The Barbers and Their Flying Field: A Brief History
Alden L. Barber was born on March 17, 1905, in Hillsdale, Pennsylvania. He moved to Cleveland, Ohio at the age of 17 and opened his own auto repair shop. In 1926, he married Edna Guynn of Edinburg, Ohio. In 1932, Al learned to fly at the East End Airport in Cleveland. He bought his first airplane, an OX-5 powered American Eagle NC4988 from his flight instructor, Franklin Knapp. This was to be the first of many airplanes to be owned and/or flown by Al. In 1934, he bought a Cirrus powered Great Lakes bi-plane NC703K. On September 24, 1936, he and a partner bought a Wright J-5 powered Stearman C-3. In 1937, he bought a Le Blond 70 powered Porterfield. He also flew a Gypsy Moth, Taylor Cub, Eaglerock, Travelair, J-2 Cub, Waco 9, and a Waco 10.
In 1940, Al, Edna, and their daughter Scotty moved to Alliance where Al became a test pilot for the Taylorcraft Company. He bought a farm with 40 acres and Barber Airport was born.
In 1942, Al's wife Edna ("Boots") gave birth to a son, Forrest. At the age of 6, Forrest was landing Taylorcrafts and learning to work the controls. He soloed on his 16th birthday...November 10, 1958. In the early 70's, Forrest test flew Taylorcrafts. Today Forrest is considered by many to be one of the finest aerobatic pilots in northeastern Ohio. Al Barber passed away in 1976. Edna continued to run the airport until she passed away in 1994. Today, Forrest and his wife Patty continue to run the airport and Barber Aircraft, Inc., which specializes in flight instruction (particularly tailwheel and aerobatics) and aircraft maintenance.