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Historic highway is subject of Gordon Center talk
Bankhead Highway

Tarleton State University

Friday, February 14, 2014

STEPHENVILLE, Texas—Author Dan L. Smith will explore the history of the old Bankhead Highway in a Feb. 23 program at the Gordon Center for Industrial History of Texas in Thurber. The talk, free and open to the public, will be at 2:30 p.m.

Smith is the author of Texas Highway No. 1: The Bankhead Highway in Texas. His first encounter with the Bankhead Highway occurred while bicycling on back roads in Parker County near Aledo. One unassuming road in particular caught his attention, but few people knew much about the old lane. The author’s research revealed the historical significance of the unassuming road.

Originally referred to as Kuteman’s Cutoff, the overgrown country lane had once been part of Texas Highway No. 1, which itself was a part of the Bankhead Highway, a cross-country highway that connected Washington, D.C., and San Diego, Calif. It was the nation’s first all-weather transcontinental highway. Travelers in the 1920s and 1930s also knew it as part of the “Broadway of America” and U.S. 80 in Texas. The Bankhead Highway was designated a Texas Historic Highway in 2009.

A Florida native, Smith graduated from Florida State University and worked for 40 years with the National Weather Service. Retired in 2005, he lives with his wife in Fort Worth and now devotes time to subjects of historical interest. His book, he says, adds to the documentation of one of America’s most significant early highways.

The program will be followed by a book signing.

The W.K. Gordon Center, a museum and research facility of Tarleton State, is located at exit 367 on Interstate 20 midway between Fort Worth and Abilene. Motorists from the west should use exit 363 on I-20 to avoid construction delays. Regular hours for the center are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays and 1 to 4 p.m. on Sundays, closed on Mondays. For more information, call 254-968-1886.


Tarleton State University
A member of The Texas A&M University System

Contact: Mary K. Adams

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Bankhead Highway