Grayson County, Texas
Grayson County is a county in the U. S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 120,877; the county seat is Sherman. The county was founded in 1846 and is named after Peter Wagener Grayson, an attorney general of the Republic of Texas. Grayson County is included in the Sherman-Denison, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area, included in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX Combined Statistical Area, it is part of the Texoma region, with proximity to both Lake Texoma and the Red River. The earliest known inhabitants of what is now Grayson County were Caddo Amerindian groups, including Tonkawa and Kichai; these groups engaged in agriculture and traded with Spanish and French colonists at trading posts along the Red River. Trading posts were established at Preston Bend on the Red River and Pilot Grove during 1836 and 1837. After the establishment of the Peters Colony in the early 1840s, settlement near the Red River increased. Grayson County was created from Fannin County by the Texas State Legislature on March 17, 1846.
The county seat, was designated by the Texas State Legislature. In the 1850s, trading and marketing at Preston Bend became more important, as agriculture expanded in the county; this was helped by the first trail in the state. It went from Preston Bend to Texas. More growth occurred after the establishment of Sherman as station of the Butterfield Overland Mail route in 1856. Opinions in the county about secession were divided. County residents voted by more than two to one in 1861 against secession, desiring to remain in the Union; the Great Hanging at Gainesville in nearby Cooke County in October 1862 was an attack on dissenters, men who were suspected of resisting conscription and having been Unionists. After 150-200 men were arrested by state troops, the military organized a so-called "Citizens Court", which had no basis in state law, its jury convicted and sentenced more than 25 men to death by hanging. Another 14 were lynched outright by a mob without the cover of a trial. A total of 42 men were killed in the proceedings that month, considered the largest vigilante murders in US history.
Violence continued for a time in Sherman and other towns of North Texas, at times at the hands of Confederate military. E. Junius Foster, the editor of the Patriot newspaper, was murdered in 1862 by Capt. Jim Young, son of Col. William Young, killed in Cooke County; the senior Young had organized the Citizens Court that put so many men to death, Foster had "applauded" Young's death. When other men were rounded up as suspect Unionists in Sherman, Brig. General James W. Throckmorton intervened and saved all but five, lynched. Men from Grayson County served the Confederacy at locations in the South; the Eleventh Texas Cavalry captured federal forts in the Indian Territory north of the Red River. Grayson County and much of Texas suffered economic depression in the postwar years during the Reconstruction era, based in part on difficulties in reliance on agriculture in the South, adjustments to free labor, other problems; the driving of cattle herds north along Preston Road provided needed income for the county during this period.
After the Houston and Texas Central Railroad and the Missouri and Texas Railroad began operating in the county in 1872, settlement in Grayson County picked up and flourished during the 1870s and 1880s. Cotton plantations were developed to cultivate this as the predominant commodity crop. Many towns, including Denison, Van Alstyne, Whitewright and Tom Bean, were founded during this time. In 1879, a group of settlers who had settled in North Texas both before and after statehood came together in Grayson County for political discussions, they formed the Old Settlers Association of North Texas. The association purchased 26 acres, they continued to meet on an annual basis for many years. On May 15, 1896, a tornado measuring F5 on the Fujita scale struck Sherman; the tornado's damage path was 400 yards wide and 28 miles long, it killed 73 people and injured 200. About 50 homes were destroyed, with 20 of them being obliterated. During the Sherman Riot of 1930, Grayson County's 1876 courthouse was burned down by a white mob that rioted during the trial of George Hughes, an African-American man.
When the riot started, Hughes was locked by police in the vault at the courthouse and died in the fire. After rioters retrieved Hughes' body from the vault, they dragged it behind a car, hanged it, set afire. Texas Ranger Frank Hamer was in Grayson County during this riot and reported the situation to Texas Governor Dan Moody. Governor Moody sent National Guard troops to Grayson County on May 9 and more on May 10 to control the situation. Grayson County's current courthouse was completed in 1936; the Bridge War called the Red River Bridge War or the Toll Bridge War, was a 1931 bloodless boundary conflict between the U. S. states of Oklahoma and Texas over an existing toll bridge and a new free bridge crossing the Red River between Grayson County and Bryan County, Oklahoma. In 1938, construction of a dam on the Red River was authorized by the U. S. Congress; the dam's construction was completed in part by the use of labor provided by German prisoners-of-war held at Camp Howze, in Cooke County, during World War II.
