100 Years of the Lincoln Highway in DeKalb County


A century of the Lincoln Highway in DeKalb County will be the focus of a presentation Wednesday, April 24 at 7:00 p.m. at the DeKalb County Farm Bureau building, 1350 West Prairie Drive in Sycamore. The DeKalb County Homemakers Education Association is the sponsor of the event, which is free and open to the public. The year 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln Highway.

Image courtesy of the Regional History Center

The Lincoln Highway stretches over 3,300 miles from Times Square, New York City to the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. In 1913, the Lincoln Highway Association chose DeKalb County to include when they mapped out and established the route, often linking a “patchwork quilt” of already existing roads. Several leading officials from DeKalb County were key to the Lincoln Highway’s success and the Good Roads Movement in Illinois. Soon, residents understood the importance of improved roads over mud, both for automobiles as well as horses and wagons.

Kay Shelton is a long-time member of the Lincoln Highway Association and currently serves as the State Director for the Illinois Chapter of the Lincoln Highway Association. During the last annual conference in 2012, the national Board of Directors elected her President of the Lincoln Highway Association, which has membership from 40 of the 50 states and several countries. She also teaches geography at Kishwaukee College, the site of the First Seedling Mile of the Lincoln Highway. The Illinois Chapter of the Lincoln Highway Association will be hosting a 100th Anniversary Bash in May.

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