Remarkable Ohio


Below is a complete listing of all Ohio Historical Markers. To find a detailed marker listing including text, photographs, and locations, click on a county below. Our listing is updated by the markers program as new markers are installed and older markers are reported damaged or missing.

31-55 Charles Furnas, 1880-1941

Side A: In 1908, West Milton native Charles Furnas worked as a machinist in Dayton doing odd jobs for the Wright Brothers, the inventors of the first practical airplane. At that time the U.S. Army had agreed to purchase an aircraft from the Wright Brothers provided it would carry a pilot and a passenger. Furnas worked with the brothers to adapt their plane. On May 14, 1908, he flew first with Wilbur and then with Orville, becoming the world’s first airplane passenger. (continued on other side)
Side B: (continued from other side) Following the test flights in 1908, the Wright Brothers engaged Charles Furnas full time. As the first person hired to build airplanes, he was the first employee in what would become the aerospace industry. He worked with Orville and Wilbur to develop “Signal Corps No. I,” America’s first military aircraft and the beginning of the U.S. Air Force. He left employment with the Wright Brothers to start a garage in West Milton, but remained friends. Orville attended his funeral in 1941.
Sponsors: Paul G. Duke Foundation, Hale Sarver Funeral Home, West Milton Chamber of Commerce and The Ohio Historical Society
Address: 284 N Miami Street, 
West Milton, 
Location: Hale Sarver Funeral Home
Latitude: 39.9667250
Longitude: -84.3286530