parks Watson specialized in aerial photography. Some of his photographs appeared in newspapers.
Watson Airport became theParks Watson Airport in the 1930s when Hugh Watson established his own airport on Glendale-Milford Road. Hugh Watson’s airport is the Blue Ash Airport. He sold it toCincinnati just before his death in 1955.
Mr. Watson retired from the aviation business in 1963 and closed his airport.