Speeches delivered by Pat M. Neff, Governor of Texas, discussing certain phases of contemplated legislation Page: 15 of 61
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"WE SHALL GO BY THE WAY OF THE HIGHWAY."
ADDRESS DELIVERED BY GOVERNOR PAT M. NEFF, AT JOHNSON CITY,
TEXAS, FRIDAY AFTERNOON, DECEMBER 22, 1922, IN BEHALF OF
A MORE EFFICIENT SYSTEM OF ROAD BUILDING IN THE STATE.
The construction of highways has occupied the attention of Empire
builders of all the centuries. Wherever we find the footprints of
civilized man, we witness the building of highways. Civilization goes
by the way of the highways. The Babylonians established a wonderful
system of brick roads, radiating in all directions from the city
of Babylon. Egyptians built marble roads that to this day bear
testimony of their appreciation of the necessity of transportation
facilities. The remarkable Roman roads, the wonder of twenty centuries,
have survived the great Roman Empire itself. The highways
of France today are living monuments to the wisdom and foresight
of the great Napoleon. Looking backward across the stretch of centuries,
watching the achievements of man during six thousand years
of human climbing, we are impressed with the fact that the construction
of highways has gone hand in hand with the onward and upward march
of mankind in its efforts to attain the very highest degree of civilization.
Primitive man at first found little necessity for public highways, but
as he went forth to subdue the earth, he found that as he felled the
forest, cultivated the soil, increased the herds, populated the country,
and builded the towns and cities, it was also necessary for him to span
the rivers, scale the mountains, and traverse the continent with public
In Colonial days our forefathers found that the trail and pack-horse
afforded sufficient means and ample provision for their transportation
requirements. But as they founded new settlements, built new neighborhoods,
and established other colonies, economic and social conditions
prompted them to construct connecting highways. From that day, as
agriculture, commerce and industry have developed, the building of
more and better highways has been necessary until today the greatest
Republic of all times bids fair to be the greatest builder of magnificent,
permanent highways in all history. We are today witnessing the birth
of the greatest era of road building of all the centuries. The United
States leads all nations in this feature of her progress.
OUR HIGHWAYS ARE THE FOUNDATION OF FUTURE DEVELOPMENT.
Highway construction, maintenance and operation, is the barometer
of our progress and the economic foundation of our future development.
"Only when we find a travelable road going past every farm,
through every village and city will it be time to cease talking good
roads." The manifold benefits of good roads may be classified under
two main subdivisions, one dealing with social benefits, the other with
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Neff, Pat M. Speeches delivered by Pat M. Neff, Governor of Texas, discussing certain phases of contemplated legislation, book, 1923; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5835/m1/15/: accessed July 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .