Susan Catherine Koerner was born in Virginia, but like Milton she grew up on an Indiana farm and joined the Church of the United Brethren in Christ as a teenager. Susan met Milton while studying literature at Hartsville College in Indiana, an unusual opportunity for a woman at that time and place. Both were looking for a partner devoted to a life in the church.
The Mother of Invention
Unlike Milton, Susan had considerable mechanical aptitude. As a girl she spent many hours with her father in his carriage shop on the family farm learning how to use tools. Once she had her own family and household, she designed and built simple appliances for herself and made toys for her children. As boys, Wilbur and Orville would consult their mother whenever they needed mechanical assistance or advice.
“We were lucky enough to grow up in an environment where there was always much encouragement to children to pursue intellectual interests; to investigate whatever aroused curiosity. In a different kind of environment, our curiosity might have been nipped long before it could have borne fruit.”
-- Orville Wright