June McCarroll

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June Adaline Whittlesey Hill Robertson McCarroll
Born June Adaline Whittlesey
(1867-06-30)June 30, 1867
Lewis County, New York
Died March 30, 1954(1954-03-30) (aged 86)
Alma mater Allopathic Medical College, Chicago
Occupation Nurse and physician
Employer Nebraska State Schools, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Southern Pacific Railroad
Known for Painting the first striped lines on highways (disputed); starting the Coachella Library
Spouse(s)
  • Timothy Preston Hill, m. 1896, div. 1915
  • James R. Robinson, d. 1914
  • Frank McCarroll, m. 1916

June McCarroll (June 30, 1867 – March 30, 1954) is credited by the California Department of Transportation with idea of delineating highways with a painted line to separate lanes of highway traffic, although this claim is disputed by the Federal Highway Administration[1] and the Michigan Department of Transportation[2] as two Michigan men painted centerlines before her.[3] She was born in Lewis County, New York,[4][5] daughter of Nelson and Adaline (Parsons) Whittlesey.[6] She was a nurse (later a physician) with the Southern Pacific Railroad in the early 20th century who is The concept of painting lines to separate lanes is now in use all over the world.[7] According to a historic marker in Indio, California, after a near-collision in her Model T in 1917, "She personally painted the first known stripe in California on Indio Boulevard, then part of U.S. Route 99, during 1917."[8][9]

Early life[edit]

McCarroll was born and raised in the Adirondacks.[10] McCarroll's mother Adaline died December 9, 1867, when McCarroll was only five months old.[11] By the 1880 census, her now remarried father and his family were living in Emporia, Kansas, where he served a time as mayor.[12] By 1888 her father had abandoned his second wife and son in Kansas and moved to Los Angeles, California,[13][14][15][16][17] where McCarroll later joined him. On December 31, 1896, June Adaline Whittelsey, age 29, married Timothy Preston Hill, age 36, in Los Angeles, in a ceremony performed by Rev. J. Thomson of the Unity Church.[18] Mr. Hill was a Massachusetts native living in Los Angeles as early as 1888.[19] It was a short-lived relationship, and by 1900 they had separated. The 1900 Los Angeles census shows McCarroll as June Hill, physician, married three years but no husband in household.[20] According to the 1910 census, 1900 was the same year of McCarroll's second marriage to James R. Robertson.[21] As the final divorce from Hill did not take place until November 1915,[22] likely her marriage to Robertson was common-law.[original research?]

McCarroll attended a medical college in Chicago, then eventually moved back to Southern California in 1904 with her second husband, James R. Robertson.[23] They had hoped that the desert climate would help him recuperate from tuberculosis, but Robertson died in 1914.[citation needed] Within two years, she had remarried, this time to Frank Taylor McCarroll,[24] the local station manager for the Southern Pacific Railroad.[citation needed] From 1907 to 1916, she was the only physician regularly practicing in the vast desert between the Salton Sea and Palm Springs.[25] She was also the only physician serving the five Indian reservations in the area on behalf of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.[citation needed]

Highway marking[edit]

In the fall of 1917, McCarroll was driving on the road leading to her office near Indio, California, on a stretch of highway that would later be incorporated into U.S. Route 99; the highway remains today as part of Indio Boulevard. She was run off the road by a truck, as she recalled many years later:

My Model T Ford and I found ourselves face to face with a truck on the paved highway. It did not take me long to choose between a sandy berth to the right and a ten-ton truck to the left! Then I had my idea of a white line painted down the center of the highways of the country as a safety measure.[25]

McCarroll soon communicated her idea to the local chamber of commerce and the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, with no success. Finally, she took it upon herself to hand-paint a white stripe down the middle of the road, thus establishing the actual width of the lane to prevent similar accidents.[26] Through the Indio Women's Club and many similar women's organizations, McCarroll launched a vigorous statewide letter writing campaign on behalf of her proposal. In November 1924, the idea was adopted by the California Highway Commission and 3,500 miles (5,600 km) of lines were painted at a cost of $163,000 (equivalent to $11.8 million in 2015[27]).[citation needed] Later the idea was adopted worldwide.[7]

A memorial plaque to McCarroll is located at the intersection of Indio Boulevard and Fargo Street in Indio, California. On April 24, 2002, to honor her contribution to road safety, California officially designated the stretch of Interstate 10 near Indio east of the Indio Boulevard/Jefferson Street exit as "The Doctor June McCarroll Memorial Freeway." The plaque is located at GPS coordinates 33°43.260′N 116°13.040′W / 33.721000°N 116.217333°W / 33.721000; -116.217333.

