Tradition & Heritage Timeline Artifacts  
Dedicated to Service
Good Roads and the Mayos

Shortly after the turn of the 20th century and with the advent of the automobile, travel possibilities greatly expanded. At first, the lack of well-drained gravel roads hindered all-season use of the motor car in many parts of the country. In the Upper Midwest, "good roads" became a popular theme for taxpayer groups that formed to address local conditions.

Dr. William J. Mayo, along with his brother, Dr. Charles Mayo, headed or participated in the efforts of such citizen organizations. In 1915, Dr. Will headed the Taxpayers' Good Roads Association of Olmsted County. The grassroots association helped promote grading and graveling of county roads. As association leader, Dr. Will urged the construction of weatherproof roads "fit for the farmers to use every day, rain or shine."

The activities of the Olmsted County group led to improved roads for the county. Various clinic people and other community leaders often contributed funds, while local farmers provided time and labor for road construction. Following these early efforts, the Mayo brothers also helped other concerned groups promote the paving and further upgrading of area and interstate roads.

Rochester Parks Military Service
Cars in the mud
Cars in the mud
Dr. Will and Dr. Charlie in uniform
Military service

Find Mayo Clinic on

Terms of Use and Information Applicable to this Site
Copyright ©2001-2015 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. All Rights Reserved.