O'Fallon Progress

Motorcycle cops were a common site in 1920s

By Brian Keller

O’Fallon Historical Society President

O’Fallon Historical Society President Brian Keller
O’Fallon Historical Society President Brian Keller rkirsch@bnd.com

In the 1920’s, state motorcycle cops were a common site along Route 50 in O’Fallon.

However, 90 years ago in 1926, Illinois started moving toward cars that could go up to 90 mph. It was noted that cars provided better protection from weather. But there was also the sneaky aspect.

It was said that the average highway scofflaw was always on the lookout for motorcycles.

They wouldn't be looking for the officers in cars and, therefore, would be easier to catch.

Another state vehicle change was made 75 years ago in 1941. Illinois decided to start painting cars under the jurisdiction of Public Works (which included highway construction back then) a “beaming orange.” Reason? “So that the state cars, driven by state employees with state gas at public expense will show up in traffic like a blackball in a ballot box.” It was hoped that they would then “be used less for family pleasure drives, shopping and other unofficial purposes.”

75 years ago

Sept. 11, 1941

Work on completion of the North Lincoln Avenue paving with Kentucky asphalt from Monroe to Jackson streets was started this morning.

With completion of this stretch North Lincoln will have asphalt pavement with concrete curbing and guttering from State street to the northern city limits, connecting with the oiled road to the Madison county line. By agreement with the American Federation of Labor, the work will be done by O’Fallon men who are unemployed. Cost will be from the city’s refund on the state gasoline tax.

50 years ago

Sept. 8, 1966

Bumps placed in the driveway of O’Fallon Township High School brought cars to a grinding halt. The bumps were 4-inch raised places built in four places on the drives to help remind drivers to go slow. However, it was generally agreed that the bumps were a little too abrupt and were being rounded to make them a little less of a bump.