The Federal Highway Administration has acknowledged Kenneth I. Sawyer of the Marquette County Road Commission in Michigan for painting the first highway centerline in 1917 on what was then M-15 (part of the modern County Road 492).[1] Photographs from 1917 of the Michigan location clearly show the centerline in place during that summer, before McCarroll's fall 1917 incident.[1][2] The first centerline was painted by Edward N. Hines in the Detroit area in 1911 on a city street, so neither can lay claim to the very first centerline in the country; for his efforts, Hines was awarded the first Paul Mijksenaar Design for Function Award in Amsterdam in 2011.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Federal Highway Administration (1977). America's Highways, 1776–1976: A History of the Federal-Aid Program. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. p. 127. OCLC 3280344. 
  2. ^ a b Kulsea, Bill & Shawver, Tom (1980). Making Michigan Move: A History of Michigan Highways and the Michigan Department of Transportation. Lansing: Michigan Department of Transportation. p. 10. OCLC 8169232. 
  3. ^ a b Boyle, Johanna (November 7, 2011). "State Inventor of Ubiquitous Centerline Honored". The Mining Journal (Marquette, MI). pp. 1A, 6A. ISSN 0898-4964. Archived from the original on April 8, 2013. Retrieved April 17, 2012. 
  4. ^ Her parents were in Lewis County, New York, US Census for 1850. "Nelson Whittlesey, West Turin, Lewis, New York, United States". United States Census, 1850 (Database with images). Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. Family 251. NARA microfilm publication M432. Retrieved September 7, 2015 – via FamilySearch. 
  5. ^ Her parents were in Lewis County, New York, US Census for 1860 "Nelson Whittlesey, West Turin, Lewis, New York, United States". United States Census, 1860 (Database). Retrieved September 7, 2015 – via FamilySearch;  "Household ID 1634". 1860 U.S. Federal Census: Population (Database). Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. p. 200. NARA microfilm publication M653; FHL microfilm 803,777 – via Fold3.com. 
  6. ^ McCarroll's mother Adaline died December 9, 1867, when McCarroll was only five months old. Adaline is buried in Lewis County, New York. "- Adaline Parsons Whittlesey". Findagrave. [unreliable source?] McCarroll's father, who died in Los Angeles, is also buried in Lewis County, New York. "Nelson Whittlesey". Findagrave. [unreliable source?]
  7. ^ a b Harris, Gloria G. & Cohen, Hannah S. (2012). Women Trailblazers of California: Pioneers to the Present. History Press. pp. 97–99. ISBN 978-1-60949-675-3. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Dr. June Robertson McCarroll, Indio, CA". Signs of History on Waymarking.com. Retrieved June 22, 2013. 
  9. ^ Rasmussen, Celia (October 12, 2003). "'Doc June' Drew the Line on Safety". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 22, 2013. 
  10. ^ Starr, Shannon (April 6, 2002). "Woman Credited for Highway Center Lines: Dr. June McCarroll of Indio Will Be Honored with Signs on Interstate 10". The Riverside Press-Enterprise. p. B3. 
  11. ^ "Adaline Parsons Whittlesey". Findagrave. [unreliable source?]
  12. ^ Unable to locate in 1870 United States census, but found in 1880. "N Whitelsey, Emporia, Lyon, Kansas, United States". United States Census, 1880 (Database with images). Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. Enumeration district 102, sheet 195C,NARA microfilm publication T9. roll 0387; FHL microfilm 1,254,387. Retrieved September 7, 2015 – via FamilySearch. 
  13. ^ "Nelson Whittlesey, 06 Apr 1888". California Great Registers, 1866-1910 (Database). Voter Registration, 234 Crescent Ave, Los Angeles, California, United States, county clerk offices, California;. FHL microfilm 977,994. Retrieved September 7, 2015 – via FamilySearch. 
  14. ^ "Nelson Whittlesey, 23 Aug 1890". California Great Registers, 1866-1910 (Database). Voter Registration, Boyle Ave, Los Angeles, California, United States, county clerk offices, California. FHL microfilm 977,994. Retrieved September 7, 2015 – via FamilySearch. 
  15. ^ "Nelson Whittlesey, 06 Sep 1892". California Great Registers, 1866-1910 (Database). Voter Registration, Boyle Ave Bet 7th And Hollenbeck, Los Angeles, California, United States, county clerk offices, California. FHL microfilm 976,929. Retrieved September 7, 2015 – via FamilySearch. 
