Road photo logo

American Roads: Site Map > American Auto Trails > Bankhead Highway

Bankhead Highway

Bankhead Highway Route Map

Bankhead Highway markerThe John H. Bankhead National Highway was one of the earliest American auto trails. It connects the nation's capital, Washington, D.C., and San Diego, California on the Pacific. The Bankhead Highway was an important transcontinental route, and its name still appears on many roads to this day.

John Hollis Bankhead The Bankhead Highway was named for Good Roads promoter John Hollis Bankhead. John Hollis Bankhead (1842-1920) was a Confederate war hero, an Alabama state representative, a state senator, a ten-term member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and finally a U.S. Senator. While still a U.S. Representative, he introduced legislation to improve roads and other public works projects. Eventually, with his support as head of the Senate Committee on Post Offices and Post Roads, the Congress passed the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916. Senator Bankhead died in office, and the transcontinental highway through the South that he envisioned was named in his honor. He is buried near the Bankhead Highway, in the Bankhead family plot, Oak Hill Cemetery, Jasper, Alabama. Other famous Bankheads in the plot include the Senator's sons, Senator John Hollis Bankhead II and Speaker of the House of Representatives William Brockman Bankhead, as well as his grandson Representative Walter Will Bankhead.

 

Bankhead Highway cities and towns by State

Many early auto trails had multiple routes, but the Bankhead Highway had several. It can be a bit confusing, but I've tried to make the branch descriptions logical. Linked towns have detailed route maps in the City Maps section.

  • District of Columbia

    Washington.

  • Virginia

    Alexandria, Accotink, Lorton, Occoquan, Woodbridge, Minnieville, Dumfries, Garrisonville, Stafford, Falmouth, Fredricksburg, Spotsylvania, Partlow, Beaverdam, Negro Foot, Glenallen, Richmond, Port Walthall, Petersburg, Sutherland, Church Road, Ford, Wilsons, Wellville, Blackstone, Kenbridge, Bishops Corner, South Hill, Baskerville, Boydton, Clarksville, Soudan.

  • North Carolina

    Bullock, Stovall, Gela, Oxford (route splits)

    West branch from Oxford
    Providence, Stem, Fairntosh, Durham (branches merge)

    East branch from Oxford
    Franklinton, Youngsville, Wake Forest, Millsbrook, Raleigh, Asbury, Cary, Morrisville, Clegg, Nelson, Brassfield, Durham (branches merge)

    Single Bankhead Highway route
    Funston, University, Hillsboro, Efland, Mebane, Haw River, Graham, Burlington, Elon College, Gibsonville, Sedalia, Greensboro, Jamestown, High Point, Thomasville, Lexington, Yadkin, Spenser, Salisbury, China Grove, Landis, Kannapolis, Glass, Concord, Charlotte, Juneau, Belmont, McAdenv., Lowell, Gastonia, Bessemer City, Kings Mountain, Grover.

  • South Carolina

    Blacksburg, Gaffney, Thickety, Cowpens, Converse, Spartanburg, Duncan, Greer, Taylors, Greenville.

    (From Greenville the national Rand McNally 1923 map shows a path down SC-20 and SC-15. The Rand McNally District 20 1922-1923 map shows a direct line to Anderson on SC-8.)

    Piedmont, Pelzer, Williamston, Belton, Anderson.

  • Georgia

    Hartwell, Royston, Danielsville, Stratham, Athens, Bogart, Statham, Winder, Carl, Auburn, Lawrenceville, Tucker, Stone Mountain, Ingleside, Decatur, Atlanta, Mableton, Austell, Lithia Springs, Douglasville, Villa Rica (route splits)

    North branch from Villa Rica
    Temple, Bremen, Waco, Tallapoosa, Hoopers.

    South branch from Villa Rica
    Carrolton, Bowden.

  • Alabama

    North branch from Villa Rica
    Edwardsville, Heflin (branches merge).

    South branch from Villa Rica
    Hopewell, Heflin (branches merge).

