OKLAHOMA CITY – A luncheon and ceremony commemorating the newly named J. Cooper West Memorial Highway was recently held in Elk City at the Portobello Grille. State Senator Darcy Jech and Representative Todd Russ were both in attendance at the event.
J. Cooper West Sr. was a pillar of the local community, moving to Elk City with his family in 1946 where he established the Cooper West Agency, dealing in insurance, homes, real estate and later in oil and gas and mineral leasing. He was a lifelong resident and supporter of state economic development and joined the Oklahoma State Highway Commission in 1963, where he served eight years under the administrations of former Governors Henry Bellmon and Dewey Bartlett. During this time, West was instrumental in the development of the Interstate 40 corridor through Oklahoma.
“It is a pleasure to commemorate the works of J. Cooper West Sr. with this highway dedication,” said Jech, R-Kingfisher. “It’s an honor to recognize his lifetime of work to stimulate growth in western Oklahoma as well as his dedication to the well-being of his community.”
Senate Bill 1490 provisioned for the approval of various memorial highway routes in the state, including the J. Cooper West Memorial Highway. The section of I-40 Business extending west from the Beckham County Line to a quarter-mile west of the I-40 and SH 31 interchange now has signs marking the highway in West’s honor.
“Mr. West’s legacy will always be remembered in western Oklahoma,” said Rep. Russ, R- Cordell. “His work and tireless dedication is appreciated.”