Charles Henry “Charley” Blosser

1895 – 1989

 

Charley Blosser was born September 7, 1895 at Malta Bend, Missouri, the 4th of six children born to Quincy Blosser, Sr. (1865-1950) and his wife, Elizabeth Turley “Betty” (Gauldin) Blosser (1867-1954).  By 1910, the family had moved to a farm near Norway, Kansas.

Blosser graduated from the Republic County Common Schools in the spring of 1912 and then studied for a time at Kansas State University in Lawrence, Kansas before joining a Red Cross Ambulance Company in Topeka in 1917.  After receiving basic training Blosser spent the rest of World War I in France.

By 1919, Blosser had moved to Belleville, Kansas and opened his own Buick agency.  He then married the agency’s first bookkeeper, Isabell Ann Collins (1899-1996), at Belleville, Kansas in 1921.

Following is an incomplete list of the motor races that Blosser is known to have participated in:

 

November 30, 1911 – ½ mile dirt oval – Cloud County Fairgrounds at Concordia, Kansas

Motorcycle:  His own motorcycle

Finish:  Blosser crashed into a fence at full speed and was rendered unconscious for more than an hour.  His motorcycle was heavily damaged and he was admitted to the Weaver Hospital in Concordia where he stayed for a few days while his injuries were being tended to.

Feature race winner:  Clarence Johnson on a Wagner motorcycle that was owned by William H. Knarr (1868-1913), both men being from Beloit, Kansas.  William H. Knarr finished in 2nd place in this race on another Wagner.

 

August 27, 1919 – ½ mile dirt oval – Cloud County Fairgrounds at Concordia, Kansas

Car: “Buick stock car”

Finish:  Blosser won the 1st heat race over Johnny Mais of Salina, Kansas who was driving a stock Essex.

              Blosser finished 2nd to Johnny Mais of Salina, Kansas in a stock Essex.

              Blosser won the 3rd heat race with Johnny Mais of Salina, Kansas finishing 2nd and D. A. “Cecil” Ainsworth of Norway, Kansas who was driving a Buick finished 3rd..

  Blosser finished 2nd in the stock car race feature race behind D. A. “Cecil” Ainsworth of Norway, Kansas who was driving a Buick.

Feature race winner:  D. A. “Cecil” Ainsworth of Norway, Kansas who was driving a Buick.

 

September 4, 1919 – ½ mile dirt oval – Cloud County Fairgrounds at Concordia, Kansas

Car: “Buick stock car”

Finish:  Blosser won the stock car race over Johnny Mais of Salina, Kansas who finished in second place.

Feature race winner:  Charley Blosser of Belleville, Kansas in a Buick

 

August 31, 1923 – ½ mile dirt oval – North Central Kansas Fairgrounds at Belleville, Kansas

Car:  Chevrolet

Finish:  Blosser won the 10-lap stock car race in 7:24.5.  His brother, Martin Quincy Blosser (1897-1988) of Norway, Kansas finished in 2nd place in a Buick.

Feature race winner:  Johnny Mais of Salina, Kansas who was driving a Dodge

 

September 23, 1924 – ½ mile dirt oval – Gage County Fairgrounds at Beatrice, Nebraska

Car:  Ford stock car owned by Charley Blosser and driven by Jack Johnson, both men from Belleville, Kansas

Finish:  Johnson finished 2nd in the “Free-for-All” race.

Feature race winner:  The driver is believed to have been Charley Blosser but that is yet to be verified.  All that is currently known about the car is that it was a white Chevrolet stock car that had won at the Belleville, Kansas races sometime in the past.

 

October 9, 1924 – ½ mile dirt oval – Cloud County Fairgrounds at Concordia, Kansas

           Attendance:  5,500

Car:  Peerless stock car

           Finish:  Blosser won the 5-car, 1st heat race over John Gerber of Stanwood, Iowa in a Marmon owned by _____ Kalivoda of Cuba, Kansas

                           Blosser finished 1st in the 2-car, 2nd heat race over Harold Roller in a Chrysler stock car but Blosser was set back to last place by the judges for “hogging the racetrack every time Roller attempted to pass.”

                                Blosser finished 2nd in the 3rd heat race behind Harold Roller in a Chrysler stock car

               Feature race winner:  Harold Roller of Abilene, Kansas in a Chrysler stock car.

 

November 6, 1924 – ½ mile dirt oval – North Central Kansas Fairgrounds at Belleville, Kansas

Car:  A Ford in the stock car races but it is currently unknown what car he drove in the professional race.

Finish:  Blosser won the 10-lap Republic County Race in 5:34.0.  The car that finished in second place was owned by “Nesmith & Waugh” of Belleville, Kansas but the driver’s name is currently unknown.

   Blosser won the 10-lap stock car race in 7:03.2.  Jack Johnson of Belleville, Kansas finished in second place.

                Blosser finished 3rd in the 10-lap Professional Class A race behind Harold Roller of Abilene, Kansas and Lew Reynolds of St. Joseph, Missouri.

