1 vote

Dunkard Mill Bridge


Dunkard mill bridge

This was apparently from the grand opening ceremonies, colorized postcard.

Postcard from ca. 1908


View this photo at homesteadontherange.com

BH Photo #482251


The Dunkard Mill Bridge northeast of Arkansas City, Kansas was built with considerable local celebration, and became a prototype for many other stone arch bridges in Cowley County, Kansas, built as recently as the 1940s. Though the Dunkard Mill Bridge was destroyed by a flood in April 1944, many of these other stone arch bridges still exist and are open to traffic.

From Ebay where a ca. 1908 postcard, apparently from grand opening ceremonies, was for sale:

"Christian Harader, a Dunkard Minister, built the Dunkard Mill on the Walnut river in 1874, northeast of Arkansas City. He was a member of the Dunkard sect, which believed in a full beard for men. Harader was one of a sizable colony of the Order living in that vicinity.

"The second stone bridge Cowley County ordered was to be the largest stone arch bridge in Kansas. The Dunkard Mill Bridge was built over the Walnut River outside of Arkansas City. With three 50-foot-span arches, it was to be a monolithic structure. Later, due to the insufficient waterway of the original design, a fourth, smaller arch was added. The bridge stood for a few decades before being destroyed by a devastating flood in April of 1944."


Lost Stone arch bridge over Walnut River on 272nd Road
Arkansas City, Cowley County, Kansas
Destroyed by flooding
Built 1903; destroyed by flood April 1944
- Walter Sharp Bridge Co. of El Dorado, Kansas
Stone arch
Length of largest span: 50.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+37.08522, -97.01213   (decimal degrees)
37°05'07" N, 97°00'44" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
14/676684/4106174 (zone/easting/northing)
Inventory number
BH 90712 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • September 26, 2020: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added with photo
  • September 25, 2020: New photo from Roger Deschner



Dunkard Mill Bridge
Posted September 26, 2020, by Don Morrison

Did some digging, Roger

Found this article, which shows a picture of ruins from "New Dunkard Mill bridge". A curve road sign is in the picture as well.


Looked in the NBI, and the bridge at 37.114224, -96.968090 seems the most likely candidate for "New Dunkard Mill Bridge", built in 1945.

252nd 1S-2-34-4 00000 WALNUT RIVER 1.0N 4.1E ARKANSAS CITY Steel Stringer 303.2 100.1 1945 -- -- 000180861106980 3.

Dunkard Mill Bridge
Posted September 25, 2020, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

Location is a guess. Google satellite shows abandoned roads approaching this location NE of Arkansas City from both sides, and also show a present power line crossing here. Power lines are often the last trace of abandoned roadways. If anyone can better locate where this bridge was, please do so. It was notable in its time.