could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

Today is:

Good Roads Fairs


Kearney Commercial Club
[forerunner of Chamber of Commerce]

Led in promoting better roads.
Held Good Roads Fairs in 1915, 1916, & 1917 [pre-WWI years]
Purpose was to raise money for making better roads in the county.
Permanent improvements, not maintenance & repair

Good Roads Fair – 1915

     - First Annual Farmers and Merchants Good Roads Fair.
    Held evenings Dec 7-10 [4 days]

    Objective to raise funds to build permanent roads - north to Pleasanton, south to Minden

    Activities included:
        An exhibit of farm power machinery
        A dance each evening

    Donated items sold – auctioned off – by James Boyd
    Donated items included livestock including pig, 25 turkeys and a goat
        Also coal, a buggy and a gasoline engine
    Donated items could be acquired for $1 [won in a raffle]
    The goat was given for $1 the last night [raffle]

    Other sources of income
        Admission charged
        Cash donations
        Farmers could donate time to work on the road, and teams & equipment

    Drive for donations continued after the fair
    Farmers signed up to donate time

    Three schools along the Pleasanton-Kearney road held box suppers to raise funds for the road improvement project.

    Started off with goal of raising $5,000, raised $1,000

    Declared a success   

    Pleasanton decided to hold one the following month

Good Roads Fair 1916 – [A little better than last year]
    Held in mid-Nov.

    1917 Ford to be given for a dollar [raffle]

    Price of admission 10 cents for gentlemen, ladies free.

    Donated items were sold at a country store.

         One of the most popular items was cakes baked by 19th Century Club ladies.

    Last night – Largest crowd expected, all were charged admission, partially to thin the crowd

    Over $1400 raised

Good Roads Fair 1917 – Biggest one yet

    Plans began in July
    Date set for Tue. Oct 9 – Sat. Oct 13

    Have street amusements as well as indoor activities.
    Fashion show to be added
    Afternoon and evening events

    To be held in the new Tollefson garage [on Central & Lincoln Highway]
        26 merchant booths sold @$50 each including 4 auto dealers
        Style show to be held there.
            Included both men’s and women’s clothes.

    Vaudeville show every evening followed by a dance.
        Music by 22 piece city band;
            dance music by same director’s 12 piece orchestra.

    1918 Maxwell touring car the big prize.

    3 Parades –

        1) Grand Merchants Street Parade of decorated floats
        2) Decorated auto parade
    3) Ford parade
        Every owner of a Ford eligible to enter
        Various prizes in Ford parade including –
            Best decorated
            Ford carrying most passengers
            Most dilapidated.

School children dismissed at noon Fri. [Columbus Day] to participate in the giant parade.

        One admission price of 10 cents good for all events of the day except the dance.

    Prof. Condra of state university gave illustrated lecture at Crescent theater on how to build and maintain good roads.

    Results of the fair –
        Children in kindergarten department at college won 1st prize in the Ford parade for most passengers, 36, in a Ford.

    Fair made over $4200 after expenses.

No more Good Road Fairs
    By the next year World War I had begun
    More action in road building after the war
    Heavy equipment was made available
    Vets returning looked for jobs on road crews.

Lincoln Highway

   Laid out in 1913 –

July 19, 1915

A delegation from the Lincoln Highway taking 7000 ft. of moving pictures along the rout4e from New York City to San Francisco.

Took pictures in Kearney area of –

    Oregon Monument at Central & Railroad
    Platte River Bridge
    Water power spillway
    Country club golf links
    Industrial school with the boys in uniform
    View of the Platte Valley from the hill
    TB Hospital
    Seedling Mile
    Normal School & students
    Business and residential districts
    Old Ft. Kearney site

Spokesman for the group said one of the biggest problems of road building was the securing of gravel. But that is not a problem here in the Platte Valley.

December 1, 1915 – Seedling Mile officially open.

Begun in spring but delays held up completion until first week in Nov. Work on shoulders now complete

O-L-D Highway
August 1911 - Omaha, Lincoln, and Denver (the OLD Highway) designated as part of a transcontinental highway by the Transcontinental Highway Association.

Ran through Hastings parallel to the Burlington Railroad

Later designated as Highway 6

July 23, 1915 –
        4 young ladies from Ravenna were driven by automobile to Minden where they took the O-L-D highway west intending to hike to Boulder. They will accept rides along the way. They expect to stop along the way to visit friends and rest.


        [Would we let 4 young ladies do that today?]

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Revised: 02/06/2018