1912 : History’s First Aerial Elopement

October 28, 2021 all-day
Image result for Photo of Art Smith and Aimee Cour

On October 28, 1912, Art Smith and Aimee Cour decided to elope to Michigan in a plane because they couldn’t marry in their home state. The 19-year-old Smith and 18-year-old Cour were too young to marry without parental consent in Indiana, and their parents were not exactly in favor of the marriage.

Image result for Photo of Art Smith and Aimee Cour

Smith, a stunt pilot, said he would fly them to Michigan for a wedding neither of their parents could stop. Unfortunately, the plane crashed in Hillsdale and the two had to be taken to a hotel for recovery, as there was no hospital in the area at the time. Eventually, someone found a minister, and the two were married from a hotel bed. It was history’s first aerial elopement. The newlyweds spent another three weeks recovering in the hotel. Their parents, happy to see them alive, forgave them.

Source: Bob Garrett, Seeking Michigan, October 27, 2009.

More information from Hillsdale County History

For more information, see Rachel S. Roberts, Art Smith: Pioneer Aviator (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland and Company, 2003). Available through MelCat from the Western Michigan University Library.

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