The dam is now known as Denison Dam. Lake Texoma was formed behind it and is used for recreation and electrical power generation. Perrin Air Force Base was constructed in 1941; the base closure in 1971 was a blow to the county economy. The availability of skilled labor associated with the base helped attract industrial plants. In addition, the base was converted to a civilian airpo
Upshur County, Texas
Upshur County is a county located in the eastern part of the U. S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 39,309; the county seat is Gilmer. The county is named for Abel P. Upshur, U. S. Secretary of State during President John Tyler's administration. Upshur County is part of the Longview, Texas Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the Longview–Marshall, TX Combined Statistical Area. Humans have inhabited; the Caddoan people lived in this area, but were driven out about 1750 due to losses from new infectious diseases carried chronically by Europeans. Some Cherokee migrated to the area from their territories in the Southeast - Georgia and Alabama; the Cherokee were driven out of here by European-American settlers in 1839, after having been removed from the Southeast. The first European-American settler in Upshur county was Isaac Moody, who settled there in 1836. Upshur County was named for Secretary of State under John Tyler. Upshur County has the distinction of being the county that has the largest settlement in Texas organized by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In 1904 the Latter-day Saint South-western States Mission organized a colony at Texas. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 593 square miles, of which 583 square miles is land and 9.7 square miles is water. U. S. Highway 80 U. S. Highway 259 U. S. Highway 271 State Highway 154 State Highway 155 State Highway 300 Camp County Morris County Marion County Harrison County Gregg County Smith County Wood County As of the census of 2000, there were 35,291 people, 13,290 households, 10,033 families residing in the county; the population density was 60 people per square mile. There were 14,930 housing units at an average density of 25 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 85.70% White, 10.15% Black or African American, 0.63% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 2.10% from other races, 1.17% from two or more races. 3.95% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 13,290 households out of which 33.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.70% were married couples living together, 11.00% had a female householder with no husband present, 24.50% were non-families.
21.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.30% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.05. In the county, the population was spread out with 27.00% under the age of 18, 8.00% from 18 to 24, 26.60% from 25 to 44, 24.10% from 45 to 64, 14.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.10 males. The median income for a household in the county was $33,347, the median income for a family was $38,857. Males had a median income of $31,216 versus $20,528 for females; the per capita income for the county was $16,358. 14.90% of the population and 12.30% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 18.60% of those under the age of 18 and 14.00% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line. Upshur County is represented in the Texas Senate from Mineola. Upshur County is represented in the Texas House of Representatives by Republican Jay Dean, from Longview.
Upshur County, along with Marion County, is part of the 115th Judicial District of Texas. The presiding judge of the 115th Judicial District is Judge Dean Fowler. Prior to serving as judge of the 115th Judicial District, Fowler served as the Upshur County Judge from January 1, 2003 until December 31, 2018. Per the Texas Constitution of 1876, the chief administrative body of Upshur County is the five-member Upshur County Commissioners Court; the County Judge is elected separately. The county road maintenance is administrated by the County Road Administrator; this system was adopted in Upshur County in November 2002 and reaffirmed by two subsequent elections. The commissioners court oversees all of the Upshur County government's operations. Upshur County Judge Todd Tefteller began his first term on January 1, 2019, he presides over the Upshur County Criminal, Probate and Commissioners Court. Commissioner Paula Gentry is in her second term and has served Precinct One since January 1, 2013. Commissioner Dustin Nicholson began his first term as Commissioner of Precinct Two on January 1, 2019.
