Cora M. Fuller

Citizen from Fairmont, MN

A Minnesota First – A Martin County Connection

In the world of modern aviation, women are employed as pilots for major airlines, for the military, they participate in space travel, they fly in air races, they seed clouds, they teach students to fly, they transport corporate officers, and much, much more. Women have accomplished many “firsts” in the history of aviation.

Some of the notable aviation accomplishments made by women include the following: E. Lillian Todd was the first woman to design and build an aircraft in 1906, Therese Peltier was the first women to pilot an aircraft in 1908, Blanche Scott was the first woman to solo an airplane in 1910, Raymonde de Laroche was the first woman in the world to receive a pilot license in 1910, and Amelia Earhart was the first woman to cross the Atlantic solo in 1932. These are but a few of the accomplishments made by women in the history of aviation.

Among those aviation accomplishments made by women, a Martin County woman also achieved a “first” in the history of Minnesota aviation. That notable “first” was the fact that in 1931 the first female licensed to pilot an airplane in Minnesota was from Martin County. Her name was Cora M. Fuller of Fairmont. She obtained her pilot’s license by flying a Stinson-Detroiter monoplane solo over Hall Lake, making two trips of approximately five minutes each and attaining an altitude of 500 feet. There may have been other women that piloted airplanes in Minnesota before her; however, she was the first to be issued a pilot’s license, that being on April 30, 1931.

Her preparation involved eight hours of instruction from Fairmont flyer, Floyd Eltgroth. According to Eltgroth, she banked her plane masterfully and finished her flight with a perfect landing. He went on to say that she stepped off the plane as cool and collected as if stepping out of an automobile. Mrs. Fuller’s log book shows that she flew a total of 8,162 miles during her first year as a pilot.

Cora Fuller was born in 1893 and passed away in 1972. She was married to Roy Fuller, also a pilot. In addition to her accomplishments in aviation, she was an ardent golfer, she worked in her husband’s produce company, and she also worked as a bookkeeper at Paulson’s Pharmacy.

For more information on this topic, or to become a member, contact the Pioneer Museum in Fairmont.

Story generously provided by: The Martin County Historical Society

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Fairmont, MN 56031

Martin County, MN

Martin County, MN

Visit our county page and you will learn about the contributions made by the citizens from our town and county (founders, business people, volunteers, entrepreneurs and military veterans). Here you will find information about our town and county's points of interest, festivals/events and faith community. You also will find stories about the contributions made by farmers/ranchers located throughout our county and of course you will learn about the community organizations that have built and continue to build strong communities (chambers, community groups, and departments, etc) and much more when you visit the Martin County, MN page.