    Single Bankhead Highway route
    Choccolocco (possible bypass of Anniston through De Armanville), Anniston, Oxford, Munford, Talladega, Cropwell, Pell City, Cooks Springs, Brompton, Leeds, Gate City, Woodlawn, Birmingham, Pratt City, Adamsville, Sayre, Robins, Cordova, Jasper, Townly, Carbon Hill, Winfield, Guin (route splits)

    North branch from Guin
    Hamilton, Bexar.

    South branch from Guin
    Sulligent, Detroit.

  • Mississippi

    North branch from Guin
    Tremont, Clay, Fulton, Mooreville, Tupelo (branches merge).

    South branch from Guin
    Splunge, Hatley, Amory, Bigbee, Nettleton, Maring, Plantersville, Tupelo (branches merge).

    North branch from Tupelo
    Sherman, Blue Springs, Wallerville, New Albany, Myrtle, Hickory Flat, Winborn, Waits, Holly Springs, Red Banks, Victoria, Byhalia, Miller, Olive Branch (branches merge).

    South branch from Tupelo
    Bissell, Furrs, Pontotoc, Springville, Toccopola, Oxford (A branch of the BH may link Oxford to Holly Spings on the north branch. Towns include College Hill, Abbeville, Malone, Waterford, Gilton, Holly Springs), Tyro, Independence, Lewisburg, Cedarview, Olive Branch (branches merge).

  • Tennessee

    Capley, Oakville, Memphis (route splits).

  • Arkansas

    North branch from Memphis
    Marion, Vincent, Crawfordsville, Earl, Smithdale, Parkin, Princedale, Levesque, Wynne, Fair Oaks, McCrory, Grays, Wiville, Howell, Cotton Plant, Des Arc, Hazen (branches merge).

    South branch from Memphis
    Hulbert, Edmondson, Widener, Madison, Forrest City, Palestine, Goodwin, Wheatley, Brinkley, Brasfield, Bisco, De Valls Bluff, Hazen (branches merge).

    Single Bankhead Highway route
    Carlisle, Lonoke, Galloway, North Little Rock, Little Rock, Alexander, Benton (route splits).

    North Mainline branch from Benton
    Hot Springs, Bismark, Arkadelphia (two branches merge).

    South Mainline branch from Benton
    Reyburn, Malvern, Faber, Joan, Arkadelphia (two branches merge).

    Single Mainline Bankhead Highway
    Curtis, Smithton, Gurdon, Bierne, Prescott, Emmet, Hope, Fulton, Homan, Mandeville, Texarkana.

    Red River branch route from Benton
    Slocomb, Lonsdale, Hot Springs (connector route, “north mainline branch”, via Bismarck between Hot Springs and Arkadelphia on mainline branch), Pearcy, Glenwood, Kirby, Daisy, New Hope, Dierks, Lebanon, De Queen.

  • Oklahoma

    Red River branch route
    Eagletown, Broken Bow, Idabel, Garvin, Valliant, Swink, Sawyer, Hugo, Soper, Boswell, Bennington, Durant, Tishomingo, Mill Creek, Drake, Sulphur, Davis, Wynne Wood, Marlow, Lawton, Cache, Snyder, Altus, Duke, Hollis.

  • Texas

    Texarkana (Mainline route splits).

    North Mainline branch
    Redwater, Maud (route splits).

    North Mainline branch route via Simms
    Simms, Naples (two branches merge).

    North Mainline branch route via Douglassville
    Douglassville, Dalton, Naples (two branches merge).

    North Mainline branch continues
    Omaha, Mt. Pleasant, Mt. Vernon, Sulphur Springs (mainline branches merge).

    South Mainline branch
    Queen City, Atlanta, Linden, Hughes Springs, Daingerfield, Pittsburg, Newsome, Winnsboro, Como, Sulphur Springs (Mainline branches merge).

    Single Mainline Bankhead Highway
    Commerce, Greenville, Caddo Mills, Royse City, Fate, Rockwall, Garland, Dallas, Grand Prairie, Arlington, Handley, Fort Worth, Weatherford, Millsap, Mineral Wells, Palo Pinto (route splits).