Commissioner Frank Berka is in his second term and has served Precinct Three since January 1, 2013. Commissioner Jay Miller began his first term as Commissioner of Precinct Four on January 1, 2019; the following school districts serve Upshur County: Big Sandy ISD Gilmer ISD Gladewater ISD Harmony ISD New Diana ISD Ore City ISD Pittsburg ISD Union Grove ISD Union Hill ISD Big Sandy The singer-songwriter Michelle Shocked, who grew up in Gilmer, refers to Upshur County in several of her songs. Author Edward Hancock II sets many of his stories around Upshur County, Texas. National Register of Historic Places listings in Upshur County, Texas Recorded Texas Historic Landmarks in Upshur County Upshur County from the Handbook of Texas Online Upshur County
Uvalde County, Texas
Uvalde County is a county located in the U. S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 26,405, its county seat is Uvalde. The county was created in 1850 and organized in 1856, it is named for the Spanish governor of Coahuila. Uvalde County was founded by Reading Wood Black who founded the city of Uvalde, Texas. Uvalde County comprises TX Micropolitan Statistical Area. Artifacts establish human habitation dating back to 7000 B. C. Evidence of a permanent Indian village on the Leona River at a place south of the Fort Inge site is indicated in the written accounts of Fernando del Bosque's exploration in 1675. Comanche, Tonkawa and Lipan Apache continued hunting and raiding settlers into the 19th Century. On January 9, 1790, Juan de Ugalde, governor of Coahuila and commandant of the Provincias Internas, led 600 men to a decisive victory over the Apaches near the site of modern Utopia at a place known as Arroyo de la Soledad. In honor of his victory, the canyon area was thereafter called Cañon de Ugalde.
French botanist Jean-Louis Berlandier visited the area in the late 1820s. James Bowie guided a group of silver prospectors into the area of north central Uvalde County in the 1830s. A trail used by General Adrián Woll's Mexican Army on its way to attack San Antonio in 1842 crossed the territory of Uvalde County and became the main highway to San Antonio. Fort Inge was established in 1849 to repress Indian depredations on the international border with Mexico, was served by the Overland Southern Mail. One of the first settlers to the environs was William Washington Arnett, who arrived in the winter of 1852; the Canyon de Ugalde Land Company, formed by land speculators in San Antonio in 1837, began purchasing headright grants in Uvalde County in the late 1830s. Reading Wood Black, who with a partner, Nathan L. Stratton, purchased an undivided league and labor on the Leona River in 1853 at the future site of Uvalde. May 2, 1855, Black hired San Antonio lithographer Wilhelm Carl August Thielepape, laid out Encina, the town known as Uvalde.
Waresville settlement by Capt. William Ware in the upper Sabinal Canyon and Patterson Settlement by George W. Patterson, John Leakey, A. B. Dillard on the Sabinal River coincided with Reading Black's development of the Leona River at Encina. In November 1855, Reading Wood Black lobbied the Texas legislature to organize Uvalde County. On May 12, the county was formally organized. On June 14, Encina was named county seat; the second floor of the courthouse was made into a school, six school districts were organized for the county in 1858. The San Antonio-El Paso Mail route was extended along the county's main road with a stop at Fort Inge in 1857. Conflict between Mexicans and Anglos during and after the Mexican War continued in Uvalde County, with the reported lynching of eleven Mexicans near the Nueces River in 1855. Laws passed in 1857 prohibited Mexicans from traveling through the county. Residents of Uvalde County voted 76–16 against secession from the Union; the abandonment of Fort Inge after secession was followed by renewed Indian attacks.
Many men in Uvalde County fought for the Confederacy, while some Unionists fled to Mexico to avoid persecution. Uvalde County endured three decades of unrelenting lawlessness after the Civil War. Violence and Confederate-Union conflicts among citizens were so pervasive that armed guards were employed to assist the county tax assessor and collector, the county had no sheriff for nearly two years; the years following the Civil War were marked by conflicts between Confederates and Unionists returning to live in Uvalde County. Smugglers and horse rustlers, numerous other desperadoes saturated the area, including notorious cattle rustler, J. King Fisher, appointed Uvalde sheriff in 1881. Willis Newton of The Newton Gang robbed his first train near Uvalde. Jess and Joe Newton retired to Uvalde; the Uvalde Umpire began publication in 1878 and the Hesparian in 1879. The Galveston and San Antonio Railway was built through the county, passing through Sabinal and Uvalde City, in 1881. William M. Landrum introduced Angora goats to the area in the 1880s.