Feature race winner:  Lew Reynolds of St. Joseph, Missouri

 

September 4, 1925 – ½ mile dirt oval – North Central Kansas Fairgrounds at Belleville, Kansas

Car:  Chevrolet

Finish:  Blosser won a 10-car stock car race plus one other race.  During the final race of the afternoon, the throttle stuck on the Chevrolet that Blosser was driving while on the east curve of the racetrack and it overturned several times heavily damaging the vehicle.  Blosser was able to jump clear as the car went over the first time and he received only minor injuries.  Nothing more has been learned to date about the outcome of these race.

  

September 1, 1927 – ½ mile dirt oval – North Central Kansas Fairgrounds at Belleville, Kansas

Car:  Chevrolet and a 2nd Chevrolet driven by Swede Olsen

Finish:  Blosser tied with Fred Lentz of Hutchinson, Kansas for the 4th fastest lap in time trials turning 1-lap in the Chevrolet of 30.8 seconds.  Only the laps run in time trials by Pat Cunningham of St. Joseph, Missouri; Mike Koenitzer of Meriden, Kansas and Walter Krhut of WaKeeney, Kansas were faster.

Blosser ran the 11th fastest lap in time trials in his 2nd car, turning 1-lap in 31.6 seconds.  Only the laps run in time trials by Pat Cunningham of St. Joseph, Missouri; Mike Koenitzer of Meriden, Kansas; Walter Krhut of WaKeeney, Kansas; Charley Blosser in his Chevrolet; Fred Lentz of Hutchinson, Kansas; Lawrence O. “Hughie” Hughes of Beatrice, Nebraska; Harry Gage of Beatrice, Nebraska; J. E. Munyan; Roy O’Laughlin of Hutchinson, Kansas and Troy Pigg of Beatrice, Nebraska, were faster.  After Blosser qualified the car in time trials, Swede Olsen drove Blosser’s 2nd car in the races.

Blosser competed, but did not place, in the 10-lap Class A race that was won by Pat Cunningham of St. Joseph, Missouri.

Blosser finished 3rd in 10-lap Light Stock Car Race behind Troy Pigg of Beatrice, Nebraska and a Star automobile owned by the Swiercinsky Brothers of Republic County, Kansas.  [Note:  The Swircinsky Brothers were Charley, Frank, George and Elmer but it is unknown who drove their race car in any of the races at Belleville, Kansas.]

Swede Olsen DNF in Blosser’s 2nd Chevrolet in the 10-lap Class B race after he and ______ Lyons of Hutchinson, Kansas crashed through the fence on the east side of the racetrack, on the 1st lap of the race which was won by J. E. Munyan.  Both Lyons’ car and Blosser’s car driven by Olsen, received extensive damaged.

Feature race winner:  Pat Cunningham of St. Joseph, Missouri in a Ford Frontenac

  

September 2, 1927 – ½ mile dirt oval – North Central Kansas Fairgrounds at Belleville, Kansas

Car:  Chevrolet and a 2nd Chevrolet driven by Swede Olsen

 Finish:  The time trials run on September 1, 1927 were also used to for these races.

                Blosser won the 10-lap Class B Race in 5:15.6 over Roy Boggs of Beatrice, Nebraska.  Swede Olsen placed 3rd in this race in Blosser’s 2nd Chevrolet, thus finishing behind Roy Boggs.

                Blosser won the 10-lap Light Stock Car Race over a Star automobile owned by the Swiercinsky Brothers of Republic County, Kansas.

                Swede Olsen finished 3rd in the 10-lap Light Stock Car Race in Blosser’s 2nd Chevrolet, behind a Star automobile owned by the Swiercinsky Brothers of Republic County, Kansas.

                Blosser finished 3rd in the 20-lap “Free-for-All” race behind Pat Cunningham of St. Joseph, Missouri and Roy Boggs of Beatrice, Nebraska.

                Swede Olsen finished 3rd in the 10-lap Consolation race in Blosser’s 2nd Chevrolet, behind Fred Lentz of Hutchinson, Kansas and the unidentified driver of a car owned by Roy O’Laughlin of Hutchinson, Kansas.

Feature race winner:  Pat Cunningham of St. Joseph, Missouri in a Ford Frontenac

 

August 30, 1928 – ½ mile dirt oval – North Central Kansas Fairgrounds at Belleville, Kansas

Car:  #8 Chevrolet

Finish:  Blosser won the 10-car “Free-for-All Stock Car Race for 4-Cylinder Cars” over W. L. Story of Nemaha, Nebraska who finished in 2nd place in a Model A Ford.

Feature race winner:  Pat Cunningham of St. Joseph, Missouri in the #700 B & B special supercharged Ford Frontenac

 

August 31, 1928 – ½ mile dirt oval – North Central Kansas Fairgrounds at Belleville, Kansas

Car:  1928 Chevrolet roadster & #8 Chevrolet

Finish:  Blosser crossed the finish line 1st in the 10-lap “Free-for-All Stock Car Race” but his car was disqualified for having “extra equipment” on his car.  The “extra equipment” was a Stromberg carburetor which did not come from the factory on the 1928 Chevrolet roadster.

