What is the cost to correct a mistake of history?

After a six month effort we have uncovered 2050 graves in the Dallas City Cemetery (aka Pauper’s Cemetery). Half the graves are currently unmarked and the other half are threatened or submerged in as much as 15″ of soil or stagnant water.

Jesse McCrayAfter all this effort we have received great news! The company who supplied a prototype replacement marker made of Black Granite has offered a steep volume discount of 70% for the purchase of the markers needed to save this historic place.

The prototype is 7″x4″x2″ and is made of a surface that should prove impervious to the blade of the lawnmower, water, sun and almost anything Mother Nature can throw at it. The third row lists the burial location, so if for any reason a stone should become dislodged it can easily be put back on place.

If these markers were purchased one at a time the total would be $133,250. So, this project just became much more doable.

City Cemetery Replacement Marker Bid

With all the recent rains we haven’t been able to return to the cemetery to finalize our work, but we have enough info to carry on.

In other news, I visited the cemetery recently shortly after a significant rainfall and found that much of the drainage problems don’t come from the area we thought they did, but instead drain from the creek side of the property across the low lying areas in Blocks 11 near the entrance into the lowest lying area in the block of babies in Block 12. This is actually good news as the amount of releveling required will be simpler than I had anticipated.

Once the rain subsides we can get back to work and finish the Census of those along the edges. More work is needed to figure out our next steps, but for today we celebrate that this project is now within reach!



Seth Babb Homestead Fund Raiser Launched

DSCF8831After a 14-year painstaking restoration process the 1787 Seth Babb Homestead is ready to open to the Public in Greeneville, Tennessee to be used as a Teaching tool of the life of Pioneers. Built just 2 years after the county was formed and 2 years before the Constitution was ratified, this 2-story home is a rare treasure. The interior is ready, but more funding is needed to purchase and install a new stone skirt around the building and proper entrances to the front and back door that will protect the building and finish it completely.

Seth Babb Homestead

Fundraising Goal:


Keep track of our progress, reshare on Facebook/Twitter or make donations at: 


How Do You Spell Kismet?

I had to look up the spelling for Kismet, but there was no other word I could think of to explain this picture.

[ˈkizmit, ˈkizˌmet]

  1. destiny; fate.
    “what chance did I stand against kismet?”
    fate · destiny · fortune · providence · the stars · God’s will · what is written in the stars · one’s doom · one’s portion · one’s lot · one’s lot in life · karma · predestination


It is the wedding picture for a new member of the Association. Having visited the Isles of Shoals at a conference every summer for many years she grew to love its austere beauty. Visit after visit she would return with new pieces of memorabilia from the Shoals and slowly filled her house with bric-a-brac from this “Desired Place”.

She loved it so much that she convinced her Fiancée to travel to Star Island for their wedding. They took this picture on the day of their wedding gazing at Appledore Island, which she had never visited. What she couldn’t have known was that her history lay just across the water.

She joined the Babb Family Association in August with no idea of where she came from. She contacted me and just judging from the location I immediately told her that she was a descendant of the one and only Phillip Babb, the legendary Sheriff of the Isles of Shoals.

We compared notes and I was able to detail her as his 7th Great-Granddaughter. The place that she was so drawn to all of her life turned out to be her own. If that isn’t the definition of Kismet, I don’t know is. I won’t even get into that whole Alanis Morrisette Ironic thing, but it just fell like fate intervening and it put a giant smile on my face to be able to connect her to the past she deserved.

Cheers to the new couple in “This Desired Place”.

Charles H. Babb – Aviation Pioneer

Recently, I put out a query for assistance locating a Charles V. Babb who was involved in an article and picture I had come across on eBay. With the help of one of our members I now have the answer and it is a wild trip of who’s who in America.

First off, Charles’ middle initial is H, not V as the article I found had claimed. He also didn’t live for very long in New York and instead came from Oregon. So, finding him was virtually impossible if not for one clue. He was involved in Aviation in the 1930s. This one fact separated him from a multitude of Charles Babbs and kept him from falling into anonymity.

So, let me introduce you to the real Charles Harding Babb:

During the 1930s, Charles Harding Babb was a well-known used aircraft salesman in business at Grand Central Airport, Glendale, CA. Charles became a significant member of the international flying network of the era. He did business as Babb International Aircraft Brokerage in Glendale and later as Charles H. Babb Co. with offices on the east coast, Quebec, Europe & Latin America.

As a major sales/brokerage firm, many of the airplanes that passed through Tucson passed through his hands on their way to their owners, either as new or used aircraft. Later, he supplied aircraft for the Spanish Civil War (Source: San Bernardino County Sun, August 10, 1940).

Howard Hughes purchased and modified a Lockheed twin-engine transport for a round-the-world flight. After the flight, Hughes commissioned Babb in 1940 to broker the airplane to the British for war service. The sale was documented in an article that appeared in the San Bernardino County Sun, August 10, 1940.

