Today, we're going way back to 1911 to a Good Roads Parade in Ottawa. This events was part of the Good Roads movement in Kansas.
In 1900 the Kansas Good Roads Association was organized. At that time, the Kansas Constitution actually banned the state from financing any kind of transportation improvements. This 1859 provision was intended to protect Kansas from falling deep in debt to railroad or canal promoters as some eastern states had done.
The Kansas Good Roads Association, Kansas Highways Federation, 365 Days Road Club, and other automotive groups lobbied for a state highway department and removal of restrictions on state funding of roads. They also explained the law, organized groups to petition for better highways, wrote the petitions and proposed new benefit districts, and circulated information on the benefits of better roads. They printed and distributed maps and guidebooks to advise motorists traveling through Kansas.
They also hosted events such as parades in communities across Kansas such as the one you see in these photos.
Kansas Governor Arthur Capper proclaimed Good Roads Day on August 18, 1915, which called for volunteers to work on the roads across Kansas. Hundreds of Kansans participated in these events to help improve the roads.
To learn more about the Good Roads Movement, click here.