Louis Keck is the man standing on the bridge
Photo provided by Keck Memorial Library
BH Photo #258153
According to https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/542751276/ three spans were saved for reuse at the time of replacement.
One in-county and two elsewhere.
It could very well be that Wapello opted not to cover their spans.
Nice research! Everything makes sense but the 'timber' bowstrings. The Morrisons (CBW) did timber bridges but I think they were covered. These are clearly not.
Alright, thanks to info from both "Portrait & Biographical Album of Louisa County" and "USACE Iowa River, Iowa and Minnesota", the timeline is a lot clearer.
The 1873 DH/CC Morrison spans (Which were apparently timber bowstrings) were replaced in stages beginning in with the Westernmost span being replaced in 1884 and the Easternmost span being replaced the following year along with an additional span being added. The middle 3 spans (Visible in picture 4) were replaced in 1903.
The link above shows expands on the "near here", and "Between the mouth and Wapello." is still a pretty vague area.
As for the flood date, that came from a picture caption in one of the scans I was given by the LCHS. I can try and find where I put those at and scan that page and post it on here.
It wouldn't be surprising if they replaced the three bowstring spans at once in 1903, though.
This 1912 article: https://books.google.com/books?id=S4EUAAAAYAAJ&dq=Wapello%20... states the following: "The first one was built at Wapello, in 1873 and 1874; it was authorized by supervisors Andrew Gamble, N. M. Letts and P. D. Bailey. It must be noted, to the credit of Gamble and Letts, that this was at a time when the county seat excitement was very great, and that both these men were strong advocates of Columbus Junction.
This bridge was built by D. H. and C. C. Morrison, and its first cost was $13453.50. Wm, G. Allen was the commissioner in charge of its construction. The bridge has been added to since then."
So at least we know the original date and builder are right.
A notice here: https://books.google.com/books?id=abM7AQAAMAAJ&dq=Wapello%20... from 1890 states that in Wapello, Iowa "a bill has passed congress authorizing construction of a bridge across the Iowa River near here."
Although the phrase "near here" makes this uncertain, I am thinking that 1890 might be when some of the bowstring spans were replaced, with the rest replaced in 1903? This may be a reference to another bridge SE of Wapello however. I was unable to find any additional info online.
Something doesn't make sense regarding the history. Assuming all four pictures are of the same crossing, the bridge had a series of bowstrings that were replaced. The posted history says one span was replaced in 1903.
So is the history:
- CBW builds the bridge in 1873 as a series of bowstrings.
- The largest span is replaced with the tall Pratt in 1903.
- Then the rest of the bowstrings are replaced at a later date.
- Then the entire bridge is replaced with a new bridge on a new alignment in 1948.
Or is the present history incorrect?
I strongly doubt the company that built the 1873 spans built the 1903 spans.
The info I've gotten from the Louisa County Historical Society only mentions D.H. & C.C. Morrison.
Picture 4 shows a tall Pratt through truss followed by a series of bowstrings. The other three pictures show the tall Pratt through truss followed by a series of lower Pratt through trusses. Are you saying that Columbia Bridge Works (D.H. & C.C. Morrison) built both sets? To me the bowstrings are their style but the Pratts are not.
As far as I know, all spans were D.H. & C.C. Morrison.
Are any of the non-bowstring spans Columbia Bridge Works?