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Organ Ferry Bridge



BH Photo #106930



According to http://www.rallscounty.org/NewLondon/NewLondonHistory.pdf Organ Ferry Branch joined the Salt River about one mile east of New London. On January 13, 1956 (Friday the 13th) an overloaded semi truck-trailer split the concrete floor and fell through the bridge into the ice/water. Both drivers were stranded atop their semi until help arrived, both survived the incident with minor injuries. It was nearly 3 years before another bridge was built to replace Organ Ferry which was built approx 1904-05. This bridge was unique in that the western end abutted a rock bluff and required travelers to turn 90 degrees to the right if headed west into New London. This caught the truck drivers by surprise, who were going faster than necessary. When they hit their brakes the energy was directed downwards splitting the concrete deck.

About Organ Ferry 

Written by Clark Vance

From http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~kriegbaum/...

ANDREW JACKSON ORGAN, born in the Old Alford Hotel in New London, MO. Parents from Bourbon CO., Kentucky, and came to Missouri in 1824....
Archibald ORGAN was his son and married POLLY KRIGBAUM, had a ferry across Salt River east of New London. The bridge over Salt River has long been called Organ Ferry Bridge.


Lost through truss bridge east of New London, MO
New London, Ralls County, Missouri
No longer exists, although the both bank abutments and some railing can still be seen just below the water.
Collapsed due to overloaded semi truck/trailer filled with lard. Disaster occurred early evening, Jan 13, 1956 (a Friday). On MO State Hwy V between New London and Hannibal. Two drivers from Tennessee claimed they were lost and tried to cross.
- Stupp Brothers Bridge & Iron Co. of St. Louis, Missouri (probably)
Pin-connected, 10-panel Pratt through truss with inclined upper chord
Also called
MO Route V bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.58768, -91.37133   (decimal degrees)
39°35'16" N, 91°22'17" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/639858/4383262 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Hannibal SE
Land survey
T. 55 N., R. 4 W., Sec. 5
506 ft. above sea level
Inventory number
BH 22411 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • January 21, 2020: Updated by K. Allen Ballard: Updated description; bridge was destroyed on Friday the 13th!
  • June 1, 2014: New photos from K. Allen Ballard
  • April 25, 2014: Updated by K. Allen Ballard: Update details; date of Lard Truck disaster; Misc details added.
  • March 6, 2011: Essay added by Clark Vance
  • April 17, 2006: Posted new photos


  • Clark Vance - cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com
  • K. Allen Ballard - speedeeprint [at] gmail [dot] com


Organ Ferry Bridge
Posted January 21, 2020, by George A Oakley (Georgeoakley49 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Aren't pictures 3 and 6 the same picture?Look like the same picture to me.