Charles Marcel Scholes
  "Aviation Pioneer Family"
  8-26-1903 to 3-18-1972
Father: SCHOLES, Robert Hamilton, born May 6, 1871 died Oct. 23, 1948, Galveston Texas
Mother: SCHOLES, Geneva DIBRELL, born Oct. 30, 1878 died Nov. 15, 1968, Galveston, Texas- NOTE
Robert H Scholes
Fairview Cemetery, League City, Texas
Brother: SCHOLES, Robert Dibrell, born Aug. 26, 1899 died Jun. 16, 1960 - NOTE
Fairview Cemetery, League City, Texas
Charles Scholes
Retired, Manager of the Aviation Department of Humble Oil Company  
Scholes International Airport at Galveston

Scholes International Airport, currently named for its long time manager, Robert D. Scholes, is the former Galveston Municipal Airport that dates back to 1931. It was renamed Corrigan Airport in 1938 for Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan, a Galveston native, who worked at Ryan Aeronautical Company and helped to build Charles Lindbergh's "Spirit of St. Louis". Later he piloted his own 1929 Curtiss Robin OX-5 monoplane named "Sunshine" from Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, New York, to Ireland allegedly due to a "compass error" after being denied permission to fly that same trans-Atlantic route by the U.S. Bureau of Air Commerce many times before. This incident earned him his nickname.
Letter from Geneva Dibrell Scholes to Charles M. Scholes

December 25, 1960
Dear Charlie,
Perhaps you might someday casually think, I wonder what experiences my father, mother, and older brother, my maternal grandmother, and my mother's little sister, who were living in Galveston, had that terrible day. So! Since time is hanging heavy on my hands, I am going to tell you.

The Almanac of 1900 said very plainly we were due for a bad tropical storm. How many ordinary people give such reading matter more than a glance and forget all about it? We did just that, until the night before the storm, when the wind was blowing a little stronger than usual, then you father reminded me of it.

Your father was Superintendent of the Bridge and Building Department of the Galveston, Houston, and Henderson R.R. Co. with headquarters at Virginia Point. When next morning he arrived at the depot he considered the waters of the bay alarmingly high and turbulent; he hurried back home to try to persuade me to come to League City on the next train and stay there until the storm blew over; since his crew of B. & B. men were working there (painting the bandstand in the "Little Town Park.") I assured him I felt no apprehension since I was familiar with equinoctial disturbance; in fact, I tried to tease him by saying, he being from the north he would eventually get used to our "Big Blows." He hurried back to the depot, caught the train, joined his crew and started the day's work. By quitting time or even before, all wires were down and no information was available from Galveston.

Your aunt Marsaline and her husband and Uncle Charlie Dibrell were living in Dickinson, Victor Holland was depot agent and Charlie was studying telegraphy under him. Your father and part of the crew spent the night of the storm in the present depot in League City. Early next morning, your father, Alec M. Wright (Philipp's father), the Roadmaster, Mr. Corrigan, started to make their way to Virginia Point. Corrigan couldn't swim, so he remained in Dickinson until the next day. Dad and Alec Wright swam Dickinson Bayou and walked to Virginia Point were Alec located his wife, who had spent the night sitting with other on top of a freight box car. She was holding one little boy and some man was holding the other boy. As hours passed and the wind grew stronger both boys were lost.

There was no sign of any way to get from the Point to Galveston, so Dad walked back to Dickinson and spent Sunday night with Aunt Marsaline and Victor and C.O.D. Early Monday he again started for Virginia Point. About noon a relief train from Houston arrived. Corrigan was aboard; about two o'clock that afternoon several little sailboats came from Galveston. The first one was swamped by a mob of sightseers. One boatman called out, if you have relatives on the island, can swim to the boat, and have twenty-seven dollars, come aboard. Dad had seven dollar, the relatives, and was a strong swimmer. Corrigan couldn't swim, so he gave Dad the twenty, with the agreement to check on Mrs. Corrigan as soon as he found us. If Mrs. C was safe (which she was and so was "Wrong Way." He was just a baby at that time.) he was to come to the end of the island and wave his shirt. If she had been lost, he was to come back and not to wave.