  16. ^ "Nelson Whittlesey, 01 Jun 1896". California Great Registers, 1866-1910 (Database). Voter Registration, 707 S Boyle Ave, Los Angeles, California, United States, county clerk offices, California. FHL microfilm 976,931. Retrieved September 7, 2015 – via FamilySearch. 
  17. ^ "Whittlesey in Trouble Again: The Ex-Mayor of Emporia Has Been Sued for Divorce by His California Wife". Emporia Gazette. October 22, 1895. p. 1. 
  18. ^ "Timothy Preston Hill and June Adeline Whittlesey, 31 Dec 1896". California, County Marriages, 1850-1952 (Database with images). Los Angeles, California, United States, county courthouses, California. FHL microfilm 1,033,144. Retrieved September 7, 2015 – via FamilySearch. 
  19. ^ "Timothy P Hill, 20 Sep 1888". California Great Registers, 1866-1910 (Database). Voter Registration, 92 San Pedro St, Los Angeles, California, United States, county clerk offices, California. FHL microfilm 977,994. Retrieved September 7, 2015 – via FamilySearch. 
  20. ^ She was living with 76-year-old thrice-married father Nelson Whittlesey. He was listed as married five years, but no spouse in household, either. (While still married to second wife in Kansas, in 1895 he married a third wife in California which ended in separation the same year.) "Nelson Whittlesey, Precinct 52 Los Angeles city Ward 7, Los Angeles, California, United States". United States Census, 1900 (Database with images). Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. sheet 3A, family 75, NARA microfilm publication T623. FHL microfilm 1,240,090. Retrieved September 7, 2015 – via FamilySearch. 
  21. ^ The 1910 Indio Township, Riverside County, California US census gives James R. Robertson, 39 of Missouri, and his wife June A. W. 42 of New York who was a general practice physician. They were married 10 years, both on second marriages. "James R Robertson, Indio, Riverside, California, United States". United States Census, 1910 (Database with images). Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. Enumeration district (ED) 69, sheet 7A, family 182, NARA microfilm publication T624. FHL microfilm 1,374,104. Retrieved September 7, 2015 – via FamilySearch. 
  22. ^ Riverside Daily Press. November 11, 1915. Jane Hill was granted a final decree of divorce from Timothy Hill.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[full citation needed]
  23. ^ "James R Robertson, Indio, Riverside, California, United States". United States Census, 1910 (Database with images). Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. Enumeration district (ED) 69, sheet 7A, family 182, NARA microfilm publication T624. Retrieved September 7, 2015 – via FamilySearch;  "James R Robertson, 1914". California Death Index, 1905-1939 (Database with images). 1921, Department of Health Services, Vital Statistics Department, Sacramento. FHL microfilm 1,374,104. Retrieved September 7, 2015 – via FamilySearch. 
  24. ^ Middle name reference "Frank Taylor McCarroll, 1917-1918". United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 (Database with images). Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. Riverside County no 2, California, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509. FHL microfilm 1,531,276. Retrieved September 7, 2015 – via FamilySearch. 
  25. ^ a b Starr, Shannon (August 7, 2004). "She Drew the Line Toward Safer Highways: A Section of I-10 Honors Dr. June McCarroll—But Not Many Know Why". The Riverside Press-Enterprise. p. B3. 
  26. ^ Guzman, Richard (April 24, 2002). "Caltrans Will Honor Local Motorist Who Drew the Line". The Desert Sun. p. B1. 
  27. ^ United States nominal Gross Domestic Product per capita figures follow the Measuring Worth series supplied in Johnston, Louis; Williamson, Samuel H. (2016). "What Was the U.S. GDP Then?". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved April 10, 2016.  These figures follow the figures as of 2015.

Further reading[edit]

  • Laflin, Patricia B. (1998). Coachella Valley California: A Pictorial History. Virginia Beach, VA: Donning. 
  • "Dr. June Hill Robertson McCarroll". The 1997 Periscope. Indio, CA: Coachella Valley Historical Society. 
  • Patterson, Tom (March 3, 1991). "Coachella Valley medical pioneer got roads in line". The Riverside Press Enterprise. 

External links[edit]