The Caddo Herald
September 8, 1922
Dodd Makes Speech That Meant for Good
W. F. Dodd, who is president of the Jefferson Highway, among his many accomplishments, attended the opening of the bridge over Gaines Creek near Canadian, July 28th last. Many prominent men were present and without any warning Mr. Dodd was made one of the principal speakers of the occasion. The Modern Highway, the Journal for the Jefferson and Pikes Peak Highway, published at St. Joseph, Mo. had this to say in its August issue:
Of peculiar interest was the address of W. F. Dodd, of Caddo, who said in part: “This bridge is the connecting link in the Jefferson Highway from Winnipeg to New Orleans, and will forever stand as a monument to the untiring efforts of the people of Pittsburg County and McAlester in particular. The weary traveler can now rejoice in the fact that after crossing the Canadian bridge he will not have to detour over sand hills and wander through the wilderness for hours trying to get back to civilization.
The Gaines Creek Bridge is 366 feet long, of concrete and steel construction, and is recognized as being the most important of all county improvements from Canada to Mexico. It was necessary here to sink pillars eighty feet through quicksand in order to set them on solid rock. This bridge was built at something like fifty-two thousand dollars, and without a bond issue.
Well do I remember the New Orleans convention in 1915 when the fight was being made against routing the Jefferson highway through Oklahoma. The contention was that Oklahoma being a new state, scarcely more than organized and the country through which we were asking the routing of the Jefferson Highway was of such a nature, that a satisfactory continental highway could not be completed in fifty years. The objection was also raised that the Canadian river was the most treacherous stream in the south and that a bridge could not be built that would withstand the floods.
The Canadian river is the dividing line between Pittsburg and McIntosh Counties. Those two counties were fortunate in having real men who had left the word “fail” out of their vocabularies, and with the united efforts of those men, and the influence and assistance of such men as D. N. Fink of Muskogee and other good road boosters along the line, the wild Canadian was conquered in less than five years and a bridge built across it that will stand as long as time.
Now with the last achievement of the Pittsburg County boosters, the arguments of the opposition have all been answered. The Jefferson Highway through Oklahoma is wide open and in less than two years will all be hard surfaced. At least two-thirds of the road through Oklahoma is hard surfaced or provided for. Pittsburg County is on the list of counties which have recently voted bonds for completing the Jefferson Highway.
We therefore invite the traveling public over the Jefferson Highway which not only runs through the richest country on the globe, but thru one filled with romance and sentiment.