I just discovered this link about the Wright Brothers’ longtime secretary, Mabel Beck. There was always speculation that Orville and Mabel were more than just boss and secretary. In twelve years of research, I’ve never uncovered any supporting evidence.
Mabel Beck’s Story Part of Wright Brothers’ Story is a series of articles by Roz Young that dealt with Mabel Beck’s life with the Wright Brothers. The articles appeared in the Dayton Daily News from November 20, 1993 to March 12, 1994.
Roz Young and Melba Hunt always insisted they had seen love letters that were discovered in Mabel’s home on Acacia Drive in Oakwood, Ohio. The home’s design, construction, and maintenance was funded by Orville Wright.
Melba and Roz told explained to me that Mabel remained in the back of First Baptist Church, pacing, and wringing her hands during Orville’s 1948 funeral.
In the article, which I’ve not had the time to thoroughly read, I did note two items that were incorrect:
- Orville Wright did not died from a stroke
- Orville died suffered a heart attack in January 1948
- A few days after being hospitalized he died from a second heart attack
- Mabel did not purchase her own grave plots in Woodland Cemetery
- when Susan KoerneW Wright, mother of the Wrights, died in 1889, Bishop Milton Wright purchased eight plots on the South side of Woodland Cemetery, near the Col. Deeds mausoleum on July 5th
- Wilbur was not pleased with the site, and encouraged his father to purchase plots where the Wright family is buried
- While doing research in 2001, I worked with several staff members of Woodland Cemetery who showed me where Mabel’s burial site was located
- A card was also produced which specified Mabel’s plots were originally purchased by Milton Wright, July 5, 1889