Cyrus Avery: The most direct road to the Pacific coast
Cyrus Avery, a businessman in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is credited with creating the identity of Route 66. Avery saw the need for better roads through his state, and as chairman of the state highway commission, he helped plan the national system of numbered highways. His proposal for a highway from Chicago to Los Angeles along a southwestern route was approved and designated U.S. 66 in 1926. Avery founded the U.S. 66 Highway Association and coined the routes nickname, Main Street of America.
Commemorative plaque presented to Cyrus Avery, 1930
Like the pioneer days, when they outfitted at St. Louis for all points in the West and Southwest, so today people traveling by auto . find themselves coming to St. Louis over the various U.S. roads, and when arriving in St. Louis, by consulting their map, find U.S. 66 is the most direct road to the Pacific coast and likewise to all points in the great Southwest.
I challenge anyone to show a road of equal length that traverses more scenery, more agricultural wealth, and more mineral wealth than does U.S. 66.
Highway advocate Cyrus Avery in a car with others
Cyrus Avery (third from left) supported the proposed Ozark Trail highway through Springfield, Missouri; Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and Amarillo, Texas, in 1916. Ten years later, he established U.S. 66 along the same route.