Missouri's first century of road history was one of special legislation, local control and inadequate funds. Laws of 1907 and 1913 provided for a general state road fund and a highway engineer - the first effort toward state control.
The law of 1917 created a highway department, assented to the Federal Aid Act of 1916, and provided for selection of an initial state road system. The law of 1919 increased the mileage and authorized state construction. A $60,000,000 road bond issue was voted in 1920; thus vitalized, the modern highway program was evolved through the law of 1921, which established the Highway Commission, empowered to construct and maintain a connected system of hard-surfaced highways. In 1922 the use of the auto license fees for maintenance was authorized: in 1924 increased fees and a gasoline tax were voted for advancing completion; and in 1928 a $75,000,000 bond issue was voted for improvement, supplementary roads, and completion of the highway program.