As soon as the boat was loaded and under way the boatman said the fare was $7.00. Just about two hours before Dad reached home Monday afternoon, my mother's oldest sister, Aunt Annie, who was living in Chicago, but a few days before the storm had come to Galveston to attend to business matters. She told the attendant at the hospital she had a sister living in Galveston, as they had done all that could be done for her she was placed on a dray and brought to us to care for. She told us the house she was in at 17th & Ave. O had blown to pieces at about 4 o'clock Saturday afternoon. She clung to a part of the roof (she was a frail little old lady 75 years old) When recovered from her injuries including a fractured skull, returned to her home in Chicago and lived a most active life until a few days before her death at 91 years. (Which strengthens my belief, one lives their allotted time.)

To continue: We had just finished making Aunt Annie MacAshen as comfortable as we could, when in walked Dad white and haggard, bare footed and almost exhausted, hadn't eaten anything since noon Saturday, but with a smile and encouraging words. As soon as he had a little food he located Mrs. Corrigan and walked back to where he was to signal Corrigan; it was nearly dark when he again reached home.

Tuesday morning he worked getting our house as habitable as possible. Grandma and Aunt Frances came to our house because the cistern there did not overturn and was full of clean water and the underground cistern at Grandmother's home was of course contaminated. Her home was practically undamaged, while our place was badly damaged, yet we chose ours because of the water. It is needless to say we had a hectic time to conserve it, we gave freely to people who came from blocks away with reasonable sized containers and requested them to use it only for drinking and to return for more when needed, which they did. But, as soon as it became know we had water to share, we were harassed by people bringing tubs of muddy clothing and wanting to use our precious drinking water to wash the clothes. A colored man who rented a tenant house in the alley, whom I had allowed to bring his wife and two darkie friends into our house during the storm, repaid me may times over by helping me to guard our cistern. Tank cars brought in water two days later. If you recall, Charlie, the same conditions existed after the 1915 storm when we lived at 29th and Ave. O. When we had to almost fight those second hand merchants from West Market who insisted upon washing bolts of cloth they claimed to have bought and would not leave until you threatened to call the police; as bad as conditions were in 1915 - - they were mild compared to 1900. It seemed like Fate for us to move from Galveston to League City three months after the 1900 storm and move back to Galveston four days before the 1915 storm.

Wednesday morning Dad joined the other bridge gangs and all of them worked in shifts day and night for a week, during which time we did not see him, but we knew he was safe and doing his duty where it was needed most so! Grandmother and I did not feel neglected or abused when we had to guard the water; besides we had efficient help, believe me, as awful as things were Grandison (the darkie) and I had several good laughs when I couldn't convince some people I meant what I said. The minute I shrieked Grandison! It was funny to see how agile they became when that huge Negro came tearing out of his house, if they had already taken a little water it was usually spilled and Grandison would shake his fist and yell, "Next time a lady tells you to mind what she says, don't wait for the Lord to make you do it."

Just before dark, Grandmother saw a man floating and struggling to get from the street in front of our house to a good-sized live oak tree that had been blown over in the front yard. She thought that by some miracle Dad had gotten back to the island from League City and was trying to get to the house, we had a rope, so she tied it around my waist and I climbed through the branches until I could reach his hand, with the efforts of the three of us we made it into the house. As soon as I reached him I knew it wasn't Dad. Our "Prize" was a Mr. Fisher, who lived four blocks from us (we did not know him) and he was gloriously drunk. First he wanted to know where the bar was, when I told him there wasn't any, he told me, what he thought of that kind of a joint. Next he wanted a few matches. He was told we didn't have any. He looked at me in utter disgust when he saw I was crying, shook me and said "Cheer up, this wind will change at midnight." It really did change at about, but blew just as hard as it did the first way. We had made as much preparation as we could, by getting a ladder in so we could get in the attic if we thought it best, cut a big hole in each room floor, raised all the windows, and opened the outside doors, blocked one front door with the piano, the other one with a dresser in hopes we could present small things from being washed out.