               Blosser finished 4th in the 20-lap “Free-for-All” race for “Big Cars” behind Pat Cunningham of St. Joseph, Missouri; George Lawhon of St. Joseph, Missouri and Lawrence O. “Hughie” Hughes of Beatrice, Nebraska.

Feature race winner:  Pat Cunningham of St. Joseph, Missouri in the #700 B & B special supercharged Ford Frontenac

 

August 28, 1930 – ½ mile dirt oval – North Central Kansas Fairgrounds at Belleville, Kansas

Car:  Chevrolet stock car

Finish:  Blosser finished 3rd in the 10-lap “Free-for-All Stock Car Race” behind Lawrence O. “Hughie” Hughes of Beatrice, Nebraska and Russell Minks of Jamestown, Kansas.

Feature race winner:  Lawrence O. “Hughie” Hughes of Beatrice, Nebraska in a Chrysler

 

August 29, 1930 – ½ mile dirt oval – North Central Kansas Fairgrounds at Belleville, Kansas

Car:  Chevrolet stock car

Finish:  Blosser won the 10-lap “Free-for-All Stock Car Race” in 5:35.75.  Lawrence O. “Hughie” Hughes of Beatrice, Nebraska finished in 2nd place.

Feature race winner:  Charley Blosser of Belleville, Kansas in a Chevrolet.

 

September 3, 1931 – ½ mile dirt oval – North Central Kansas Fairgrounds at Belleville, Kansas

Car:  Chevrolet roadster stock car

Finish:  Blosser finished 3rd in the 10-lap “Free-for-All Stock Car Race” behind Russell Moe of Scandia, Kansas and Rea Bray of Hutchinson, Kansas.

Feature race winner:  Russell Moe of Scandia, Kansas in a Model A Ford roadster

 

September 4, 1931 – ½ mile dirt oval – North Central Kansas Fairgrounds at Belleville, Kansas

Car:  Chevrolet roadster stock car

Finish:  Blosser finished won the 10-lap “Free-for-All Stock Car Race” in 5:53.0.  Lawrence O. “Hughie” Hughes of Beatrice, Nebraska finished in 2nd place.

Feature race winner:  Charley Blosser of Belleville, Kansas in a Chevrolet.

 

August 28, 1935 – ½ mile dirt oval – North Central Kansas Fairgrounds at Belleville, Kansas

Blosser was appointed by the Republic County Fair board to be in charge of the races run at the North Central Kansas Fairgrounds on this date but those races were canceled due to rain.

 

August 29, 1935 – ½ mile dirt oval – North Central Kansas Fairgrounds at Belleville, Kansas

Blosser was appointed by the Republic County Fair board to be in charge of the races run at the North Central Kansas Fairgrounds on this date.

Feature race winner:  Red Campbell of Indianapolis, Indiana who was driving a gold colored Morgan Miller.

 

August 30, 1935 – ½ mile dirt oval – North Central Kansas Fairgrounds at Belleville, Kansas

Blosser was appointed by the Republic County Fair board to be in charge of the races run at the North Central Kansas Fairgrounds on this date.

Feature race winner:  Lloyd Axel of Denver, Colorado who was driving the #35 Norberg special powered by a Hisso engine and owned by Vic Felt of Denver, Colorado.

 

Blosser first learned to fly in 1923 when he traded a Model T Ford to a cousin for a Lincoln Standard airplane.  Part of the deal was that Blosser receive flying lesions.  Blosser then purchased a 3-passenger Standard Corporation airplane at Marshall, Missouri in 1925.  Blosser then purchased a Lincoln-Page biplane at Lincoln, Nebraska in 1928.  He became an avid flyer and, over the years, he met such famous aviators as Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart.  He built “Blosser Field” on 160 acres of his property on the south edge of Concordia in 1930.  He later purchased another 160 acres adjoining what had been the Cloud County Poor Farm, so he could expand “Blosser Field,” and then he remodeled the large building on the property formerly used to house some of the county’s older citizens, into a comfortable home for himself and Isabell.  “Blosser Field” was formally dedicated as the Concordia Municipal Airport in 1985.  In 1988, he was awarded the Kansas Governor’s Aviation Honors Award, he being recognized as the oldest licensed piolet in the United States.

Blosser expanded his automobile business by opening a Chevrolet dealerships in Belleville, Kansas and then one in Concordia in 1926.

Blosser spent most of his life in the automobile, airplane and boat sales business, owning several such agencies in both Kansas and Nebraska.  He served from 1931 until 1933 as the mayor of Concordia.

Charley Blosser passed away at St. Joseph Hospital in Concordia on December 30, 1889 and is buried in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery at Concordia.  He was posthumously inducted into the Kansas Aviation Hall of Fame in 1990.

Isabell Blosser once spearheaded an unsuccessful campaign to require towns to have businesses paint the name of the town on their roof tops so that aviators could tell what town they were flying over.  Isabell passed away in 1996 and is buried beside her husband.

  If you know anything more about Charles Blosser’s involvement in motor racing, please contact Bob Lawrence at: sprintguy @ cox.net

 

 

Autograph signed in 1917