“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near O'Neill in Holt County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)

U.S. Highway 281

U.S. Highway 281 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 6, 2021
1. U.S. Highway 281 Marker
Originally the entire responsibility for highways in Nebraska rested with the counties. In 1917 the Legislature accepted the provisions of a federal law and appropriated money to match federal funds for highway construction. This act marked the beginning of the state highway system.

The route now designated U.S. 281, extending from Mexico to Canada, runs through east-central Nebraska from Webster County in the south through Boyd County in the North. By the mid-1920s all sections of this highway had been laid out in Nebraska. The number “281” was first applied to its entire length in this state in 1933.

In 1929-1930 a section of this road beginning four miles south of O’Neill and continuing to the south fork of the Elkhorn River was the subject of one of a series of federally directed projects to test construction methods for bituminous roads. These roads were covered with a mixture of oil, sand and gravel to a thickness of several inches. Although such a road surface had rarely been used in Nebraska to that time, so successful was the experiment that this bituminous mat became the principal type of paving used in the state
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until the 1950s. On March 30, 1960, U.S. 281 was formally dedicated as the national “American Legion Memorial Highway.”
Erected by Maude Thompson Memorial Fund; and Nebraska State Historical Society. (Marker Number 228.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Patriots & PatriotismRoads & Vehicles. In addition, it is included in the Nebraska State Historical Society series list. A significant historical date for this entry is March 30, 1960.
Location. 42° 20.033′ N, 98° 39.106′ W. Marker is near O'Neill, Nebraska, in Holt County. Marker is on American Legion Memorial Highway (U.S. 281) 8.6 miles south of U.S. 20, on the right when traveling south. Marker is located in a pull-out on the west side of the highway. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Oneill NE 68763, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. O’Neill (approx. 7.4 miles away); a different marker also named O'Neill (approx. 8.7 miles away).
Also see . . .  U.S. Highway in Nebraska (Wikipedia). US 281 enters Nebraska south of Red Cloud and meets US 136 there. It continues north to Hastings and meets US 6 and US 34. Between Hastings and Grand Island, US 281 overlaps US
U.S. Highway 281 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 6, 2021
2. U.S. Highway 281 Marker
(looking west from U.S. Highway 281 pull-out)
34 and is designated as the Tom Osborne Expressway after the former Nebraska Cornhuskers football coach and U.S. Representative. At Grand Island, US 281 intersects I-80, loses US 34 and intersects US 30. US 281 continues north of Grand Island to St. Libory as American Legion Memorial Highway. From there northward, US 281 is a two-lane undivided highway passing mostly through unpopulated areas, with the exception of the regional trade center O'Neill, where it junctions US 20 and US 275. US 281 exits the state north of Spencer. (Submitted on September 17, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
U.S. Highway 281 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 6, 2021
3. U.S. Highway 281
(looking south from near marker)
Credits. This page was last revised on September 17, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 16, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 206 times since then and 110 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 17, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Oct. 1, 2023