In the meantime the guest in the hotel was making fun of us for being afraid, there are four rooms in the main house and three in the newer addition, as an ell, we had moved into this house just two weeks before the storm and hadn't gotten fully straightened, one room we did not need, so I had temporarily place two wool blankets a quilt, and a huge dictionary and the family bible on a shelf just under the trapdoor doing into the attic of the ell. This set-up was just about the most shaky place to put a lighted lamp. When I told Grandison he could bring his family into my home, he asked if he could stay in the ell. I warned him, though, that was the newer part; I knew later why he preferred the ell, he was afraid I wouldn't want to bring his friends in before he went to the ell. I cautioned him not to light a lamp, we had no electricity, and he promised he would do as I told him.

Mother and Frances, Robble, and I went to the attic. Just before we did, a neighbor and his wife came over to see if we would join them to go to the brick water-works building; when we refused they decided to stay with us; we went to the attic. Mr. and Mrs. Wagstaff and Fisher remained below. Fisher said he thought he would go home to see if his Mother, 82 year old, was alright. We had been in the attic only a short time when Mr. Fisher had delirium tremens, not a sound from the Wagstaffs. I saw the roof of the house rise straight up about a foot and settle down exactly where it belonged, when it rose again. I decided I'd come down, so did the roof. It is still where it was before the storm; when Mama saw me come down she followed me. Robbie weighed over 30 lbs. and I weighed 90, believe it or not. I ran one arm through the straps of his overalls, clung to the ladder with the other hand and I'm sure I set some kind of a record getting to the floor. Mother and Frances right behind me. There sat Mrs. Wagstaff on my dresser, her feet on the foot board of the bed and Mr. Wagstaff had put the pillows under her feet so they (the feet) wouldn't get wet, because he was afraid she would take cold. He could find no trace of Mr. F., so presumed she had drowned. The water was between 5 and 6 feet deep around our house.

Tuesday morning while Dad was working to get the house ready to come back to, a man passed by, he asked if he lived there, when he was told he did, he said my name is Fisher, your wife and her Mother saved my life. Are they safe? I left their house in the middle of the night to go to my mother. Dad asked, did you find her? Yes she was hanging up on the headboard of her bed when I go home. She is O.K.

During the height of the storm we heard frantic screams from the direction of the ell of the house and then a terrific jerk from the main house and then all was quiet - - We felt the negroes in the ell had drowned. At daylight Sunday, two neighbor men came to find out if we were safe and to help us to get over to Mother's home 2 ½ blocks away. The wind was still bowing hard, we needed their help. Before leaving we checked on the Negroes in the ell. The screaming we heard was from them when the ell had torn away and the blocks on one side had caved under; as we made our way in, to my consternation there sat a lamp on top of the family bible; still burning; upon calling again and again finally a wooly head showed up in the trap door - - I was so startled at seeing that lighted lamp where it was. I began telling Grandison what I thought of him, his only reply was "We-uns was skeered to stay up here - - cause rats might be up here." Indeed a strange choice – preferred a risk of burning to a rat's bite - - to sum it up five Negroes scrambled out of that attic. It is still a mystery how they ever got up there.

When we got to Mother's home where the flood water was the same as where we lived and no preparation had been made, Mother had come over expecting the baby and me to come back with her; but found the wind so strong, advised we stay indoors. When she returned Sunday we were astonished to find, aside from slime and mud on the downstairs floor, that everything was as she had left it, except a large dresser had turned over on its back and a lamp was laying over in the middle of the mirror – not even chairs or small pieces of furniture misplaced - -the trapdoor cap, on the roof had been blown away - - the sum total damage.

Some queer quirks were common. I had my dining room and kitchen in the ell of my home. On a narrow shelf of a sideboard were six cut-glass glasses, not one slid off when the ell tilted, but a dinner set in the lower part of the sideboard was broken into fragments, just two whole pieces left - - 1 cup and a covered vegetable dish.

We continued to live in Galveston until November the 20th, 1900, when we bought a home in League City, where you were born in 1903. In January, 1904 Dad planted a live oak tree in our back yard, so you two boys would have a shady place to play. That huge tree and the house where you were born will soon be only a memory, sacrifice to progress. The Baptist Church interests have purchased the property.

