The board of directors of the national Lincoln Highway Association met in Detroit recently for their annual election of officers and to consider many questions which have arisen for the action of the board during 1918, and to lay plans for the 1919 season.
This was the first meeting of the directorate of the Lincoln Highway Association since the ending of the war, and the first one in two years at which it has been possible to secure the presence of a number of the men who have been most prominently identified with the work of the organization in the past, and who, for the duration of the war, had been engaged in governmental activities.
Henry B. Joy, who was for four years president of the Lincoln Highway Association and who resigned Jan. 1, 1918, following his entering the service, was present at the meeting and was unanimously elected vice-president of the organization for 1919. F. A. Seiberling, president of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, under whose leadership as president of the Lincoln Highway Association so much tangible progress was accomplished in 1918, was unanimously re-elected president of the organization.
R. D. Chapin, president of the Hudson Motor Car Company, and who was for the duration of the war Chairman of the Highways Transport Committee of the Council of National Defense, was re-elected vice-president, as was Carl G. Fisher of Indianapolis and Miami, Florida.
Mr. Chapin brought out in his address to the board his belief that American public opinion was crystallizing upon the necessity for federal action in connection with construction of interstate highways like the Lincoln Highway, and that the war had in his opinion served to advance the enlightenment of the American public in connection with the question of highway improvement by more than a decade. Mr. Chapin predicted, as a result of the growing demand from every section of the Union for greater federal aid in connection with proper improvements, an early additional appropriation by congress, to supplement the money already available under the Bankhead-Shackleford Act for assistance to the various state highway departments. He also stated that he hoped a period of two years would see a law written upon the statute books of the United States providing for the laying out and constructing at government expense the main highways of the country, including the Lincoln Highway.
Mr. Seiberling stated that he felt that in two years every state traversed by the Lincoln Highway whose financial possibilities in any way allowed of the proper improvement of that route, would have taken care of the highway problem. He added that the Lincoln Highway Association itself was as rapidly as possible taking care of those situations in western states, where finances were inadequate to meet their own problems, and that two years more would practically see the elimination of the poor sections in Wyoming, Utah and Nevada by the expenditure of funds contributed to and administered by the association for this purpose.
In their report to the directors, field secretary H. C. Ostermann and secretary A. F. Bement brought out that $2,996,307.77 had been spent on the improvement of the Lincoln Highway during 1918 even in the face of the manifold difficulties presented by the war situation, an amount greater than expended in 1917 and which brought the total funds expended upon Lincoln Highway improvement since the organization of the association to $15,055,392.71.
The board elected for 1919 was identical with the previous board, with the addition of Mr. Alvan Macauley, president of the Packard Motor Car Company. The officers and directors of the association for the coming year will, therefore, be: F. A. Seiberling, president; Henry B. Joy, vice-president; R. D. Chapin, vice-president; Carl G. Fisher, vice-president; A. F. Bement, vice-president and secretary; H. C. Ostermann, Vice-president and field secretary; Emory W. Clark, treasurer. Directors: Russell A. Alger, James A. Allison, Hon. Albert J. Beveridge, Henry F. Campbell, Paul H. Deming, A. Y. Gowen, Alvan Macauley, John N. Willys.