The Jefferson Highway Association, named after Thomas Jefferson, was formed in 1915 to build a highway through the Mississippi Valley. The highway was the idea of Edwin T. Meredith, publisher of Successful Farming and Better Homes and Gardens and later Secretary of Agriculture under President Woodrow Wilson, who thought the highway would be economically beneficial to the region's farmers.

In November 1915 a meeting was held with representatives from all the Louisiana Purchase states to organize an association for the purpose of constructing an international highway from Winnipeg in Canada to New Orleans, Louisiana. This convention was also held to determine the route of the new highway. Several Kansas counties were competing against each other and against the state of Missouri to get to be part of the highway. A contest was to be held to determine the route between Kansas City and Joplin, Missouri, the winner to be determined by whichever state, Kansas or Missouri, completed the most miles of new road by September 1916. The Crawford County division of the Jefferson Highway Association was formed after the 1915 convention to help plan and fund the highway. Townships and private landowners were to be the primary sources for funding. It was decided initially that the Kansas route would go through Pittsburg, Girard, and Fort Scott but there were several disagreements that took place while the road was being built. Some places did not want to fund the road and did not see it as a benefit. Girard was later excluded from the route, in spite of many protests, in favor of the Commercial Highway, which went north from Pittsburg to Arcadia and then to Fort Scott. The contest between Kansas and Missouri, in a decision that angered some, ended in a stalemate with both states being awarded the highway between Joplin and Kansas City. After these dual roads were built they were considered too narrow and rough. Despite all these problems, the highway was eventually competed and used by the area communities for many years. The federal and state governments later passed laws that enabled them to build and maintain better highways. The Jefferson highway designation eventually faded away with sections of the road becoming parts of US Highway 69 and US Highway 71.

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Submissions from 2018

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1916-03-15; Letter, from Oscar W. Schaffer, Girard (Kan.), to Officers of the Crawford County Division & 1916-09-16; Minutes for Crawford County Divison of the Jefferson Highway Association meeting, Girard (Kan.)

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1916-03-15; Letter, from Oscar W. Schaffer, Girard (Kan.), to Officers of the Crawford County Division & 1916-09-16; Minutes for Crawford County Divison of the Jefferson Highway Association meeting, Girard (Kan.)

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n.d.; Crawford Township, Grant Township and Brazilton City Listing

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n.d.; Crawford Township, Grant Township and Brazilton City Listing

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n.d.; Crawford Township, Grant Township and Brazilton City Listing

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n.d.; Crawford Township, Grant Township and Brazilton City Listing

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n.d.; Crawford Township, Grant Township and Brazilton City Listing

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n.d.; Crawford Township, Grant Township and Brazilton City Listing

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n.d.; Crawford Township, Grant Township and Brazilton City Listing

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n.d.; Crawford Township, Grant Township and Brazilton City Listing

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n.d.; Crawford Township, Grant Township and Brazilton City Listing, Charles E. Gamble

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n.d.; Crawford Township, Grant Township and Brazilton City Listing, Charles E. Gamble

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n.d.; Crawford Township, Grant Township and Brazilton City Listing, James A. Gibson

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n.d.; Crawford Township, Grant Township and Brazilton City Listing, James A. Gibson

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n.d.; Crawford Township, Grant Township and Brazilton City Listing, E. Bee Guthrey

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n.d.; Crawford Township, Grant Township and Brazilton City Listing, E. Bee Guthrey

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n.d.; Crawford Township, Grant Township and Brazilton City Listing, H. A.; Marion; Paul; F. P. Russell; Coulter; Russell; Hatfield

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n.d.; Crawford Township, Grant Township and Brazilton City Listing, H. A.; Marion; Paul; F. P. Russell; Coulter; Russell; Hatfield

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n.d.; Crawford Township, Grant Township and Brazilton City Listing, Oscar W.; Harry; W. L.; et.al. Schaeffer; Bouck; Ringo

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n.d.; Crawford Township, Grant Township and Brazilton City Listing, Oscar W.; Harry; W. L.; et.al. Schaeffer; Bouck; Ringo

Submissions from 2011

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1915-11-30; Letter, from J.H. Seeley, Pittsburg (Kan.), to Oscar Shaffer, Girard (Kan.)

