Yes, that is right. I am not sure about WWI offhand, but I know that during WWII, you could get in at 17 if a parent would sign permission.
It wouldn't be the first time a 17 year old answered the call of his country. Remember, a lot of kids were done with school after eighth grade.
The KHRI link includes several photographs of this bridge, one of which indicates that the bridge was dedicated in memory of Roy W. White who died serving his country in WWI.
The Coffeyville Daily Journal indicates that Roy White died of pneumonia at Camp Doniphan, OK in 1918.
The plaque states that he died in 1917. Perhaps the plaque has the wrong year. Had he died in 1917, he would have only been 17 years old.
In a couple posts from previous years, I noted construction work at the northwest corner of this bridge. I don't know what all was done, but there is a gravel area there now as shown in Google Streetview. That would have been useful on my last field visit...
I am just glad that the work did not include the unthinkable...
I am glad to see that someone has visited this bridge recently. I will never forget the day I discovered it. It just hides here in plain sight. No tourism brochures, historic registers, etc, seem to feature it. Yet, here it is on an old road leading out of Coffeyville, Kansas, largely forgotten except by a few locals.
Google Earth has just released some new imagery from March 2015. The earlier construction work was just bank stabilization. Good news!
There has been some grading work done near the northwest corner of this bridge. I hope it was just part of a bank stabilizing project. This bridge deserves much more recognition than it has received.
The new Wal-Mart is now open, and is located roughly 1/2 mile directly North of this Marsh arch bridge. Additionally, the intersection of 166 and 169 has been rebuilt immediately North of the Wal-Mart, which actually sits very close to the new four-lane bridge over the Verdigris River. Thus, most of the traffic between Coffeyville and the store, is likely using the new bridge, not this old one.
Although a small county road connects the Wal-Mart with the old Marsh arch bridge, I doubt that the store has caused a major increase in traffic over the old bridge. Of course, a survey would have to confirm this.
According to the NBI, this bridge may be eligible for the NRHP. I will update the page to reflect this.
Concerning the Super Wal-Mart that is scheduled to be built near this bridge, it has been reported that many citizens of Coffeyville would like to see it built in a different location which would be more convenient and less prone to flooding. In June of 2007, the area around this bridge experienced a major flood, raising doubts that this location would be an ideal place for a new Wal-Mart.
Yes, the bridge is on east 8th street, east of Walter Johnson Park. I suspect that this bridge would easily qualify for the National Register of Historic Places and it would probably be a worthwhile venture for somebody to attempt to do so.
Is this the bridge on East 8th? Is there a possibility it will be torn down when the new WalMart is built? I would hate to see that happen.
My grandfather was an engineer on this bridge, and his name is on the plaque that is on the corner. :)
Clifford O. Nielson