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History Monday: Streets Taken Over, 1932

By Mike Watson

Big changes were coming for Columbia with a May 1932 Highway meeting, as reported in the May 25, 1931 Adair County News:

At a meeting of the State Highway Commission today, an order was placed on the books taking over the four main streets of Columbia and the street connecting with the Liberty Road as a part of the Primary Road System.

These streets will be improved as soon as equipment and supplies are available, with double mulch treatment. This treatment consists of two applications of chips and oil, twice as much as is ordinarily used.

This will give Columbia the highest type dust-proof streets available for a small town. It will be done at no expense to the taxpayers of the town and maintained by the State Highway Department, always being kept in perfect conditions. Columbia will have better streets, the dust menace will be abolished for all time, and last, but not least, it will cost the town nothing.

It is the only way the town could ever have had real streets, as it was impossible to finance the proposition locally.

There is no doubt but this announcement will be received as the most welcome news since it was decided definitely that Columbia was to have water.

G.R. Reed and Bruce Montgomery were in Frankfort yesterday in consultation with Hon. Ben Johnson, Chairman of the Highway Department, and Charles Finnell, Commissioner from this district. The announcement concerning the street follows as a direct result of this consultation.

There are few things of value to Columbia and Adair County that have been accomplished without aid and guidance of "Rob" Reed. He is unselfishly interested in the future of his home community, and gives unstintingly of his time and energy. Without doubt, he is our most valued and valuable citizen. --Adair County News, 25 May 1932.

George Robert Reed was born and reared in Columbia, a son of Edgar W. and Sallie E. Miller Reed. He married Miss Frances Jones, daughter of Judge and Mrs. William Wallace Jones. After attending local schools, he attended Bowling Green Business College. His business interests were extensive, particularly the well-known insurance agency, Reed Brothers, which still thrives today.

His influence in the insurance business, locally and state-wide, was significant. He had served as President of the Kentucky Association of Insurance Agents for two terms, and later as National Councilor for Kentucky. Mr. Reed was also a director of the Bank of Columbia, and an elder in the Columbia Christian Church.

Through Mr. Reed's efforts "many roads were built in this section and other improvements accomplished." He was one of the leaders in the effort to secure Wolf Creek Dam.

He was prominent in Democratic politics and was a delegate to the 1932 Democratic National Convention in Chicago at which he was a supporter of Adair County native Melvin A. Traylor for the nomination for President.

G.R. Reed, born 29 October 1888, died 30 April 1943, buried Columbia City Cemetery.

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