At age 19, Babb was registered for the draft on September 12, 1918. We learn that he had blue eyes and brown hair. Note mention of the loss of his right hand “and other defects.” These injuries to his arm, hand and jaw were the result of a hunting accident. Despite his injuries, Babb married Hester Evelyn Drew of Wilder, ID on October 8, 1923. They were married in Canyon, ID. He also learned to fly and became well-known in southern California circles. By 1925, he was Secretary, Southern California Chapter National Aeronautic Association. His duties as secretary were numerous, among them organizing meetings and air races.


The 1930 Census placed him (age 30) at 822 1/4 N. Hayworth Avenue, Los Angeles. He lived with Hester E. (28). They rented their home for $45 per month. Babb’s occupation was coded as “Department Manager” at an “Aviation Company.”

By 1940, Babb and Hester had moved to 3028 Ingledale Terrace, Los Angeles. That neighborhood today on Google Earth is one of modest whitewashed homes with xeric landscaping. They still rented, but their rent had gone down to $35 per month. This Census recorded that both Babb and Hester had enjoyed one year of college. Babb’s occupation was coded as “Broker” for “Aircraft.”

Aircraft flown by many famous aviators (including Howard Hughes, Amelia Earhart, Wiley Post, and Francisco Sarabia were purchased from Babb and he regularly posed for pictures with many of them. He used his inside contacts to build his aircraft brokerage empire based mainly on the acquisition and sale of surplus military airplanes. After WWII ended, Babb built his organization into a major international “holding company,” selling aircraft to airlines and governments worldwide.

Born in Eugene, Oregon January 30, 1899, Babb died of a heart attack November 15, 1952 at the age of 53.
Charles Babb Collection

The Charles Babb Collection was donated by his son, Charles Jr., who was only six years old when his dad died in 1952. There are two photograph albums of airmen and historic events, many family shots and inscribed portraits of famous aviation executives, numerous news clippings and a box of documents supporting the patent for the hinged nose cone for cargo planes.
Pioneer Aviation Broker Kept ’em flying.
By John Patrick Ford, Archive Volunteer

Charlie Babb was well known as the “flying junk man” a moniker he did not like. However, that was his business. Keeping older model aircraft in the sky with his large stock of used planes, replacement parts and overhauling services.
“There’s a buyer for everything,” Babb was quick to tell someone who thought he was crazy to buy up scrap parts from the major aircraft factories. His headquarters at the Grand Central Airport in Glendale allowed Charlie to have close personal links to the heads of Lockheed, Douglas and Northrop where he was often seen picking through discarded aircraft parts and making offers to haul away the junk.

A major part of Babb Co. business spanning the years 1928-1952 was the used aircraft market. Flying magazine ads during those years have lists of about every type of private aircraft made from early World War I Jennys to the popular Lockheed Vega. Charlie’s friendships with Howard Hughes, Donald Douglas and Reuben Fleet put him up front in the aviation market in the 1930s. His used aircraft business boomed as war clouds gathered in Europe and training craft were in demand.

As a pioneer pilot in the post-World War I period, Babb was challenged to overcome a disability from a hunting accident as a youth. The loss of his right arm below the elbow and some facial disfiguration, forced Charlie to make a career decision to overcome lack of physical skills with brain power. He was known as an excellent pilot and marksman. Frequent hunting trips to the Artic area in his favorite PBY aircraft joined him with celebrities like Wiley Post and Will Rogers. Charlie’s mentors in his pioneer aviation days were Eddie Rickenbacker, Richard Byrd and Jimmy Doolittle, the latter friend almost a father figure.

Besides horse-trading in the aircraft business, Babb was an accomplished engineer who designed the cargo plane nose cone that opened for loading. His patented mechanism was used extensively by military aircraft during World War II. Patent infringement issues are still pending for collection of royalties. Another business was called the Big Fan that provided frost control for agriculture. Babb saw the potential when a friend sought his help during a freeze, and they used a reverse prop P-38 engine to blow air over the orchard and saved the crop.

The Charles Babb Collection was donated by his son, Charles Jr., who was only six years old when his dad died in 1952. There are two photograph albums of airmen and historic events, many family shots and inscribed portraits of famous aviation executives, numerous news clippings and a box of documents supporting the patent for the hinged nose cone for cargo planes. The collection is open for view at the library and archive of San Diego Air-Space Museum in Balboa Park.

Source: https://dmairfield.com/people/babb_ch/index.html
Dossier 2.1.38, UPLOADED: 02/21/06 REVISED: 03/01/06, 03/09/06, 10/08/06, 03/04/07, 09/30/07, 08/24/11, 09/21/14, 11/19/17



Charles V. Babb of New York

I’ve got a new Ebay mystery on my hands. This press photo from 1937 lists a Charles V. Babb of Brooklyn, NY as an Aircraft Broker. I am not able to make a direct connection to Charles and wanted to share this picture in hopes that someone could help me identify the right Charles Babb. There is a Charles Babb who lived in Brooklyn but I have no corroborating evidence to place this picture with him. He is not in the 1940 Census and in 1930 there are two Charles’ each listed as Machinists.

Let me know if you can help identify him.

Charles V. Babb 1937 PhotoCharles V. Babb 1937 Photo-Reverse

The Ebay listing is here: Charles V. Babb 1937 Photo-Ebay Auction