Thursday, March 5, 2009
Good Work Done On The Waubonsie Trail
Belleville News-Democrat - 15 January 1912
Public Spirited Citizens Along Its Route
The Waubonsie trail is an earth road extending across the southern tier of counties in Iowa. Its improvement has been undertaken by an organization known as the Waubonsie Trail association, which styles itself as the "promoters of the short way back to the farm." The association has a membership of over 1,200 and has accomplished much in the work it has undertaken.
The ten counties traversed by the Waubonsie trail are the southern counties of Iowa and adjoin Missouri. It is the hope of its promoters that the road will at some time form the Iowa link in a transcontinental highway.
No attempt has been made to construct stone roadways over any portion of the route. The efforts of the association are confined to grading, dragging, constructing proper bridges and culverts and doing such other work as is necessry to put into good condition and maintain an earth road.
In Iowa there is a state law which provides that township trustees shall see that the roads are properly dragged at stated times after rains. One of the things the association is doing is securing pledges from citizens to oppose any candidate for office who will not do his best to have this law enforced or who in any way works against the campaign for good roads. In addition to the influence brought to bear by the association on the road officials in the several counties and towns traversed by the road to work for its improvement, the farmer members have pledged themselves to drag the road after rains. At one time last June when an official inspection of the raod was being made 75 per cent of its entire length was dragged within twenty-four hours.
An important branch of the work being done is the replacement of improper bridges by structures suited to the conditions. It is stated that there are on the road nearly a hundred small bridges of spans up to twenty feet for which tile of three feet diameter or less can be substituted advantageously. In many cases these bridges cross streams draining less than a quarter section of land, much of which is comparatively level.
What is being accomplished along the 286 mile road is best shown by the accompanying illustrations.