Katherine Otero

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Katherine Otero (Stinson)

Birthplace: Fort Payne, DeKalb County, Alabama, United States
Death: July 08, 1977 (86)
Santa Fe, Santa Fe County, New Mexico, United States
Place of Burial: Santa Fe, Santa Fe County, New Mexico, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Edward Anderson Stinson, Sr. and Emma Stinson
Wife of Lt. Col. Miguel Antonio Otero, III
Sister of Eddie Stinson, Jr.; Marjorie Stinson and Jack Stinson

Occupation: Early aviator and architect
Managed by: Ric Dickinson
Last Updated:

About Katherine Otero

Katherine Stinson (February 14, 1891, in Fort Payne, Alabama– July 8, 1977, in Santa Fe, New Mexico) was an early female flier. She was the fourth woman in the United States to obtain a pilot's certificate, which she earned on July 24, 1912, at the age of 21 while residing in Pine Bluff, AR. Initially, she planned to get her certificate and use money she earned from exhibition flying to pay for her music lessons.

However, she found she liked flying so much that she gave up her piano career and decided to become an aviatrix. She took her flying lessons from the well-known aviator Max Lille, who initially refused to teach her because she was female. But she persuaded him to give her a trial lesson and was so good that she flew alone after only four hours of instruction. A year after receiving her certificate, she began exhibition flying. On the exhibition circuit, she was known as the "Flying Schoolgirl."




Katherine "Kate" STINSON, the daughter of Edward A. STINSON, Sr. and Emma BEAVER, was born on 14 Feb. 1891 in Ft. Payne, Dekalb Co., Alabama. Desiring to study music in Europe, Kate began flying as a means of raising money. With less than 200 licensed pilots in the world, at that time, Kate convinced famed pilot Max LILLY to become her teacher. In 1912, Kate became the fourth female licensed pilot. Katherine went on to set several air records, and became known as "The Flying Schoolgirl."

Katherine and her mother, Emma, founded the Stinson Aviation Company in Hot Springs, Arkansas in 1913, where they build, sold, and rented aircraft.

After being denied permission by the US Army to serve as a pilot during World War I, Katherine traveled to Europe where she became an ambulance driver in London and France.

Illness eventually forced Katherine to abandon her flying career. In 1928 she married ace flyer and attorney, Miguel "Mike" Antonio OTERO, Jr. The couple settled in Santa Fe, New Mexico where Katherine studied architecture, and became an award winning home designer. They had no children.

Katherine STINSON died on 08 Jul 1977, three months before her husband's passing. Both are buried in the New Mexico National Veteran Cemetery at Santa Fe, New Mexico, Section 3, grave number 1862. The grave is herein described by a visitor to the cemetery: "Katherine and Mike share a standard white headstone, his vital information on one side, hers on the other. They are buried on a rolling hillside, facing to the west. Off in the distance one can see the Sandia Mountains outside of Albuquerque (about 70 miles away.) The cemetery is adjacent to an old Santa Fe Cemetery that is well maintained. The grave site is in the middle of the 'new' cemetery, located just east of the visitors center. It is on a quiet lane in the cemetery."

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Katherine Otero's Timeline

February 14, 1891
Fort Payne, DeKalb County, Alabama, United States
July 8, 1977
Age 86
Santa Fe, Santa Fe County, New Mexico, United States
Santa Fe National Cemetery, Santa Fe, Santa Fe County, New Mexico, United States