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Louisville Genealogical Society programs are held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1000 South Hurstbourne Parkway (at Linn Station Road), on the SECOND TUESDAY of each month from 1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M.

Visitors are always welcome!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at 1:00 P.M.

Bob Gast:  Louisville Aviator Supreme
presented by Charlie Arrington

Robert Henry Gast was born in 1896 and is best known in Louisville aviation history as Abram Bowman’s first partner and is said to have flown the first airplane at Bowman Field. Prior to his partnership with Mr. Bowman and the incorporation of Bowman Field in 1920, Bob Gast flew with the British Royal Flying Corps in World War I and was posted to squadrons in England, Ireland, and France. After his association with Mr. Bowman ended in 1921, he partnered with Lee Miles in two other Bowman Field operations, Yellow Air Taxi Service and Cardinal Fliers. In 1927 he left Louisville to become a U.S. Government aircraft inspector that took him across the United States. In 1929 Bob Gast attempted a seaplane flight from Canada to Germany now working for Colonel Robert McCormick the owner of the Chicago Tribune Newspaper. By the early 1930s, he was piloting airliners for Pan Am Airways on their South American routes and eventually its subsidiary, China National Aviation Corporation. He was killed in 1934 while flying through fog on a mail route in China.

Robert Henry Gast is remembered in a newly rededicated memorial inside the Bowman Field Administration Building on Taylorsville Road and a street is named for him on the east side of the airport. His pioneering efforts in Louisville aviation paved the way for an airport that continues serving the flying public to this very day.

Aviation history has long captivated Charlie Arrington from Louisville. He has contributed articles about aviation for nationally distributed magazines and written text for a number of air shows. In addition, he has co-authored a book about aviation in Clark and Floyd Counties in Southern Indiana. His latest work appears in the Spring 2015 issue of Friends Journal, the magazine of the United States Air Force Museum Foundation. Charlie also enjoys aviation photography along with attending fly-ins and air shows as well as visiting aviation museums.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016 at 1:00 P.M.

The first German immigrants arrived in Louisville nearly two hundred years ago. By 1850 they and their families represented nearly thirty percent of the population of Louisville. They influenced every aspect of daily life from politics to fine art. In 1861, Moses Levy opened the famed Levy Brothers department store. Kunz’s “The Dutchman” Restaurant was established as a wholesale liquor establishment in 1892, and then became a delicatessen, and finally, a restaurant in 1941. And brothers Louis and Otto Seelbach built a Beaux-Arts hotel at Fourth and Walnut Streets in 1905 that would become a Louisville landmark.

"Two Hundred Years of Germans in Louisville" is a fully illustrated presentation which includes the topics of immigration, Catholic and Protestant churches, Jewish community, hospitals and orphanages, newspapers, breweries, saloons and beer gardens, singing societies and the Turners, Butchertown, Bloody Monday, and Germans in the Civil War. Manufacturing, agricultural industries, distilleries, hotels and restaurants, department stores, dairies, bakeries, pharmacies, funeral homes, Germantown, anti-German sentiment during World War I, and modern cultural traditions also will be discussed. The presentation includes over one hundred historic photographs.

C. Robert Ullrich is a Louisville native and a fourth-generation German American. He is an alumnus of the University of Louisville and the University of Illinois. He recently retired from the University of Louisville, where he was a professor of civil and environmental engineering for thirty-eight years.

Victoria A. Birchler Ullrich, a Louisville native, is a fourth-generation German American and Swiss American. She is an alumna of the University of Louisville and a former medical technologist, having been employed in clinical and research laboratories.

The couple are members of the German-American Club Gesangverein, the Society for German-American Studies, and the Sister Cities of Louisville Mainz Committee. Additionally, Victoria Ullrich is the president of the Germanic Heritage Auxiliary of the German-American Club and is a member of the Swiss American Historical Society and the Swiss Ladies Society.