Ray Page Remembered in Friend

Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 10:36 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The community of Friend is celebrating its 150th anniversary, and is remembering a native son that had a huge impact on the aviation industry.

We talked with local resident Mary Ann Losh about her work in researching the life of Ray Page. “Ray Page was born in Friend in 1881,” Losh said. “He helped his dad raise livestock, then he got interested in automobiles, and then he got interested in aviation.” In the 1920′s, Losh says he and his wife Ethel formed the Lincoln Standard Aviation Company. He did a great deal of promotion of aviation at that time, and in that era. “He formed a flying school,” Losh said. “Charles Lindbergh actually drove his motorcycle from Minnesota to Lincoln to enroll in the flying school.”

“If you look around Lincoln, you see many historic sites that mention Ray Page,” Losh said. “He developed an aviation pageant that promoted flight. It played in many cities in the Midwest and around the country. At one time Lincoln was the third largest manufacturer of airplanes in the United States. Ray Page was key in the development of that. He also started working on connecting airports around the United States, so that planes could carry passengers. He was named to the Nebraska Aviation Hall of Fame in 1993. He died in 1933, and was only 51. It was said that Lincoln could have easily become the Wichita of aircraft manufacturing if some things had happened differently.”

It turns out that the Pages actually sent a telegram to Charles Lindbergh when he landed in Paris after his trans-Atlantic flight, and Lindbergh responded back to them. According to Friend Historical Society members, a resolution has been passed through the State Legislature to have Friend be officially recognized as the hometown of Ray Page. That resolution will be presented to the city of Friend on Saturday, July 3, 2021. Be sure to check out the community of Friend on July 3 and 4 for all of the events surrounding Ray Page and the town’s 150th celebration.

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