By the turn of the century goats outnumbered cattle. Pat Garrett lived in the county 1891–1900By 1905 the Southern Pacific had established railheads in Uvalde and Sabinal; the local bee industry developed a product. Garner State Park built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and opened in 1941. Garner Army Air Field the same year; the National Fish Hatchery, completed in 1937, produced a million catfish, largemouth bass and sunfish in the 1970s. $45 million was generated by farming in Uvalde County in 1974. In January 1989 Uvalde County withdrew from the Edwards Underground Water District. In 1990 Uvalde County had a population of 23,340, with 60 percent identified as Hispanic. From the Mexican Revolution in 1910, immigrant labor force cleared large tracts of land and digging ditches, as irrigation spread throughout the county; the Uvalde and Northern Railway to Camp Wood, the Asphalt Beltway Railway in 1921, the expansion of the asphalt mines in far southwestern Uvalde County at Blewett and Dabney were completed with the help of Mexican labor.
By 1960 Mexican Americans made up one half of Uvalde County's 16,015 population. Seasonal migrant workers continued to move to Uvalde and Sabinal during the 1960s.. The Alien Land Laws of 1891, 1892 and 1921 prohibited ownership of Texas land by non-citizen residents; the laws were repealed in 1965 by the Fifty-ninth Texas Legislature. These and other discriminatory deed restrictions had limited Tejanos in the purchase of town lots in the county. Efforts to gain civil rights for
Texas state highway system
Texas state highways are a network of highways owned and maintained by the U. S. state of Texas. The Texas Department of Transportation is the state agency responsible for the day-to-day operations and maintenance of the system. Texas has the largest state highway system, followed by North Carolina's state highway system. In addition to the nationally numbered Interstate Highways and U. S. Highways, the highway system consists of a main network of state highways, loops and beltways that provide local access to the other highways; the system includes a large network of farm to market roads that connect rural areas of the state with urban areas and the rest of the state highway system. The state owns and maintains some park and recreational roads located near and within state and national parks, as well as recreational areas. All state highways, regardless of classification, are paved roads; the Old San Antonio Road known as the El Camino Real, is the oldest highway in the United States, first being blazed in 1691.
The length of the highways varies from US 83's 893.4 miles inside the state borders to Spur 200 at just 0.05 miles long. The Texas State Highway System can trace its roots to the establishment of the Texas Highway Department on April 4, 1917. Administrative control of the department was given to a three-member commission appointed by the governor for two-year terms. On June 21, 1917, the commission conducted its first public hearing to solicit input on potential highway routes; the committee divided the state into six divisions to be headquartered in Amarillo, Fort Worth, San Angelo, San Antonio. That year, the commission designated 26 state highways covering 8,865 miles which were to be accessible to 89% of the state's population. In 1921, Congress amended the Federal Aid to Roads Act of 1916 to require the states to take control of road design and maintenance of state highways by 1925; as a result, on January 1, 1924, the Texas Highway Department took full control of maintaining the state highways from the counties within which they resided.
In 1925, the state legislature granted the highway department the responsibility of surveying and building highways, the authorization to acquire new highway rights-of-way by purchasing, or condemning through eminent domain, land required for highway construction. By 1927, the highway system covered 17,960 miles, of which 96 miles were concrete, 1,060 miles were asphalt, 5,000 miles were gravel, shell or stone, 10,000 miles were clay or soil. In 1951, a 50-mile section of the Gulf Freeway opened. In 1957, the state began receiving federal funding for the construction of the Interstate Highway System; the first section of Interstate Highway from county line to county line to open in the state was a 43-mile section of I-35 in Bexar County. By 1967, the highway system controlled 66,000 miles of highway. In 1984, US 66 was replaced by I-40 and the US 66 designation was removed from the state highway system the following year. In 1992, the 3,200 miles of Interstate Highway System in Texas was completed with the opening of a six-mile section of I-27.
In 1997, the Texas Turnpike Authority was merged with TxDOT and independently, the North Texas Turnpike Authority became responsible for toll projects in Collin, Dallas and Tarrant counties. The Interstate Highway System in Texas covers 3,233.4 miles and consists of ten primary highways, seven auxiliary highways, the splitting of both Interstate 35 and Interstate 69 into multiple letter-suffixed branches. The Interstate Highway with the longest segment in Texas is I-10 at 880.6 miles. The shortest in the state is I-110 at 0.9 miles. The construction of the Interstate Highway System in Texas began well before these routes were designated as Interstate Highways. A 50-mile stretch of the Gulf Freeway between Galveston and Houston was opened in 1951, eight years before it was designated I-45, it was the first urban expressway in Texas. In 1962, 43 miles of I-35 opened in Bexar County, the first section of Interstate Highway to open from county line to county line in a large metropolitan area. Portions of I-10 west of San Antonio took much longer to complete due to the vast open spaces and lack of nearby labor.
The majority of the construction of this section of I-10 occurred in the 1970s and 1980s and was complete by the early 1990s. The section east of San Antonio was completed 20 years earlier in 1972; the opening of a 6-mile section of I-27 in 1992 completed the Interstate Highway System in Texas. Construction is ongoing for an extension of I-69 southward from its original terminus in Indiana through Texas to the Mexican border; when built, I-69 will extend about 650 miles across Texas, from the Louisiana state line in the Texarkana–Shreveport area to South Texas. Similar to I-35, I-69 splits into three letter-suffixed branches, I-69E, I-69C, I-69W; the United States Numbered Highways are a nationwide grid of highways, but unlike the Interstate Highway System, there is no minimum design standard for these highways. This is evident as some stretches of the U. S. Highways in Texas are nothing more than a two-lane rural road. Although the U. S. Highways have been replaced for the most part by Interstate Highways for through traffic, the U.
S. Highways still serve as important regional connectors. Several notable examples of U. S. Highways that are built to freeway standards include US 75 and US 80 in Dallas, US 59 and US 290 in Houston, US 90 and US 281 in
Titus County, Texas
Titus County is a county located in the northeastern region of the U. S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 32,334, its county seat is Mount Pleasant. The county is named for an early settler. Titus County comprises TX Micropolitan Statistical Area. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 426 square miles, of which 406 square miles is land and 20 square miles is water. Interstate 30 U. S. Highway 67 U. S. Highway 271 State Highway 11 State Highway 49 Red River County Morris County Camp County Franklin County As of the census of 2000, there were 28,118 people, 9,552 households, 7,154 families residing in the county; the population density was 68 people per square mile. There were 10,675 housing units at an average density of 26 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 1.10 % other. 40.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 9,552 households out of which 39.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.00% were married couples living together, 11.40% had a female householder with no husband present, 25.10% were non-families.
22.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.10% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.88 and the average family size was 3.36. In the county, the population was spread out with 30.30% under the age of 18, 9.80% from 18 to 24, 28.00% from 25 to 44, 19.50% from 45 to 64, 12.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 97.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.00 males. The median income for a household in the county was $32,452, the median income for a family was $37,390. Males had a median income of $26,466 versus $18,238 for females; the per capita income for the county was $15,501. About 14.90% of families and 18.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.10% of those under age 18 and 14.10% of those age 65 or over. Titus County was represented in the Texas State Senate by Bill Ratliff, a Republican politician who served from 2001-2003 as Lieutenant Governor of Texas.
