In the fall of 1912, the road eventually extended east from Des Moines to Davenport to encompass the entire state with plans to eventually extend from Chicago to Denver. The State Legislature then created the Iowa State Highway Commission in 1913 and the Iowa Highway Route Registration Act gave the commission the role of registering named trails that were more than 25 miles long. The Great White Way Association applied on October 6, 1913; paid the $5 fee and was awarded a certificate on July 20, 1914 making it the first certified route under the provisions of the State Highway Commission's rules.
In 1922, the Great White Way Highway merged with the rival River-to-River Primary No. 7 Highway to form the new Whiteway-7-Highway... only to be changed again to US Highway 32 in 1926. In December of 1931, sections of our White Pole Road officially became a part of U.S. Highway 6, which at one point was the longest continuous east-west route in the United States stretching from Cape Cod, Massachusetts to Long Beach, California. In 1947, Iowa joined other states in officially designating US 6 to be named the Grand Army of the Republic Highway at the urging of an association of Union veterans of the Civil War. In 1965, Interstate 80 was completed and the popularity of this once important highway diminished. In 1980, the section of highway in this area was renumbered 925 and now parts of I-80 have been declared US 6 in order to save on federal transportation costs. In 2003, state highway 925 was given to the area counties and has been officially renamed the White Pole Road. This route has gone full circle over the past 100 years! Poles along this 26-mile stretch have been painted white and once again it's up to the people to maintain the road and grow their communities.
The White Pole Road Development Corporation formed in 2002 in order to create a tourism industry that brings visitors and related revenues to each of the five communities and improve the quality of life with its residents. The name "White Pole Road" was selected as a tribute to this original road that connected the communities of Adair, Casey, Menlo, Stuart and Dexter. If it hadn’t been for the tenacity of the leaders in our communities in the early 1900’s, the Great White Way Highway wouldn’t have existed… the Dexter to Council Bluffs route wouldn’t have been saved with the merger of the River-to-River Road into Highway 6… and the federal government wouldn’t have assigned the interstate system through our corridor. Our community leaders knew the value of a good road going through a town. Now we want to tap back into the travelers on Interstate 80 and bring life back into these small towns.
To date, we have incorporated a non-profit foundation for the five communities, held a Road Show community kickoff, painted over 700 poles on the route white, posted signage, conducted surveys and presented individual community development plans, made a brochure and this website, attracted the Motor Ioway tour and became officially designated as a "scenic & historic route" in the Iowa Travel Guide. We've hosted Progressive Dinner fundraisers (a 5-course dinner with a different course in each town), Bike Rides, Marathon Sales (26-mile garage sale), Motorcycle Rides, Tractor Rides, and Holiday Lights Contest & Tours between the communities.
It's the people who built the original road and again, it's the people building it again in spirit. The WPR Development Corporation meets the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7:00pm at the AmericInn in Stuart. Everyone is invited. For more information or to arrange a group tour, please contact email@example.com.
If you would like to be a part of future restoration projects, please send your tax deductible contributions to the First State Bank c/o White Pole Road Development Corporation, 215 North Division St., Stuart, IA 50250.