Historic US 36 is an adventure across Kansas! 

Your 13 county adventure begins in Doniphan County when you cross over the Missouri River at St. Joseph, MO into Elwood, KS. ; then drive westward to the yucca-studded, semi-arid high plains of western Kansas into Cheyenne County.

The only Kansas highway with four distinct geological regions.

American History abounds East to West:   The Pony Express, operated from 1860 to 1861. It paralleled US 36 across northeast Kansas. From its home office in St. Joseph, MO to Marysville, KS then turned north & continued to Sacramento, CA.
US 36 is also the crossing point of the Oregon Trail.

 Discover US 36 Hwy and find out why Abraham Lincoln made the  
 statement after visiting Elwood and Troy, Kansas in 1859: 
“If I went west, I think I’d go to Kansas.” 

U.S. 36 Highway Association Celebrated 100th Anniversary - March 2013
Founded March 21st 1913

First elected officers:
            Dr. C.W. Cole of  Norton, President 
           C.F. Travelute of  Marysville, Vice-President   
           A.Q. Miller of  Belleville, Secretary-Treasurer

The history of the U.S. 36 Highway Association has its roots in the Pony Express (1860-61). While this service was short lived, it became a popular route between St. Joseph, MO, west to Marysville, KS.  

The US 36 Highway Association was first known as the Rock Island Highway Association (1913).  A year later, almost to the day, this association and four other associations merged to become the PPOO ( Pike's Peak Ocean-to-Ocean Highway Association).  

The PPOO existed until 1926 when the Bureau of Transportation engineers took over the development and maintenance of road ways across America.  The vision of the PPOO was to become the first Trans-Continental highway from New York City to San Francisco.

100 yrs. later, the US 36 Highway Association of Kansas maintains its existence through membership support. There are over 500 dues-paying members, today!

Their common objectives include:  
  • Promoting travel on U.S. 36 
  • Seek general improvement of the highway 
  • Promote the economic well-being of the communities and business along its route.

​Since 1978, the highway's East terminus begins at Uhrichsville, Ohio and its West terminus is Estes Park, Colorado. 

The Association maintains a strong relationship with KDOT to insure road improvement and infrastructure remain high on the priority list. 

The Association objectives include:  the advancement of business, agriculture, tourism, and the commercial interests of cities and counties along U.S. 36. 

We believe the highway and economic development along this route are inseparable. The course of civilization is correlated to the routes of commerce and transportation -- and because of our Midway U.S.A. location, U.S. 36 can provide one of the nation's finest highways and become the central point of progress for our communities.

Sensate Resolution - Declares March 21st 
US 36 Highway Association Day! 

Governor Sam Brownback with Senator Elaine Bowers presented the Kansas Resolution marking March 21st 2013 - US 36 Highway Association Day 
in honor of its 100th Anniversary! 
 L>R: House Chamber Rep. Sharon Schwartz,
Representative: Travis Couture-Lovelady,
Sarah Kessinger, Editor Marysville Advocate; Christiane 'Criquet' Cole, Assoc. Sec/Marketing  
Senator Ralph Ostmeyer; 
Chad Kramer, Association President, (holding)
Jeff Hofaker, Assoc. Board Member & Dir. Phillips County Econ. Development  
Ward Cassidy, Troy Waymaster,  Randy Garber & Jerry Henry.

1951 - 1954  - Miss Perfect 36 Contest! 
1913 - St. Joseph, MO. - Gov. Hodges; A.Q. Miller; and the Blue Book Team - set out to map the route. Four days over dirt & muddy trails to Denver 
Highlands in 1920 ; Atwood 1925 ; Marysville 1928; Oberlin 1934 ;  Belleville 1945 ;  Belleville - Crossroads Hwy 36 (E-W)  &  Hwy 81 (N-S) ;  1947 Troy Road Signs ;  Norton 1990 'Shortest Route....' ; Pony Express (1860 - 1861) - Hwy 36  roots!
** Pictures provided by respective local town and county museums.
Treasure Hunt Maps
Lodging... Etc!
US 36 History
Contact us

US 36 Highway Association Welcomes You!             -           Travel  Historic  US 36  Highway          -          Participate in Treasure Hunt! 
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