William Evans's early life remains a mystery, but his early adult life connected directly with my own family's story. My ancestors helped to promote his early flying career and secured his very first paid public aeroplane exhibition at the 1910 Punkin Show in Skidmore, Missouri.
Other early "bird men" are part of our cultural memory. Evans deserves a spot in that company. His courage and persistence show us what it took to pursue a career in aviation at the dawn of the 20th century.