In December 1869, some citizens petitioned the commissioners to build a bridge to carry Washington Street across the Tippecanoe. After protest from the Monticello Bridge Co., the commissioners asked the petitioners what they would donate towards construction of a free bridge. By April 1870, $4,300 had been officially pledged, and the commissioners proceeded to contract for construction. The board contracted with the King Bridge Company of Cleveland for "a wrought iron tubular or channel-arch bridge of Z. King's latest improved patent" at $8,702 for 290-feet length with an 18-foot roadway. The pier and abutments were to be built to Alpheus Wheelock's patent by Wheelock, McKay & Goshorn of Ft. Wayne for $5,200. When completed, the commissioners decided the substructure was not high enough to secure the superstructure from high water and ordered an added 4 feet. The cast-iron substructure underwent periodic repair. The pier had to be repaired in 1873, and the west abutment reportedly began to give way soon after. In July 1875, the board adopted specifications for the repair of the west abutment. In July 1878, the county found the "Monticello Iron Bridge ... in need of attention" and requested that the auditor contact the King Bridge Company of Cleveland to "secure a competent repair person." In September, King Bridge was paid $42.65. In June 1881, the commissioners hired Kinsey & Pilling for $221.33 to paint four iron bridges, including the Monticello one, with 2 coats of "Red Iron Metallic Paint." The commissioners determined in June 1883 to build stone abutments around the iron ones on the west end of the Tippecanoe River Bridge. The board contracted in September with Horatio Thornton of Logansport for the stonework (Ohio White Limestone @ $9.60 per cubic yard; Logansport stone @ $6.00 per cubic yard). In December, Thornton received payment of $2,104.15.
Research provided by Jim Cooper