The concrete, asphalt, and raised gravel roads we travel
on today are very different from the roadways available to Iowans when the first
generation of automobiles traveled the state. Roads were made for high wheeled
wagons pulled by slow animals. When dry they were hard and dusty, when wet they
turned into a quagmire waiting to trap an adventurous automobile.
Iowa lagged behind the adjacent states in paving its
streets and roads. Criticisms came from Iowans and from those outside who saw
Iowas lack of action inhibiting the nations progress and economic
"Without hesitating a moment we would be willing to
swear that the mud championship of the world belongs to Iowa
it lurks in
unfathomable treachery." --Emily Post, 1916.
"Today in the rich state of Iowa, not a wheel turns
outside the paved streets of her cities during or
after the frequent rains.
Every farm is isolated. Social intercourse ceases. School attendance is
impossible. Transportation is at a standstill." --Henry Joy, 1916, President
of Packard Motor Car Company.