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1915-11-30; Letter, from J.H. Seeley, Pittsburg (Kan.), to Oscar Shaffer, Girard (Kan.)

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1915-12-08; Newspaper article, ""Kansas City Star""

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1915-12; Newspaper article, First organization meeting of the Jefferson Highway Association

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1915; Broadside, Jefferson Highway Assocation meeting to organize the Crawford County committee, Girard (Kan.)

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1915; Broadside, Jefferson Highway Assocation meeting to organize the Crawford County committee, Girard (Kan.)

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1916-01-05; Newspaper article, ""Topeka Capital""

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1916-01-11; Newspaper article, ""Kansas City Star""

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1916-01; Newspaper article, ""Topeka Jounal""

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1916-02-14; Letter, from S.B. Delana and Charles Blubaugh, Fort Scott (Kan.), to O.W. Schaeffer, Girard (Kan.)

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1916-02-14; Letter, from S.B. Delana and Charles Blubaugh, Fort Scott (Kan.), to O.W. Schaeffer, Girard (Kan.)

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1916-03-28; Newspaper article, ""Topeka Jounal""

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1916-03-28; Newspaper article, ""Topeka Jounal""

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1916-03-28; Newspaper article, ""Topeka Jounal""

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1916-03-29; Newspaper article, ""Kansas City Star""

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1916-03-29; Newspaper article, ""Kansas City Star""

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1916-04; Letter, Jefferson Highway Campaign Fund

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1916-04; Letter, Jefferson Highway Campaign Fund

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1916-05-09; Press Dispatch for Federal Bankhead Bill

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1916-05-09; Press Dispatch for Federal Bankhead Bill

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1916-05-26; Letter, from Paul Russell, Paola (Kan.)

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1916-05-26; Letter, from Paul Russell, Paola (Kan.)

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1916-05-26; Letter, from Paul Russell, Paola (Kan.)

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1916-05-26; Letter, from Paul Russell, Paola (Kan.)

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1916-05-27; Letter, from J. Frank Smith, Pleasanton (Kan.), to O.W. Schaeffer, Giarard (Kan.)

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1916-05-27; Letter, from J. Frank Smith, Pleasanton (Kan.), to O.W. Schaeffer, Giarard (Kan.)

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1916-09-16; Letter, from H.A. Russell, Fort Scott (Kan.), to Oscar Schaeffer, Girard (Kan.)

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1916-09-16; Letter, from H.A. Russell, Fort Scott (Kan.), to Oscar Schaeffer, Girard (Kan.)

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1916-09-16; Letter, from R.S. Tiernan, Fort Scott (Kan.), to Oscar Schaeffer, Giarard (Kan.)

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1916-09-16; Letter, from R.S. Tiernan, Fort Scott (Kan.), to Oscar Schaeffer, Giarard (Kan.)

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1919-09-10; Newspaper article, ""Topeka Capital""

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1921-11-26; Minutes, from D.A. Ahrens, for the Kansas Directors meeting, Miami County

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1921-11-26; Minutes, from D.A. Ahrens, for the Kansas Directors meeting, Miami County

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1922-04-21; Election Certification, Crawford County (Kan.)

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1922-04-21; Election Certification, Crawford County (Kan.)

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1922-04-26; Minutes, by Harry Bouck, for the Jefferson Highway Association meeting, Paola (Kan.)

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1922-04-26; Minutes, by Harry Bouck, for the Jefferson Highway Association meeting, Paola (Kan.)

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1922-05-13; Letter, from Parker Bailey, Girard (Kan.), to H.A. Russell, Fort Scott (Kan.)

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1922-05-13; Letter, from Parker Bailey, Girard (Kan.), to H.A. Russell, Fort Scott (Kan.)

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1922-06-06; Letter, from F.W. Newman, Charles Wells, Merton W. Stoffle, and D.A. Glenn, Pittsburg (Kan.), to L.J. Pettijohn, Topeka (Kan.)

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1922-06-06; Letter, from F.W. Newman, Charles Wells, Merton W. Stoffle, and D.A. Glenn, Pittsburg (Kan.), to L.J. Pettijohn, Topeka (Kan.)