    North Mainline branch
    Brad, Caddo, Breckenridge, Albana, Acampo, Namby, Abilene (Mainline branches merge).

    South Mainline branch
    Gordon, Strawn, Ranger, Eastland, Cisco, Dothan, Putnam, Baird, Clyde, Abilene (Mainline branches merge).

    Single Mainline Bankhead Highway
    Merkel ?, Sweetwater, Roscoe (Central Connector branch departs northwest), Colorade, Westbrook, Coahoma, Big Spring, Stanton, Midland, Odessa, Metz, Monohans ?, Pyote, Barstow, Pecos, Toyah, Kent, Boracho, Plateau, Wild Horse, Van Horn, Sierra Blanca, Finlay, Fort Hancock, Fabens, Clint, Ysleta, El Paso (all routes merge), Canutillo.

    Red River branch route
    Newlin, Estelline, Turkey, Quitaque, Silverton, Plainview, Olton, Muleshoe, Hurley, Farwell.

    Route enters New Mexico, then returns to Texas at El Paso.

    El Paso.

    Central Connector route
    Roscoe, Foch, Snyder, Fluvanna, Post, Tahoka, Brownfield, Tokio, Plains, Bronco.

  • New Mexico

    Red River branch route
    Texico, Clovis, Cameo, Portales, Delphos, Elida, Kenna, Acme, Roswell (Central branch merges with Red River branch), Picacho, Tinnie, Hondo, Glencoe, Ruidoso, Mescalero, Bent, Tularosa, La Luz, Alamagordo, Turquoise, Oro Grande, Newman.

    Central Connector route
    Tatum, Caprock, Roswell (joins Red River branch route).

    Single Bankhead Highway west from El Paso
    Berino, Vado, Mesilla Park (and Las Cruces), Aden, Cambray, Myndus, Deming, Tunis, Separ, Lordsburg (route splits).

    South (Mainline-Tucson) branch
    Rodeo.

    North (Globe) branch
    US 70 route to Franklin, AZ.

  • Arizona

    South (Mainline-Tucson) branch
    Douglas, Lowell, Bisbee, Tombstone, Benson, Pantano, Vail, Tucson, Florence, Superior, Apache Junction (branches merge).

    North (Globe) branch
    Franklin, Duncan, Clifton, Solomonsville, Safford, Thatcher, Pima, Glenbar, Eden, Ft. Thomas, Geronimo, Rice, Globe, Miami, Belleview, Superior, Desert, Apache Junction (branches merge)

    Single Bankhead Highway route
    La Mesa, Tempe, Phoenix, Tolleson, Avondale, Liberty, Buckeye, Palo Verde, Arlington, Gila Bend, Piedra, Sentinel, Stanwix, Aztec, Stoval, Mohawk, Colfred, Wellton, Dome, Yuma.

  • California

    Winterhaven, Holtville, El Centro, Seeley, Dixieland, Jacumba, Boulevard (route splits).

    North (Mainline-Alpine) branch
    Pine Valley, Guatay, Descanso Junction, Alpine, El Cajon, La Mesa, San Diego.

    South (Campo) branch
    Campo, Portero, Dulzura, Jamul, San Diego.

 

Bankhead Highway routes and directions by State

  • Virginia

  • North Carolina

  • South Carolina

  • Georgia

  • Alabama

  • Mississippi

  • Tennessee

  • New Mexico

  • Arizona

  • California

 

Bankhead Highway Links

"History of the Bankhead Highway" by Jerry Flook, presented on Garland Texas City Councilman Douglas Athas's site:
1. The Good Roads Movement
2. Developing the Bankhead Highway
3. The Bankhead Highway Fulfills Economic Expectations
4. The Bankhead Highway Gets Name Changes

The Bankhead Highway - Broadway of America

Bankhead Highway at everything2.com

Bankhead Highway on Wikipedia

Zero Milestone and the Second Motor Convoy

The Plank Road - Journal of San Diego History

 

 

Copyright © S. Varner 2006