Mr. Pierre Humbert Jr. was a millionaire Boston Banker who had a passion for moving things. So he started the Humbert Transportation Company and the Alaskan and Northwester Railway Company in 1898. He is most famous for transporting 200 cattle from Seattle to Haines to drive to Dawson to feed the starving miners in November 1897.
But even more amusing is the story which appeared in the Evening Times (Washington D.C.) of April 20, 1897 for Cripple Creek, Colorado on April 17.
“There is a report of an SOS which was dropped from an airship. Three crew members, Pierre Humbert of Boston, Massachusetts, C.J. Pillsbury, and C.D. Novina of Paris placed a note in a bottle and threw it at a witness on the ground. The note said that the airship had not been able to land for more than two weeks since landing in Kansas and that they had run out of food. It appeared that they had lost control of their vehicle and did not know whether they would survive the rest of the flight. It was not clear what the observer on the ground was expected to do. There is no report of an airship crashing anywhere in that year, so the final disposition of the crew is unknown.”
Well, obviously they did land and perhaps Mr. Humbert decided he would stick to land-based transportation following this little air adventure.
Minter p 125; Acts of the legislature of WV online; Kansas City Journal Nov 2, 1897;