Scurry County airport terminal renamed after historic female pilot

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SNYDER, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Winston Field terminal at the Snyder airport now bears the name of Edith W. McKenna, a community-involved businesswoman and the first woman to earn a pilot’s license in Texas.

County commissioners lead the unveiling of a banner outside the airport’s terminal Saturday morning. The banner detailed the many accomplishments of the late McKanna and included a picture of her standing on a tarmac.

“I think that if we had continued not to hear Mrs. McKanna’s name we might have forgotten who she is,” said Scurry County Judge Dan Hicks.

McKanna’s accomplishments were various and numerable. She was the first woman to earn a pilot’s license in Texas and own a plane, and in the 1940s she organized the Imperial Oil Company.

She was also involved and lead several county organizations including the Snyder Country Club, Scurry County Historical Commission and founded the Martha Ann’s Woman’s Club.

“She was such a huge part of where Scurry County is and did so much for Scurry County that we needed to honor her,” said Judge Hicks.

McKanna was also a charter member of the Ninety-Nines a group started by the first women pilots in the United States that today provides scholarships and opportunities for female pilots.

18-year-old Emma Griffin is a member of the club and was one of several pilots that took girls on plane rides in honor of the terminal dedication.

“It really was one of the most fun days of flying I’ve ever had,” said Griffin.

Griffin says sharing the same sky the historic McKanna once flew is an honor she was elated to have.

“It’s amazing to be a part of any celebration of aviation but when it’s a woman it’s a big deal. It’s taken a little longer for females but we’re definetly revving up,” said Griffin.

The young aviator says she hopes to have furthered the legacy McKanna started and inspired other girls and women to take to the sky.

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