OK 15 Shield Original Oklahoma Route 15 OK 15 Shield

Overview Map - Click for larger version

Route Description from 1925 State Highway Map:
Beginning at the Kansas state line south of Kiowa, via Alva, Waynoka, Quinlan, Mooreland, Woodward, Tangier, Fargo, Gage, Shattuck, and south to a connection with State Highway No. 13 running west towards Amarillo, TX.

Original Oklahoma Route 15 was a connecting route crossing diagonally across the northwest corner of the state; it offered a shortcut between south-central Kansas and the Texas panhandle as well as connecting several small communities to Woodward and each other. The maps below show an approximation of the path of Route 15 using modern highways.

Map 1 - Click for larger version

A modern Route 15 would begin at the Kansas state line on modern State Highway 8; the two highways would travel together south until they split with SH 8 going east and Route 15 going west. Since Route 8 in this area has not moved appreciably since 1925, this concurrence would have existed for the entire life of the state highway system. After splitting with SH 8, Route 15 would follow SH 11 west, then join with US 281 to travel south through Alva and Waynoka. At Bouse Junction, a modern Route 15 would join with US 412 for the journey toward Woodward. The portion of highway between Bouse Junction and Woodward remained SH 15 until 1989, when the ridiculously numbered US 412 was designated and the state number removed.

Map 2 - Click for large version

West of Woodward, a modern version of original State Route 15 would split from US 412 to continue west; when this split occurs, we are presented with another of the rare examples where a highway has maintained its original number since 1925. The highway serving the purpose of original Route 15 between Woodward and Shattuck is still SH 15, though it is quite different from the original zigzagging section line alignment. The modern paved alignment dates to the 1940s and to this point has known only the number selected by the 1925 state highway commission. At Shattuck, modern SH 15 turns north, but a hypothetical modern alignment of original Route 15 would join US 283 for the journey to its southern terminus at US 60, which was original Route 13.

The original Oklahoma Highway 15, like so many of its brethren, has been greatly overlaid by US highways over its lifetime, indicating once again that the early State Highway Commission knew quite well where the major travel routes in Oklahoma laid. Route 15 is luckier than some, though, as at least a small part of it retains its original number. Thanks for reading.

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Base Map Data Copyright DeLorme USA, http://www.delorme.com

State Highway Shields created by Ken Parker of Oklahoma Bridge & Highways Group.