Colonel Edward Andrew Deeds

This post will focus on Colonel E.A. Deeds in a sporadic and incomplete way.  I’ve read much about the man and his achievements. *I highly recommend browsing jdong’s flickr set from his visit to Moraine Farm in Dayton last year.

He formed the Barn Gang [which was the precursor to the Engineers Club] at his Moraine Farm estate [which had the first private airstrip in the United States].

IMG_8254 by jdong.

Deeds’ home, today owned by the NCR Corporation, was called Moraine Farm and was the first home in the United States to have a private airstrip. The home also includes an observatory that houses a 7′ refractor telescope. Deeds died at Moraine Farm in 1960 and is buried at Woodland Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio.

IMG_8236 by jdong.

In 1912, NCR company was found guilty of violating the Sherman Antitrust Act. Deeds and 27 other NCR executives and managers were convicted for illegal anti-competitive sales practices and were sentenced to one year of imprisonment. Their convictions were unpopular with the public due to their efforts to help those affected by the Dayton, Ohio floods of 1913, but efforts to have them pardoned by President Woodrow Wilson were unsuccessful. However, their convictions were overturned on appeal in 1915 on the grounds that important defense evidence should have been admitted.

Deeds helped rebuild Dayton after the 1913 flood and was instrumental in forming the Miami Conservancy District.

Deeds also was in charge of military aircraft procurement at McCook Field which later became Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

He also had the historic, walking village idea for Carillon Park to complement Deeds Carillon and tell Dayton’s impressive history.  Below is his bust at Carillon Park:

Colonel Edward A. Deeds by only1tanuki.

Preservation Dayton describes him in this way:

Engineer and longtime NCR executive who hired Charles Kettering to electrify the cash register. In their spare time, they began tinkering out of Deeds’ garage with William Chryst, another NCR employee on ideas to make a fortune in the auto industry. Went on to create a long list of automobile and engineering inventions and to head Dayton’s DELCO (Dayton Engineering laboratories Co.) operations with Kettering. DELCO later became part of General Motors. Deeds contributed to the rebuilding of Dayton and formation of the Miami Conservancy District after the flood of 1913, and took the job of military aircraft procurement at McCook Field in 1917, precursor to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, although located much at the present site of Kettering Field. He took over NCR in 1931 from John H. Patterson’s son Frederick, trying to restore stockholder confidence during the depression. Moraine Farm, an historic property now owned by NCR was once his sprawling estate. The Carillon Tower in Carillon Park is was funded by his wife and named after him. The historical elements of the park were the brainchild of Deeds himself.

When Deeds died in 1960, newspapers all over the world reported it including the New York Times.

This 1932 Time article “Deeds & The Cash” details Deeds’ 205-ft. yacht The Lotosland which was the first private yacht to house a pipe organ and seaplane tender.

Model of the “Lotosland,” the First Civilian Ship to Carry an Amphibian

Airplane, Carillon Park, ca. 1970

Model of the  Lotosland,  the First Civilian Ship to Carry an Amphibian Airplane, Carillon Park, ca. 1970