could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

Today is:

Lincoln Highway

The Route through Buffalo County

Basically follows present-day Highway 30 – with a few detours

Coming from the east:

1. Entered county south of the UP tracks at Shelton [instead of north side as now]

        a. the highway turned north on Wiseman [which is the county line] to cross the tracks
        b. at 1st St., the route turned west to C St.
        c. at C, the route turned south to present Highway30

2. Followed Highway 30 through Gibbon to Kearney

3. East edge of Kearney on 25th St. passed the Midway Hotel
        a. At 9th Ave the original route turned south 1 block [No college curve back then]
        b. then west on 24th St. on out of town.

4. West edge of Kearney the highway followed the curving Kearney Canal.

5. At Odessa, the route turned north to 39th Rd [almost a mile]
        a. 4 miles west on 39th to Cessna Rd.
        b. Turn south less than a quarter of a mile to the present Highway 30.

6. At Elm Creek, the route turned north to 56th Rd, [2/3 mile]
        a. then west into Dawson County where it merged with current Highway 30 again.

Objective of these turns through Shelton and Elm Creek were to take the highway through the middle of town.

The first highways were routed past the businesses
With the interstate system, the businesses come to the highway.

Surfacing of Lincoln Highway
Kearney in the Gibbon to Lexington district, a distance of 43.1 miles, all dirt.

Seeding Miles

The first Seedling Mile, a 10 foot wide strip of paving one mile long, completed in October, 1914, west of DeKalb, Illinois.

Nebraska was next to show interest…. Fremont, Grand Island, Kearney

Instead of 10 feet wide, Kearney made theirs 15 feet wide. …

But the rest was still dirt

June, 1916 – Due to heavy rains a truck became stuck in the mud on the Lincoln Highway at Buda. It was mired in so deep the owner/driver had to leave it there.

        Mud hole in front of Winchester residence west of Gibbon [Boyd Ranch site]

April 2, 1923 – Work was progressing on the Lincoln Highway, east.

        Many farmers had already set back their fences and grading would be started shortly.

April 30, 1925 – Annual Meeting of the Lincoln Highway Association held in Kearney

        More than 100 delegates

        Discussion included advantages of paving

        Believed gravel or paving on Lincoln Highway for length of state could be brought about in a year

"It was learned that within ten days or two weeks, when the Lincoln Highway through this county is surfaced with gravel for its entire length and the road to Pleasanton is also surfaced, Buffalo County will be further advanced on gravel surfacing of state aid roads than another county in Nebraska."

Financing Construction & Maintenance of Roads

Nebraska legislatures of 1869, 1871, and 1873 had said that county section lines were to be public roads no more than trails, adequate for high - stepping horses and slow-moving wagons

        Road repair was a township responsibility.

Various automobile clubs led to highway associations.

        Sort of Chambers of Commerce, getting their support from towns which would be on their routes.

                Lincoln Highway Association – NE branch one of the most active in the country.

                Brochure from the Nebraska branch -

                        "No other state in the Union has so many miles of level road as the Lincoln Highway across our state,"

                Soliciting funds in 1914 for planting trees along the roadside.

                        Inspired Watson to plant trees????

Early Roads had names, not numbers.

        If they have a name today, they are old routes -

                the Dixie Highway, the Yellowstone Trail, the Old Spanish trail, and the Lincoln Highway.

        Another Highway Association in Nebraska promoted the O-L-D Highway

                Omaha, Lincoln, Denver –
                In 1920 became the D-L-D, Detroit to Denver
                Now known as US 6.

Federal Aid Road Act of 1916 – provided federal funds to match state money

Federal Aid Highway Act of 1925.

        The Act established a system of numbered routes
        In 1926 Nebraska highways were numbered and marked with metal signs
                Odd-numbered routes run generally north to south
                Even-numbered routes run generally east to west.

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Revised: 02/06/2018