We can still cherish "Our Memories," Can't we? Love, Mother
[1900 Storm Online Manuscript Exhibit, Geneva Dibrell Scholes Papers, ]
hurricane damage hurricane damage map
The Cold Facts of the Great Galveston Hurricane

Estimated Maximum Wind Speed: 120 mph The official anemometer blew away after recording a sustained wind speed of 84 mph and gust of 102 mph.

Estimated Storm Surge: 15 to 20 ft Galveston's highest point stood only 8.7 feet above sea level.

The storm surge occurred at high tide.

Lowest Observed Pressure: 28.53 inches (966 hPa) 27.49 inches Hg (931 hPa) At the Galveston Weather Office.

Estimated Saffir-Simpson Category: Category 4

Estimated Dead: 8,000 -- 6,000 in Galveston + 2,000 in surrounding area (Some place the figure as high as 12,000).

Estimated Number of Homes Destroyed: 3,600-plus in Galveston.
A Narrative Description of "Charlie" Scholes
Extracted from "An Aviator's Journal", a book by James D. Fox

I had just ordered my breakfast . . . "Can I ask who owns that DC-3?"
"Sure, it belongs to the Humble Oil & Refining Company. Why do you ask?"
. . . "Why, who would a guy call if he was looking for a job?"
"Well, Mr. Scholes is the boss, but you'd just be wasting your time, because we never hire anybody."
"Well, sure I understand, but is Mr. Scholes in Houston?"
"Yeah, that's right, we're headquartered there." . . . . I knew what I was going to do next. As soon as I could get to a phone . . . . I found that Mr. C. M. Scholes was the Manager of the Aviation Department. A Department Manager was the first level of management just below the vice presidents!

I called . . . "Mr. Scholes, my name is James Fox, and I work for the Company, but I would like to talk to if you have time."
"Sure, Bub, what's on your mind?"
"Well, Mr. Scholes, I'm going to be in Houston on Friday, and I wondered if I could come by your office and talk to you in person?"
"Sure, Bub, come on by, anytime."
"Okay, Mr. Scholes, I'll see you Friday morning."

Friday . . . . The elevator took me up to the thirty-second floor . . . the reception area was larger than what I was accustomed to . . . I gave the secretary my name . . . She left her desk and crossed the room to the far side, and entered the door to what seemed to be a large office. . . when she returned and told me that Mr. Scholes would see me. . . . Hey, no waiting, well he sounded like a nice man on the phone. I walked through the door and was surprised by the size and plush interior. No, surprised is not the work, amazed, yes that's a better word.

There was a short fat man in a black suit, with a white shirt, black tie, seated behind a huge dark desk. There was deep pile carpeting on the floor, and large expensive looking pictures on the wall. Does the reader comprehend the significance of the office description? The size of the office, the floor covering, the color of the furniture, the size of the desk, and wall covering were all part of the corporate rating system. Mr. Scholes was a very important man. Everything in his office showed that he was.

He was on the phone when I walked in, and he smiled quickly and waved me to a chair. His face was round with small eyes under huge black eyebrows. He eyes squinted when he smiled at me. As I disappeared into a large leather chair, I began to question my right to be where I was. I could not help eavesdropping on the telephone conversation. He was talking with some foreign dignitary. They were discussing aviation matters on a high level. I learned later that Mr. Scholes was a consultant for several foreign interests including some foreign governments.

As he hung up the phone, I rose and shook the hand that he offered to me. He short, heavy, and his white shirt was the only clothing in view that was not black. There was a heavy aroma of "Old Spcie" cologne in the air.

"Well, Bub, what can I do for you?"
Before I could speak the phone rang, it was Australia, calling. Over the next hour, I stood sat, and listened as he spoke to Norway, Morocco, and another call to Australia. . . . . "Well, Mr. Scholes, I can see you are very busy, and I don't want to take up your time."
"Don't worry about it Bub. Come on we'll go over to Foley's Business Man's Grill." . . . .

