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 an organizational meeting of the association was held with representatives from the Louisiana Purchase states for the purpose of constructing an international highway running north-south from Winnipeg, Ontario to New Orleans, Louisiana. This meeting also determined the route of the new highway. Several Kansas counties competed against each other and against the state of Missouri to have the highway pass through their counties. The Crawford County, Kansas division of the Jefferson Highway Association was formed after the 1915 meeting to help plan and fund the portion of the highway they hoped would pass through their county. Townships and private landowners were to be the primary sources for funding. After much discussion and debate, including some citizens who did not want the highway through their towns, the decision ended in a stalemate with both Kansas and Missouri being awarded the highway between Joplin and Kansas City. The dual highways were eventually completed 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.

The collection at Pittsburg State University includes correspondence about the Jefferson Highway Association; minutes and legal matters of the Association; expenses and balance sheets; the newsletter The Jefferson Highway Declaration; travel brochures and guides; newspapers and articles about the highway; association and convention hosts; maps of the highway and surrounding areas.

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Submissions from 2018

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n.d.; Crawford Township, Grant Township and Brazilton City Listing (Sections 7, 10-12), James A. Gibson

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n.d.; Crawford Township, Grant Township and Brazilton City Listing (Section 1-3, 6)

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n.d.; Crawford Township, Grant Township and Brazilton City Listing (Sections 30, 11-12, 24-26), H. A.; Marion; Paul; F. P. Russell; Coulter; Russell; Hatfield

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n.d.; Crawford Township, Grant Township and Brazilton City Listing (Sections 25-27, 13-14, 23, 28-29)

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n.d.; Crawford Township, Grant Township and Brazilton City Listing (Sections 19-24), Charles E. Gamble

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n.d.; Crawford Township, Grant Township and Brazilton City Listing (Sections 14-19)

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n.d.; Crawford Township, Grant Township and Brazilton City Listing (Sections 7-13)

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n.d.; Crawford Township, Grant Township and Brazilton City Listing (Sections 21-30, 23), Oscar W.; Harry; W. L.; et.al. Schaeffer; Bouck; Ringo

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n.d.; Crawford Township, Grant Township and Brazilton City Listing (Sections 16-20), E. Bee Guthrey

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1916-03-15; Letter, from Oscar W. Schaeffer, 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.)

Submissions from 2011

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1921; Good Roads Association of Greater K. C. (c. 1921) map, Jefferson Highway Association

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1916; Jefferson Highway Map, Unknown

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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 Association 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 Capital"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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n.d.; Brochure

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

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1923-01-08, Letter from Linn County (Kansas) Jefferson Highway Association, to its Members, John E. and Abbott, A. T. Cook

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

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1922-08-12; Minutes, by Charles E. Gamble for the Jefferson Highway Association meeting, Paola (Kan.), T. W. Morse

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1923-01-17; Invoice from The Conner Hotel Co., Kansas City (Mo.), T. W. Morse

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

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n.d.; Resolution from the City of Girard and members of the Jefferson Highway Association Committee, Girard (Kan.), Harry A.; Paul; Marion; and H. P. Russell; Russell; Coulter; Hatfield

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n.d.; Resolution from the City of Girard and members of the Jefferson Highway Association Committee, Girard (Kan.), Harry A.; Paul; Marion; and H. P. Russell; Russell; Coulter; Hatfield

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1924-02-29; Minutes, by William G. Frank for the Jefferson Highway Association meeting of Kansas, Paola (Kan.), Unknown

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1915-12-08; Newspaper article, "Kansas City Star", John M.; R. L.; et.al. Vincent; Kirkpatrick,

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1922-03-23; Minutes, from A.E. Goldman, for the Jefferson Highway Association Delegates, Pittsburg (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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1922-06-09; Certification Notice from G.E. Seay, Saint Joseph (Mo.)

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

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1922-04-18; Minutes, by Parker Bailey, for the Jefferson Highway Association meeting, Paola (Kan.), 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 International Board of Directors of the Jefferson Highway Association, Joplin (Mo.), Parker Bailey

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1922-04-18; Minutes, by Parker Bailey, for the Jefferson Highway Association meeting, Paola (Kan.), Harry Bouck

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1922-04-21; Minutes, by Parker Bailey for the Crawford County Jefferson Highway Association meeting, Girard (Kan.), Harry Bouck

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1917-06-20; Minutes, Kansas Directors meeting, Fort Scott (Kan.), Good Roads Association of Greater K. C.

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1922-07-14; Report, from L.J. Pettijohn, Topeka (Kan.), regarding Jefferson Highway Association Hearing, F. W.; Cha[rle]s;W. Merton; and Glenn, D. A. Newman; Wells; Stoffle

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1923-02-07; Letter, from H.A. Russell, Fort Scott (Kan.), to Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce, Fort Scott (Kan.), H. A. Russell

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1916-11-23; Minutes, Jefferson Highway Association Meeting, Girard (Kan.), Unknown

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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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1922-06-15; 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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1922-06-20; Memorandum, from T.W. Morse, Topeka (Kan.), to Parker Bailey, Girard (Kan.)

