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History of the Interstate Trail, Jefferson Highway and Jefferson Association

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In conclusion, the Jefferson Highway Association shall be remembered in Iowa’s transportation history books for: the pioneering of the good roads movement in the Mississippi Valley; linking communities, county seats, state capitals, industrial and population centers; opening up the avenues of travel, bringing a closer relationship between town and country, communities, and neighboring states; and establishing international goodwill between the U.S. and Canada.

In the words of Hugh Shepard, “The closer association of communities and individuals, both neighboring and distant, causes sectional lines to be obliterated and doubts and mistrust to be banished. In this work of promoting peace and good will, the building of good road and the establishment of trunk lines and international highways has played an important part.”

Nov. 9, 2009 — Jefferson Highway enthusiast and historian Mike Conlin of Metairie, La., retraced the entire route in what he has called a "Reawakening of an International Treasure" and mapping expedition. Read full article.

Sources and Links

  • Powers Museum, "More on the Jefferson Highway", 2004.

  • Lyell Henry, "Along the Jefferson Highway", Lincoln Highway Association Newsletter, Along the Lincoln Highway.'s%20NL%20Archive/003/003.html

  • Lyell Henry, (2008).  “Following in the Lincoln’s Wake: The Jefferson Highway,” The Lincoln Highway Forum, 15.4, 34-46.

  • Mary Warner, "Jefferson Highway", Morrison County (Minnesota) Historical Society online. 2001.

  • Poplar Heights Farm in Bates County, Missouri had a founding role in the New Jefferson Highway Association and ran an automobile in the “Sociability Run” of 2003,

  • Timeline of Jefferson Highway in Cass County (Missouri) Democrat, compiled by Carol Bohl, 2003,

  • The Jefferson Highway Association, Crawford County Division, Records, 1915-2005, contain items such as correspondence, minutes, maps, newspaper clippings and other related items to the Jefferson Highway, are housed at the Leonard H. Axe Library, and of the Kansas Technology Center Library - Pittsburg (KS) State University,

  • A mural to commemorate the Jefferson Highway was installed Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2007, on a building owned by Shelton and Sons Construction at 1201 N. Independence in Harrisonville, Missouri, which was on the route of the original Jefferson Highway. The mural was created on two aluminum panels by area artist Daniel Brewer. The 8’ x 12’ panel depicts the front of a Jefferson Highway tourist guide from the early 1920s, while the 4’ x 8’ panel is a map of the route of the highway from New Orleans to Winnipeg, Canada.

  • Web site featuring local Canadian knowledge about the Jefferson Highway, as well as offering links to historical societies and museums with archives is located at

  • Shortly before his death in June 1966, Edwin T. Meredith, Jr. presented a large collection of his father's correspondence to The University of Iowa Libraries. Although the original gift represented the bulk of the elder Meredith's surviving papers, subsequent additions by members of the family and the Meredith Publishing Company have increased the total amount of material to well over 26,000 items. These papers are open for research in the Special Collections Department of The University of Iowa Libraries.

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