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As a Poweshiek County Area Maintenance Supervisor he supervised the three county shops located in Grinnell, Malcolm and Montezuma. : Willis Snook

Willis Snook
Transportation Mode:
Other Engineering
Company/ Affiliation:
Iowa Highway Commission

In 1952 Willis Snook, a life time resident of Poweshiek County and a graduate of Montezuma High School, begin a career with what was known then as the Iowa Highway Commission.  At that time the only paved roads in the area were US Highway 6 and US Highway 63. There were a few sections of Highways 146, 21 and 85 that were paved, however many miles were still gravel.

Early in his career the work during the summer months was fairly routine.  The majority of the time was spent mowing road ditches, spraying for weeds and patching small areas of paved roads as required.  The winter months however were more challenging.  One winter night a call was received from the Highway Patrol that a pregnant woman was snowed-in east of Grinnell near Malcom and needed to get to the Grinnell Hospital as soon as possible. Willis and another Highway Commission employee were immediately dispatched to assist as needed.  After plowing the highway portion of the route and a gravel county road everyone was finally able to proceed to Grinnell with the Highway Commission snow plow leading the way, followed by the Highway Patrolman, and the vehicle with the expectant mother.  Everything went ok for the new mother and it was just another snowy night for a young man beginning his career with the Highway Commission.

During the following years Willis witnessed the building of Interstate 80, became a supervisor for the IA Highway Commission/IA DOT and saw the paving of many more miles of roads in his assigned area of responsibility.  Before his retirement in 1985, Willis was responsible for overseeing 3 DOT Maintenance Shops and supervising 34 employees.  During his 33 years of service Willis performed his duties in the same professional manner just as he did that one snowy night east of Grinnell.  It is with great honor today that we recognize Willis Snook as a Transportation Hero by Example.

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