Guthrie County E911 Office
200 North 5th Street
Guthrie Center, IA 50115
Ph: (641) 747-8320
Fax: (641) 747-8916
Hrs: 8:00 to 4:30 (M-F)
> Road Names
Most counties develop a pattern when the county roads are named. We
did the same when the naming was done in Guthrie County. The intent
is to use short, easy to spell names. This is for several reasons
beyond making it easy for people to remember and to write. Short
names also mean short sign blades that translate into less expensive
sign blades. Shorter sign blades also mean less damage in high
Names were also chosen so that the likelihood of theft was less.
Obviously, a name like Cyclone St or Hawkeye Road would be pretty
likely to be grabbed. The same would be true of Lisa Lane. So names
like Yellow Avenue and Wax Trail were chosen. Although these aren’t
very “exciting” names, they are better than A Avenue or R Street
that some counties chose.
The naming also follows a pattern. First, Guthrie County uses only
SIX descriptive names for simplicity and description. Highways are
just that; state and federal highways. These were already on the map
so why “rename” them. Roads are County paved roadways. Avenues are
essentially north/south gravel roadways. Streets are essentially
east/west gravel roadways. Trails are longer but winding gravel
roadways heading in several directions. Lanes are short gravel
roadways, usually dead ends.
Next, avenues always have names. And the names have a pattern in
that the standard State rules are to start at the west side of the
county with A and alphabetically go across the county. Essentially
that’s what was done in Guthrie County so that Bowman Ave is on the
west side of the County and Zenith Road is on the east side of the
There are exceptions. The western county line avenue is called Swift
Ave. because Audubon County had already named its roadways and it
makes no sense to have people living on opposite sides of the same
roadway having a different name. For the same reason, the Dallas
County line roadway is called A Avenue. Another exception is that
one specific roadway is named out of sequence. Herndon Road is not
where the H should be but since it goes to Herndon an exception was
made. There are a couple of other exceptions of avenues that are
Dallas County ones that just barely come into Guthrie
County ... Amarillo and Abilene.
Streets always have numbers. The State guideline is to start at
100th St at the top of the county and go down with each mile being
ten more numbers. Thus 100th St, 110th St., etc. If you have 105th
St, then you know you are a half mile down through the mile section.
This pattern is followed with two exceptions. What would have been
260th Rd is called Monteith Road due to it passing through Monteith.
Also, when old Highway 925 was given back to the County by the
State, it was named White Pole Road rather than 340th Road to
promote the White Pole Road development group.
Roads, lanes, and trails follow this same naming pattern depending
on whether they are primarily north/south or east/west roadways. So
we have such roadways as North Lane, 305th Trail, and 285th Road. By
having this simple and consistent naming arrangement, if you have a
little map savvy, you can find any roadway on the map rather