Personal tools

You are here: Home / Attachments to Home Page / Feature Stories / Ellen Church Field is Named After Cresco Native

Ellen Church Field is Named After Cresco Native



Ellen Church:

America's First Stewardess

Ellen Church (1904-1965A) of Cresco, Iowa, became the nation's first stewardess.  While working as a registered nurse in San Francisco, Church was also learning to fly.  The desire to combine her two loves led her to meet with Steve Stimpson, traffic manager for Boeing Air Transport (predecessor to United Air Lines).


Ellen Church Portrait

Ellen Church; First Stewardess

Cresco, IA

In December 1942, she took to the air again--this time as a captain in the Army Nurse Corps, Air Evacuation Service.  For distinguished work in North Africa, Sicily, England and France, she was presented with the Air Medal.

Given a 90-day trial period, Church was named chief stewardess and hired seven other nurses and helped design the uniforms.  The women began working on May 15, 1930, and were paid $125 per month for 100 hours of flying.


Ellen Church in United Airline Doorway


The Sky Girls

American Airlline's "Sky Girls"

After the war she became a nursing instructor and hospital administrator.



Ellen Church As Nurse

Ellen Church remained chief stewardess for 18 months and then returned to her nursing career.  She stated that the stewardess experiment survived only because women regarded it as a worthwhile service that demanded their best efforts.





Early Plane/Aviation Firsts

Ellen Church was a humanitarian, war heroine, and aviation pioneer.  As the world's first airline stewardess, she created a new and exciting profession for young girls to consider.

Sources on the internet that will give additional information about Ellen Church--First Stewardess from Cresco, Iowa:

1.  Woman Hero:  Ellen Church by Charlotte from Fredericksburg

2.  Chasing the Sun:  Ellen Church

3.  Iowa Pathways (IPTV)--- Ellen Church:  The Flying Nurse http:/

4.  Ellen Church (1904-1965)

5.  Working Nurse  Ellen Church,  The First Nurse-stewardess

6.  FAA Information Effective May 31, 2012 (Ellen Church Field Airport; Cresco, Iowa, USA)

7.  The United Airlines Historical Foundation A site that talks about the two individuals credited with pioneering the stewardess profession in 1930:  Steve Stimpson and Ellen Church.

Cresco Fly-in
Sunday, August 4th, 2013


Ellen Church Airport

Ellen Church Airport


Ellen Church Airport Sign

Sign at the Cresco Airport


Ellen Church Field Hangers

Hangers at Ellen Church Field

Ellen Church Plaque at the Cresco Airport

Plaque at Ellen Church Field



Take off from Ellen Church Field


Cresco Campground

Cresco Campground




Cresco Country Club Golf Course

Cresco Country Club Golf  Course


The Mighty Howard County Fairgrounds

Mighty Howard County Fair

Cresco Ariel View 1

Cresco !

Cresco Ariel View 2

Cresco 2

Cresco Ariel 4

Cresco 3

Cresco Ariel 5

Cresco 4

Cresco Ariel 6

Cresco 5

Cresco Ariel 7

Cresco 6

Cresco Ariel 8

Cresco 7

« July 2017 »
Upcoming Events
Cresco RAGBRAI Spirit Thursday Jul 20, 2017 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM — Cresco Public Library
Program: The Rope Warrior: Rope Jumping Out of This World! Jul 20, 2017 07:00 PM - 08:00 PM — Cresco United Methodist Church
Art in the Afternoon Jul 25, 2017 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM — Cresco Public Library Program Room
Cresco RAGBRAI Spirit Thursday Jul 27, 2017 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
Previous events…
Upcoming events…