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1922-06-09; Certification Notice from G.E. Seay, Saint Joseph (Mo.)

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1922-06-09; Certification Notice from G.E. Seay, Saint Joseph (Mo.)

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1922-06-15; Memorandum, from T.W. Morse, Topeka (Kan.), to Girard (Kansas) Chamber of Commerce

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1922-06-15; Memorandum, from T.W. Morse, Topeka (Kan.), to Girard (Kansas) Chamber of Commerce

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1922-06-17; Letter, from Parker Bailey, Girard (Kan.), to T.W. Morse, Topeka (Kan.)

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1922-06-17; Letter, from Parker Bailey, Girard (Kan.), to T.W. Morse, Topeka (Kan.)

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1922-06-20; Memorandum, from T.W. Morse, Topkea (Kan.), to Parker Bailey, Girard (Kan.)

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1922-06-20; Memorandum, from T.W. Morse, Topkea (Kan.), to Parker Bailey, Girard (Kan.)

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1922-08-12; Order Regarding Marks Of Jefferson Highway Placed On Short Line In Counties of Kansas

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1922-08-12; Order Regarding Marks Of Jefferson Highway Placed On Short Line In Counties of Kansas

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1922-08; Petition and Signatures, Girard (Kan.)

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1922-08; Petition and Signatures, Girard (Kan.)

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1923-01; Travel expense notes, Girard (Kan.)

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1923-01; Travel expense notes, Girard (Kan.)

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1923-03-27; Letter, from John O. Morse, Mound City (Kan.), to Rolla B. Stebbins, Girard (Kan.)

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1923-03-27; Letter, from John O. Morse, Mound City (Kan.), to Rolla B. Stebbins, Girard (Kan.)

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1923-12-18; Resolution from Crawford County, Kansas Commissioners meeting

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1923-12-18; Resolution from Crawford County, Kansas Commissioners meeting

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1931-02-11; Minutes, from the Hearing of Cherokee, Crawford, and Labette Counties Delegation

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1931-02-11; Minutes, from the Hearing of Cherokee, Crawford, and Labette Counties Delegation

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2002-03-24; Newspaper article, ""The Morning Sun""

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2005-05-29; Newspaper article, ""Kansas City Star""

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2005-05-29; Newspaper article, ""Kansas City Star""

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Jefferson Highway Declaration, April 1916, Vol. 1, No. 3

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Jefferson Highway Declaration, April 1916, Vol. 1, No. 3

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Jefferson Highway Declaration, February 1916, Vol. 1, No. 1

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Jefferson Highway Declaration, February 1916, Vol. 1, No. 1

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n.d.; Brochure

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n.d.; Brochure

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n.d., Letter, from J. Frank Smith, Kansas City (Mo.), to Citizens of Kansas City

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n.d., Letter, from J. Frank Smith, Kansas City (Mo.), to Citizens of Kansas City

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1922-03-18; Minutes, by Parker Bailey, for the Jefferson Highway Association meeting, Paola (Kan.), Parker Bailey

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1922-03-18; Minutes, by Parker Bailey, for the Jefferson Highway Association meeting, Paola (Kan.), Parker Bailey

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1922-07-20; Letter, from E. Bee Guthrey, Tulsa (Okla.), to H.W. Bouck, Girard (Kan.), Parker Bailey

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1922-07-20; Letter, from E. Bee Guthrey, Tulsa (Okla.), to H.W. Bouck, Girard (Kan.), Parker Bailey

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1923-01-08; Itemization of Travel Expenses, by Marion Coulter, Parker Bailey

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1923-01-08; Itemization of Travel Expenses, by Marion Coulter, Parker Bailey

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1923-01-16; Letter, from Harry A. Russell, Paul Russell, Marion Coulter, and H.P. Hatfield, to President, General Manager and InternationalBoard of Directors of the Jefferson Highway Association, Joplin (Mo.), Parker Bailey

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1923-01-16; Letter, from Harry A. Russell, Paul Russell, Marion Coulter, and H.P. Hatfield, to President, General Manager and InternationalBoard of Directors of the Jefferson Highway Association, Joplin (Mo.), Parker Bailey