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Texas Interstate Highways from 1919

Newspaper article
The roads that connected Texas to surrounding states were highlighted in this article in the Wichita Falls Times from New Year's Eve, 1919. Just a little something to think about: most of these roads were not paved except within the cities.

More often than not, I am searching for something in newspaper databases and suddenly discover an article that I didn't mean to find. And the last time this happened, I found a gem!


The New Year edition of the Wichita Daily Times (Wichita Falls, Wichita County, Texas) from December 31, 1919 highlights all of the new interstate highways that will cover the state in the upcoming years. While the resolution for the published map is not the best, the descriptions of the named highways are excellent. Check out the cropped images of routes that traveled through the Red River Valley to learn more about these old thoroughfares, and what became of them!


The 1919 network of roads were the result of the decades' long Good Roads Movement.


And maybe you can follow them! Here is the 1920 Automobile Blue Book that helped drivers navigate these streets back before GPS and Google Maps. Driving down these old roads is seriously a great way to spend a weekend. Note that many highways, including the Hobby Highway, are not included in the 1920 Blue Book.


See my whole collection of Road Histories... with more to come!


The Dixie Highway

Route description
The Dixie Highway is now US 80 east of Dallas and links the city to Shreveport, Bossier City, and ultimately, Georgia!

Discover the Dixie Highway on Red River Historian! Then, take a drive through Shreveport on US 80 aka Texas Street.


The Throckmorton Highway

Route description
The Throckmorton Highway linked Lamar County at the Red River to New Mexico. Today, this is US 271, then TX 19, then US 380 from Greenville (Hunt County) west.

The Ozark Trail

Route description
The Ozark Trail merits an entire page dedication, as it ran right across Oklahoma. In Texas, it bisected the panhandle. It is best known as Old Route 66 (No. 66 was the federal designation granted in 1926).

The North Texas Highway

Route Description
The North Texas Highway paralleled the Red River and linked Arkansas to New Mexico through Texas. Today, we know and love (loathe!) this dandy road as US 82. This is an old route, often designated as the Spanish Road (NOT the Camino de Real) that linked Santa Fe to Natchitoches in the colonial period.

Read River Historian's article on the Great Spanish Road! aka US 82.


The Jefferson Highway

Route description
The Jefferson Highway was designated "From Palm to Pine" in tourist brochures as it linked New Orleans to Winnipeg, Canada. It entered Texas in Denison and left the state at Waskom.

The Jefferson Highway is one of my favorite topics. Here's some information about it Gloster and Grand Ecore, Louisiana!


The Hobby Highway

Route Description
I live along the Hobby Highway, which became US 77 and then, Interstate 35 (also, US 377). In Dallas, it was known as Harry Hines Boulevard.

King of Trails Highway

Newspaper article
Today, the King of Trails is known as US 75. It connects Kansas to the Gulf of Mexico.

Jim Hogg Highway

Newspaper article
Named after the progressive Texas governor from the 1890s, this highway never came to much --- today, the Bryarly Ferry road is fenced off. Most of this route is now TX State Highway 37. My grandmother lived along the road from Bryarly (where she ran a grocery store and the post office for a bit).

Southwest Trail

Newspaper article
The Southwest Road through Texas should not be confused with the one that transects Hempstead County from Washington to Fulton. The Texas one mirrors an old cattle trail.

Wichita Valley Highway

Newspaper article
The Wichita Valley Highway is now US 277 until Abilene and then becomes US 83.

Red River to Gulf Highway

Newspaper article
The Red River to Gulf Highway is mainly TX State Highway 19, but much of it has been subsumed by other road designations. It linked the Red River to the Gulf of Mexico!

The Meridian Highway

Newspaper article
Now known as US 81, the Meridian Highway was named after the survey line which, among other things, partially divided Indian and Oklahoma territories. It parallels the old Abilene Cattle Trail (Chisholm Trail) throughout most of North Texas and Oklahoma.

The Bankhead Highway

Newspaper article
The grand dame of the Good Roads movement, the Bankhead Highway was designated Highway 1 by Texas in 1919. Named after an Alabama senator who championed the road, it entered Texas at Texarkana and kept going westward to Dallas, El Paso, and eventually, California. Its starting point is Washington DC.

The Bankhead Highway designation was so popular that every town, city, and valley wanted to be on its route. But it actually began life as the Southern National Highway.

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