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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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1922-04-18; Letter, from H.A. Russell, Paul Russell, F. P. Hatfield and E.B. Van Ness, Paola (Kan.), to National Jefferson Highway Association, L. E. Coles

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1922-06-30; Letter, from L.J. Pettijohn, Topeka (Kan.), to Parker Bailey, Girard (Kan.), L. E. Coles

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1922-06-15; Letter, from John O. Morse, Mound City (Kan.), to H.A. Russell, Fort Scott (Kan.), O. R. Dunlap

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1919-09-15; Letter, from H.A. Russell, Fort Scott (Kan.), to Oscar W. Schaeffer, Girard (Kan.), Hubert Lardner

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1916-03-18; Letter, from W.W. Williams, Pittsburg (Kan.), to Board of County Commissioners, Girard (Kan.), E. T. Meredith

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1919-07-17; Letter, from John E. Cook and A.T. Abbott, Girard (Kan.), to Jefferson Highway Association, Girard (Kan.), E. T. Meredith

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1922-04-20; Letter, from Parker Bailey, Girard (Kan.), to H.A. Russell, Fort Scott (Kan.), E. T. Meredith

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1919-07-12; Letter, from H.A. Russell, Fort Scott (Kan.), to L.E. Coles, Girard (Kan.), E. T., Clarkson, J. D. Meredith

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1922-05-02; Minutes, Board of Directors meeting, Kansas division of the Jefferson Highway Association, Fort Scott (Kan.), Walter Parker

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1919-07-18; Letter, Oscar W. Schaeffer, Girard (Kan.), to Walter Parker, New Orleans (La.), H. A. Russell

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1922-08-18, Letter, from James A. Gibson, Joplin (Mo.), to R.B. Stebbins, Girard (Kan.), H. A. Russell

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1916-10-03; Letter, from Paul Russell, Paola (Kan.), to Oscar W. Schaeffer, Girard (Kan.), Paul Russell

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1916-11-27; Letter, from L. E. Coles, Girard (Kan.), to Directors of the Jefferson Highway Association, Muskogee (Okla.), Paul Russell

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1922-06-13; Letter, from T.W. Morse, Topeka (Kan.), to L.J. Pettijohn, Topeka (Kan.), Paul Russell

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1916-10-03; Letter, from Walter Parker, New Orleans (La.), to Oscar W. Schaeffer, Girard (Kan.), J. Frank Smith

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1917-04-07; Letter, from J. Frank Smith, Pleasanton (Kan.), to O.W. Schaeffer, Girard (Kan.), J. Frank Smith

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1922-01-03; Letter, from J.D. Clarkson, St. Joseph (Mo.), to Joe S. Johnson, Osawatomie (Kan.), J. Frank Smith

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1922-07-17; Letter, from L.J. Pettijohn, Topeka (Kan.), to Parker Bailey, Girard (Kan.), J. Frank Smith

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1922-04-18; Letter, from H.A. Russell, Paul Russell, J.D. Clarkson and E.B. Van Ness, Paola (Kan.), to L.J. Pettijohn, Topeka (Kan.), H. W. Underhill

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

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

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1916-05-26; Letter, from Paul Russell, Paola (Kan.) (copy of personal letter)

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

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1916-05-15; Letter, from J. Frank Smith, Girard (Kan.), to S.M. Brewster, Topeka (Kan.), Charles Delana, S. B. and Blubaugh

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1916-09-23; Letter, from E. T. Meredith, Topeka (Kan.), to Oscar W. Schaeffer, Girard (Kan.), D. C. Flint

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1916-09-26; Letter, from Walter Parker, New Orleans (La.), to Oscar W. Schaeffer, Girard (Kan.), E. T. Meredith

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1916-06-30; Letter, from E.T. Meredith, Des Moines (Iowa), to O.W. Schaeffer, Girard (Kan.), Oscar W. Schaeffer

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1916-05-22; Letter, from J. Frank Smith, Girard (Kan.), to O.W. Shafer [Schaeffer], Girard (Kan.), J. Frank Smith

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1915-12-02; Letter, from J.H. Seeley, Pittsburg (Kan.), to Oscar Schaeffer, Girard (Kan.), Unknown

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1916-01-26; Letter, from E.T. Meredith, Des Moines (Iowa), to Directors of the Jefferson Highway Association, Unknown

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1916-02-26; Letter, from J. Frank Smith, Pleasanton (Kan.), to O.W. Schaeffer, Girard (Kan.), Unknown

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1916-04-28; Letter, from D.C. Flint, Girard (Kan.), to O. W. Schaeffer, Girard (Kan.), Unknown

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1916-05-03; Letter, from E.T. Meredith, Des Moines (Iowa), to O.W. Schaeffer, Girard (Kan.), Unknown

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1916-09-13; Letter, from E. T. Meredith, Des Moines (Iowa), to H. A. Russell, Fort Scott (Kan.), Unknown