THE ROAD TO THE RESORT
In 1913, Ozark Mountains resort operator William “Coin” Harvey, founded the Ozark Trail Association in an effort to increase interest in leisure highway travel (and improve roads to Harvey’s resort). Although based in Arkansas, counties in Texas and New Mexico joined in, helping to create a southern route across the Texas Panhandle through Collingsworth, Childress, Hall, Briscoe, Swisher, Castro, and Parmer counties. Local communities including Wellington, Childress, Turkey, Quitaque, Tulia, and Dimmit enjoyed the benefits of an Ozark Trail promotion and the attention it drew to improvements in the Texas highway system. James E. Swepston of Tulia led the effort to place concrete signposts along the route and his efforts were rewarded with a term as president of the national association. The obelisks received state archeological landmark status towards the end of the 20th century, through the Texas Historical Commission, and the Trail itself is commemorated in three different historical markers across its Texas route, one each in Tulia, Tampico, and Dimmit. After World War l the federal government consolidated the numbering and marking system for all highways but the route remains a reminder of efforts to increase automotive travel and improve our national highway system.