The Lincoln Highway was created out of existing raods that usually connected with the main streets of towns along the route. It came to symbolize American mobility and independence.
In 1912, Iowa had 102,000 miles of road, few of which were graded, graveled, or paved. Iowa's roads were known for their muddiness, and were often impassible in bad weather. Even so, the Lincoln Highway was drawn through Iowa to connect Chicago with Omaha. The Iowa route, informally known as the "Iowa Official Trans-Continental Route," was one that had been previously favored by coast to coast motorists. 358 miles of Lincoln Highway passed through Iowa.
In 1919, Federal aid was offered to pave its roads. By 1924, much of the Linclon Highway was surfaced in concrete. From 1920 to 1926 the Lincoln Highway was also known as State Primary Road #6. When the Federal highway system was created, the highway was renumbered as U.S. 30. The route remained a major transportation artery in the federal highway system until the 1950s, when a new Highway 30, which incorporated parts of the old route, but bypassed many towns through which the Lincoln Highway had passed.
Today, much of the Lincoln Highway remains as paved county roads, many supporting, now refurbished "L" markers.