Walter Coombs Cessna

Type Value
Name Walter Coombs Cessna
Born 1856-09-28
Gender M
Died 1942-05-26
Type Value
Father William Wallace Cessna b. (1822-05-03) d. (1864-06-04)
Mother Marion Wallace Coombs b. (1826-05-14) d. (1878-01-31)
Type Value
Family Susan Walters b. (1856-04-28) d. (1925-02-16)
Married 1881-06-16
Children 1 Samuel Head Cessna b. (1892-10-09, Hodgenville, Kentucky) d. (1990-08-05)
Type Value
Family Living


Walter Coombs Cessna was the third of the six children of William Wallace Cessna and Marion Wallace Coombs. He married Susan Walters, nicknamed “Sudie,” youngest of the seven children of Joseph W. Walters and Susan Cessna. Walter and Susan had nine children, four of whom died in infancy. Two of those infants are buried in the South Fork Baptist Cemetery, LaRue County, Kentucky. The Cessna family lived on the remnants of the ancestral farm established by Walter’s grandfather, William Cessna (Willie), whose father had been killed by Indians during a skirmish at the future location of Louisville, Kentucky (Read more here). William was one of the pioneer settlers of LaRue County, Kentucky, and one of the founding members of Hodgenville. He was the first state representative from the area. Indeed, the families named Walters, Ashcraft, Friend, Cessna and others which populate this family tree are all prominent in the area’s pioneer history.

Walter Coombs Cessna was a livestock trader known throughout the state. He had a the nickname of “Watt,” in fact the 1920 census lists him as “C. Watt Cessna.” He had a business partner named Nicholas Head, probably the souce of his son Samuel’s middle name. Later, Walter bought a farm at New Hope, Kentucky, and devoted the remainder of his life to farming and raising fine saddle and harness horses, with the specialty of five-gaited horses. A true Kentuckian, he rode nearly every day up until two years before his death.

The US census of 1910 shows the family, Walter, Susan and five children, in eastern Oklahoma. Walter had purchased an oil well in that newest of states, but the well turned out to be a failure, and by 1920 the Cessna family had returned east. One prominent thing to come out of this: daughter Mary Alice Cessna met and married Cecil Edward Rudick in Oklahoma. %heir first child was born there.

Walter had a younger brother named Samuel Coombs Cessna, and Samuel also took his family to Oklahoma. That branch seems to have stayed there longer, into the 1920s, but Samuel and his wife eventually returned east.

Walter Coombs Cessna remained in LaRue and Nelson counties after his wife’s death in 1925, the last Cessna in his line to own a farm, but by the end of his life he was staying in the Detroit, Michigan, area with his youngest son, Howard. Walter and Susan Cessna are buried in the Red Hill Cemetery of LaRue County, Kentucky. As for the chidren: