Bankhead Highway in Garland
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 32° 54.777 W 096° 38.225
14S E 720976 N 3644113
Quick Description: The marker on the square in downtown Garland commemorating the Bankhead Highway route in Garland.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 12/8/2012 10:42:09 AM
Waymark Code: WMFWFQ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member QuesterMark
Views: 12

Long Description:
This marker is the first historic marker set along the Bankhead Highway after the creation of the Historic TX Highways program, and the designation of the Bankhead Highway as the first Historic Highway in Texas.

The marker was dedicated in a ceremony in downtown Garland in May 2010. Among those present for the marker's dedication were Garland City Councilmembers Laura Perkins Cox (of District 2) and John Willis (of District 5), and State Reps. Allen Vaught and Carol Kent of Garland.

In 2009 Councilmembers Cox and Willis (through whose districts the Bankhead Highway ran) had an idea to highlight the history of the Bankhead highway in Garland to generate historical tourism interest in downtown and along South Garland Avenue. They met with State Reps. Carol Kent and Allen Vaught to discuss this idea. From those meetings, the TX Historic Highways program was born.

State Reps. Kent wrote and filed 2 bills in the Texas House of Representatives: (1) to create the TX Historic Highways program and (2) to designate the Bankhead Highway the first Texas Historic Highway. Rep. Kent and Vaught shepherded the legislation through the Texas House of Representatives and worked with their colleagues in the Senate to pass the same legislation there. Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed the bills into law in 2009.

Jerry Flook and the Landmark Society of Garland did most of the research on the Bankhead through Garland. Much of that work is reflected in the text of the marker itself. The Dallas County Historical Association also deserves thanks for their work getting the marker approved and erected.

For more information on this process, look here: (visit link)

For more on the Bankhead Highway nationally, look here: (visit link)
Marker Number: 15958

Marker Text:
The early 20th century development of the automobile led to major changes in the road systems throughout the U.S. The 1916 Federal Aid Road Act, which supplied matching funds to states for the upgrade of roads, was sponsored by Alabama Senator John H. Bankhead and required that states establish a highway department in order to receive federal disbursements; the act led to the creation of the Texas Highway Department in 1917. The Bankhead Highway, America’s Second east-to-west Transcontinental Highway, was soon routed from Washington D.C. to San Diego.

The Bankhead Highway’s route through Texas included the major cities of Texarkana, Dallas, Fort Worth and El Paso, and passed through the Dallas County town of Garland. In 1919 Texas Bankhead Highway Association Secretary Arthur P. Dyer noted that Garland was the only town on the Texas route which had voluntarily organized and gone to work without asking for outside help. The people of Garland took advantage of the highway’s potential for economic impact. Auto repair shops, restaurants, and service stations were built along Main Street – the Highway’s route through Garland – which was soon paved and curbed. Although the Bankhead was officially designated as Texas Highway 1 in 1917, it also retained the official Bankhead name until 1926, when it became part of U. S. Highway 67. However, the old name remained attached to the Garland segment until the 1950s.

The road’s importance diminished beginning in the 1950s, as most drivers opted to use the wider, safer, and faster new interstate system, but the Bankhead Highway is remembered for its significant place in the history of scores of Texas towns such as Garland. (2009)

Marker is Property of the State of Texas


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