Prior to 2000, Titus County was dominated by the Democratic Party at the presidential level, only voting for Republican candidates before in the midst of 49-state landslides in 1972 & 1984. From 2000 on, it has become solidly Republican at the presidential level along with the rest of East Texas; the following school districts serve Titus County: Chapel Hill ISD Daingerfield-Lone Star ISD Harts Bluff ISD Mount Pleasant ISD Pewitt CISD Rivercrest ISD Winfield ISDIn addition, Northeast Texas Community College serves Titus County, as well as neighboring Morris and Camp counties. Mount Pleasant Talco Winfield Miller's Cove Cookville Marshall Springs National Register of Historic Places listings in Titus County, Texas Recorded Texas Historic Landmarks in Titus County Titus County government's website Titus County from the Handbook of Texas Online
Newton County, Texas
Newton County is the easternmost county in the U. S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 14,445, its county seat is Newton. The county is named for a veteran of the American Revolutionary War. Newton County is included in the Beaumont-Port Arthur Metropolitan Statistical Area; as of 2000, it had the second-lowest population density for all counties in East Texas, behind only Red River County, the lowest population density in Deep East Texas. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 940 square miles, of which 934 square miles is land and 6.1 square miles is covered by water. U. S. Highway 190 State Highway 12 State Highway 62 State Highway 63 State Highway 87 Recreational Road 255 Sabine County Vernon Parish, Louisiana Beauregard Parish, Louisiana Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana Orange County Jasper County As of the census of 2000, 15,072 people, 5,583 households, 4,092 families resided in the county; the population density was 16 people per square mile.
The 7,331 housing units averaged 8 per square mile. The racial makeup of the county was 75.84% White, 20.69% Black, 0.63% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.56% from other races, 0.98% from two or more races. About 3.79% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race. Of the 5,583 households, 32.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.10% were married couples living together, 11.50% had a female householder with no husband present, 26.70% were not families. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.07. In the county, the population was distributed as 26.20% under the age of 18, 9.00% from 18 to 24, 26.60% from 25 to 44, 24.10% from 45 to 64, 14.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 104.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.80 males. The median income for a household in the county was $28,500, for a family was $34,345. Males had a median income of $31,294 versus $17,738 for females.
The per capita income for the county was $13,381. About 15.50% of families and 19.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.40% of those under age 18 and 17.30% of those age 65 or over. Newton County was once one of the most Democratic-leaning counties in East Texas and the Deep South altogether; the county voted for the Democratic candidate in every election since Texas first participated in 1848. When Republicans Herbert Hoover and Dwight D. Eisenhower carried Texas in 1928, 1952, 1956 Newton County remained Democrat; the Democratic streak in Newton County was ended in 1968 when American Independent Party candidate George Wallace narrowly won the county with 42.6% of the vote against Democrat Hubert Humphrey's 41.7%. President Richard Nixon in 1972 became the first Republican to win the county in an election with 54% of the vote against Democrat George McGovern's 45.4%. After 1972, the county returned to voting Democrat, surviving the landslide elections of Republicans Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush in 1980, 1984, 1988, respectively.
In fact, Newton County was Walter Mondale's strongest county in East Texas in the 1984 election, winning 60.6% of the vote, one of only four in the region to vote for him. Michael Dukakis in 1988 remains the last Democratic presidential candidate to win over 60% of the vote in the county. Since 1992, the Democratic percentage in Newton County has decreased in every election, culminating in Al Gore's narrow win in 2000 with 50.16% against Governor George W. Bush's 48.56%. As of 2016, Gore remains the last Democrat to win the county's votes in a presidential election. Since 2004, the Republican candidate has comfortably carried the county in every election, with Bush winning 55.42% in 2004, John McCain winning 65.51% in 2008, Mitt Romney winning 70.06% in 2012. Newton Deweyville South Toledo Bend Belgrade Princeton Shankleville National Register of Historic Places listings in Newton County, Texas Recorded Texas Historic Landmarks in Newton County Newton County government's website Newton County Public Health District The Public Health District Website for Newton County.