Friday morning, just before the hunch hour, Mr. Scholes arrived with one of his "Senior" captains. They were in a large, dark blue, Buick. It was a company car, and I didn't know the Company had cars that weren't Fords or Chevy's. I wondered why they didn't fly up to Tyler from Houston. The Company had airplanes, and this was company business, so why did they drive? I learned later that Charley had lost his medical after suffering a small heart attack, but it was mainly because he loved to drive that Buick. He would drive it to Los Angles rather than fly the airline. No one ever explained that to me, it was just accepted as a fact.
1956 helecopter meeting DC-3
Photo 1956: Clockwise from left: General Hamilton Howze (Chief of Army Aviation), Benny Whalen (President Sikorsky Aircraft), Don Stiles (Aircraft manger Standard Oil, Gulf Coast),Carl Brady (ERA Helicopters Alaska) The General's Pilot, Bill Fey ( Sales Representative Sikorsky Aircraft), Joe Seward (Rotor-Aids), Elmer "Tug" Gustafson (Sales Manager Sikorsky Aircraft),Charlie Scholes (Aviation Manager Humble Oil), Igor Sikorsky The DC-3, the first of many aircraft used by Humble and later ExxonMoble oil companies in support of their world wide operations. This is a photo of a coin bank model.
Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan

(January 22, 1907 – December 9, 1995)

Douglas was an American aviator born in Galveston, Texas. He was nicknamed "Wrong Way" in 1938. After a transcontinental flight from Long Beach, California, to New York, he flew from Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, New York, to Ireland, though his flight plan was filed to return to Long Beach. He claimed his unauthorized flight was due to a navigational error, caused by heavy cloud cover that obscured landmarks and low-light conditions, causing him to misread his compass. However, he was a skilled aircraft mechanic (he was one of the builders of Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis) and had made several modifications to his own plane, preparing it for his transatlantic flight. He had been denied permission to make a nonstop flight from New York to Ireland, and his "navigational error" was seen as deliberate. Nevertheless, he never publicly admitted to having flown to Ireland intentionally.

Corrigan's plane had fuel tanks mounted on the front, allowing him to see only out of the sides. He had no radio and his compass was 20 years old. As the journalist H. R. Knickerbocker reported: "As I looked over it at the Dublin airdrome I really marveled that anyone should have been rash enough even to go in the air with it, much less try to fly the Atlantic. He built it, or rebuilt it, practically as a boy would build a scooter out of a soapbox and a pair of old roller skates. It looked it. The nose of the engine hood was a mass of patches soldered by Corrigan himself into a crazy-quilt design. The door behind which Corrigan crouched for twenty-eight hours was fastened together with a piece of baling wire. The reserve gasoline tanks put together by Corrigan, left him so little room that he had to sit hunched forward with his knees cramped, and not enough window space to see the ground when landing."

Despite this he arrived in good shape.
corrigan airplane Douglas Corrigan

1. JEAN ANTOINE "ANTHONY" (SR)2 DIBRELL (CHRISTOPHE1 DU BREUIL) was born 15 May 1728 in Manakintown, Henrico County, VA, and died May 1799 in Buckingham County, VA. He married (1) ELIZABETH LEE 1756 in Albemarle County, VA, daughter of THOMAS LEE and ELIZABETH KEENE. She was born 1736 in Lancaster County, VA, and died 1777 in Buckingham County, VA. He married (2) MAGDALENE ^ BURTON Aft. 1777, daughter of ROBERT BURTON and SARAH JORDAN. She was born ca 1750, and died 1806 in Buckingham County, VA.

284. GENEVA DRUCILLA DIBRELL (JAMES WATSON (SR) "WATTIE"5, CHARLES LEE (SR)4, ANTHONY (JR)3, JEAN ANTOINE "ANTHONY" (SR)2, CHRISTOPHE1 DU BREUIL) was born 30 Oct 1878 in Galveston, Galveston County, TX, and died Aft. 1960. She married ROBERT HAMILTON ^ SCHOLES 26 Oct 1898 in League City, Galveston County, TX, son of (HUSBAND) SCHOLES and REBECCA (SCHOLES). He was born 1873 in PA, and died Aft. 1910.

  i. ROBERT DIBRELL7 SCHOLES, b. 26 Aug 1899; d. Jun 1960, CA; m. (1) ALMA BECKINETH, 13 Feb 1927; b. Bef. 1909; d. Aft. 1927; m. (2) ALMA BETHUNE FLORES, 17 Jun 1940; d. Aft. 1940.
  ii. CHARLES MARCEL SCHOLES, b. 26 Aug 1903; d. Mar 1972, TX.