Lincoln Highway History
1913, July 1 - a group of automobile enthusiasts and industry
officials established the Lincoln Highway Association (LHA) in
Detroit, Michigan. Henry Joy was its first president. Source
Then September 14, 1913, the "Official" route was announced.
Source The route
of was formally dedicated by the LHA on October 31 of the year.
1920 Washington County Plat Map shows Washington street extending
east to about modern day 4th street, but did not go all the way east to the
river crossing. Traffic was routed east on Jackson Street past the
1926, November, States approved the U.S. highway numbering system
1928, the LHA ended its active promotion, but not before one last
publicity stunt. The Lincoln Highway was officially marked and dedicated to
the memory of Abraham Lincoln on September 1, 1928. On that day, at 1:00
p.m., groups of Boy Scouts placed approximately 3,000 concrete markers at
sites along the route. They were placed on the outer edge of the
right-of-way at each important crossroad, at minor crossings, and at other
intervals to assure each motorist that he was on the right road. The signs
carried the Lincoln Highway insignia, a bronze medallion ("This Highway
Dedicated to Abraham Lincoln") and a directional arrow.
1925 Department of Agriculture announced a plan to designated a
number of road in the nation with a uniform system of marking highway
routes. Much of the Lincoln Highway route through Nebraska became part
of U.S. 30. The name, Lincoln Highway, remained associated with the
route for many years after its designation as U.S. 30.
1927 The Lincoln Highway Association officially disbanded on
December 31 after agreeing to mark the highway one last time as a memorial
to Abraham Lincoln. (source)
The Abraham Lincoln Memorial Bridge (Blair Bridge) was opened across the
Missouri River, causing the Lincoln Highway to be rerouted from Missouri Valley,
Iowa, to Fremont, Nebraska, via Blair, Nebraska, bypassing Omaha.
1930 July 30, The Omaha World-Herald stated that the rerouting of
the the highway would have little affect on traffic. However, what
outraged local citizens was not entirely the rerouting, but instead the
manner in which the Lincoln Highway Association went about redesignating the
route. Without notifying Omaha or Council Bluffs officials, the
organization order several crews of workers to remove the makers from the
original route to the new one in the middle of the night.
[Ahlgren & Anthone] Two days
later, the Omaha World-Herald [July 25, 1930
"Strong Protest as Omaha Loses Lincoln Highway"] printed the Lincoln
Highway Association's rebuttal. Gael S. Hoag, secretary of the
organization, stated that "Lincoln Highway: was a copyrighted name.
Therefore, the markers which line the highway are private property, owned by
the association, and could be place where they saw fit. He went on to
explain that, because the markers were private property, they only need
permission from the towns in which the signs were to be placed and not from
the places they were removed. Source:
Nebraska Historic Highway Survey, Nebraska State Historical Society and
Nebraska Department of Roads. Page 53 & 54
1932, November 1 -- Blair City Council pass a resolution
acknowledging that the Lincoln Highway Bureau gave the right and authority
to move the Lincoln Highway through the city limits of Blair.
Said Highway shall proceed from the western
terminal of the Blair Bridge to the eastern terminal of the brick paving
of Washington Street, thence west on Washington Street to Third Street
(present day 19th Street,) thence south on
Third Street to South. Street, thence southwest as routed at present.
Source: City Council Minutes
1939 David H. Traill, traveling executive sectary for
the Iowa-Nebraska Lincoln Highway Association documented the highway through
a photographic survey of directional signs along the Lincoln Highway in
1940, March 23, NBC Radio introduced a Saturday morning dramatic show
called Lincoln Highway.
1992 On October 31, the Lincoln Highway Association was reformed
in Ogden, Iowa, as a nonprofit organization dedicated to the
interpretation and preservation of America’s first transcontinental