US 42 Opens from Louisville

Needed for more than a half-century and planned twelve years ago, the hopes of the people of Bedford, Kentucky and the surrounding community were realized yesterday at the dedication of U. S. highway number 42, which is completed between Louisville and Bedford.  This road, a national military road when completed (two gaps remaining open, a stretch of 500 feet in Jefferson County and from Bedford to Warsaw.) will be concrete from Louisville to Cincinnati, connects two metropolises, Cincinnati in the middle west and Louisville, gate-way to the south.

 At the dedication yesterday one of the largest crowds ever assembled at the county seat of Trimble county was present.  Delegations from Jefferson, Oldham, Henry, and Carroll counties, Kentucky and the bordering county of Jefferson of Indiana, were present in large numbers in addition to the Trimble county representatives and the crowds started pouring in early in the day.

 Delving back into the history of road forty-two it just lacked two days of being five years since the first shovelful of dirt was turned, that being on the Bedford end.  The road is wonderful; from a scenic standpoint and being built under federal specifications, safety has been the first thought with long, well banked curves, wide and smooth.

 The crowd began to gather in Bedford at an early hour from all the surrounding community, being an ideal day for such an event.  About eleven o’clock a motorcade of about fifteen cars filled to capacity sped out of the town to the county line near Sligo, where they awaited the motorcade from the south, which was to arrive about that time.  After an hours wait the machines arrived, about 100 in number from Louisville and surrounding counties, headed by an escort of state motorcycle police, and including the Ormsby Village band (composed of youths of the children’s home of Louisville, both boys and girls).  Near the outskirts of the town the parade formation was made with the Bedford post American Legion, with the colors in the lead, the band next, followed by a welcoming committee of fifteen cars and passengers, and then the delegation from the south, and paraded to the north end of town. In addition to the sheriff and his force three patrolmen, Jack Royalty, George Kinser, and Matthew Schilling of the Louisville police force assisted in traffic duty.

 After luncheon, which was served by the Patent-Teachers Association, and the Ladies club of Bedford, the afternoon program began.

 Short speeches were made by a number of prominent men of Kentucky and Indiana including Rev. E. L. Everett, who delivered the invocation, E. B. McCain, of Bedford, chairman of the dedication committee; Judge Morgan, listed, was excused because of illness; Tom Wallace, editor of he Louisville Times, whose editorials were instrumental in securing this road; Lyter Donaldson, of Carrollton, a member of the state highway commission of that district; Ben Johnson, chairman of the state highway commission, Robert Vaughn, president of the Louisville board of trade; Robert L. Ireland of Madison, president of the Rotary Club; Former Judge Samuel DeHaver of Oldham county; James Strother, former judge of Trimble county; Judge George W. Peak of Oldham county, Judge Frank Peak of Louisville, rated as one of the beet lawyers of the south; Judge Robert Brown of Warsaw; Mr. Wood Oxton, prominent manufacturer of Louisville, and many other prominent officials.

 …R. L. Ireland, who headed the Madison delegation…did not refer directly to the eleven-mile gap between Bedford and Madison, Ind., which is not surfaced and is reported to be dusty in dry weather.  He did make a plea for closer contact between Indiana and Kentucky and declared, “We do recommend Kentucky as God’s country.”

 The gravel-surfaced road between Bedford and Madison, approximately 11 miles in length is not on the route between Louisville and Cincinnati.  It is, however, the only road leading to a bridge over the Ohio River between Louisville and Cincinnati, and affords an important communication between north and south thru Kentucky.


from a Louisville paper of 6-25-1931.  The clipping we found gave the date, but not the paper name.

The ultimate completion of U. S. 42 was celebrated in Carrollton, 4 months later.  You can read that story here.