Newton County from the Handbook of Texas Online
Interstate Highway System
The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways known as the Interstate Highway System, is a network of controlled-access highways that forms part of the National Highway System in the United States; the system is named for President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Construction was authorized by the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, the original portion was completed 35 years although some urban routes were cancelled and never built; the network has since been extended. In 2016, it had a total length of 48,181 miles; as of 2016, about one-quarter of all vehicle miles driven in the country use the Interstate system. In 2006, the cost of construction was estimated at about $425 billion; the United States government's efforts to construct a national network of highways began on an ad hoc basis with the passage of the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916, which provided for $75 million over a five-year period for matching funds to the states for the construction and improvement of highways.
The nation's revenue needs associated with World War I prevented any significant implementation of this policy, which expired in 1921. In December 1918, E. J. Mehren, a civil engineer and the editor of Engineering News-Record, presented his "A Suggested National Highway Policy and Plan" during a gathering of the State Highway Officials and Highway Industries Association at the Congress Hotel in Chicago. In the plan, Mehren proposed a 50,000-mile system, consisting of five east–west routes and 10 north–south routes; the system would include two percent of all roads and would pass through every state at a cost of $25,000 per mile, providing commercial as well as military transport benefits. As the landmark 1916 law expired, new legislation was passed—the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1921; this new road construction initiative once again provided for federal matching funds for road construction and improvement, $75 million allocated annually. Moreover, this new legislation for the first time sought to target these funds to the construction of a national road grid of interconnected "primary highways", setting up cooperation among the various state highway planning boards.
The Bureau of Public Roads asked the Army to provide a list of roads that it considered necessary for national defense. In 1922, General John J. Pershing, former head of the American Expeditionary Force in Europe during the war, complied by submitting a detailed network of 20,000 miles of interconnected primary highways—the so-called Pershing Map. A boom in road construction followed throughout the decade of the 1920s, with such projects as the New York parkway system constructed as part of a new national highway system; as automobile traffic increased, planners saw a need for such an interconnected national system to supplement the existing non-freeway, United States Numbered Highways system. By the late 1930s, planning had expanded to a system of new superhighways. In 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave Thomas MacDonald, chief at the Bureau of Public Roads, a hand-drawn map of the United States marked with eight superhighway corridors for study. In 1939, Bureau of Public Roads Division of Information chief Herbert S. Fairbank wrote a report called Toll Roads and Free Roads, "the first formal description of what became the interstate highway system" and, in 1944, the themed Interregional Highways.
The Interstate Highway System gained a champion in President Dwight D. Eisenhower, influenced by his experiences as a young Army officer crossing the country in the 1919 Army Convoy on the Lincoln Highway, the first road across America. Eisenhower gained an appreciation of the Reichsautobahn system, the first "national" implementation of modern Germany's Autobahn network, as a necessary component of a national defense system while he was serving as Supreme Commander Of Allied Forces in Europe during World War II, he recognized that the proposed system would provide key ground transport routes for military supplies and troop deployments in case of an emergency or foreign invasion. The publication in 1955 of the General Location of National System of Interstate Highways, informally known as the Yellow Book, mapped out what became the Interstate Highway System. Assisting in the planning was Charles Erwin Wilson, still head of General Motors when President Eisenhower selected him as Secretary of Defense in January 1953.
The Interstate Highway System was authorized on June 29, 1956 by the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, popularly known as the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956. Three states have claimed the title of first Interstate Highway. Missouri claims that the first three contracts under the new program were signed in Missouri on August 2, 1956; the first contract signed was for upgrading a section of US Route 66 to what is now designated Interstate 44. On August 13, 1956, Missouri awarded the first contract based on new Interstate Highway funding. Kansas claims. Preliminary construction had taken place before the act was signed, paving started September 26, 1956; the state marked its portion of I-70 as the first project in the United States completed under the provisions of the new Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956. The Pennsylvania Turnpike could be considered one of the first Interstate Highways. On October 1, 1940, 162 miles of the highway now designated I‑70 and I‑76 opened between Irwin and Carlisle.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania refers to the turnpike as the Granddaddy of the Pikes. Milestones in the construction of the Interstate Highway System include: October 17, 1974: Nebraska becomes