No votes cast

David W. King Ferry



D. W. King obtained a license to operate a ferry across the river, which he continued to run up to the time of his death in 1854. This ferry was operated till about 1857 when the bridges were opened. Even for some time after the first bridge was put in operation did the ferry do much business, as the first bridge soon after it had been completed went out with the flood in the spring of '57, and the second bridge, finished that fall, also went out by an ice gorge in January the next year. Then for a time the ferry was used from and to May's Island as the bridge from the east side to May's Island had been properly erected so as to stand the floods.

The establishment of a ferry at this point brought trade to Cedar Rapids and accomplished much in making Cedar Rapids a business center, to which place travelers and others came. It was not till many years later that free bridges could be offered to the citizens of the town. But in this respect the city was ahead of other cities of the state.

It was David W. King who early began a toll bridge, and it is said that'' when the boulder in the river near the Watrous mill was visible the early pioneer could with safety drive across the river." If it was not they had to pay for crossing on the toll bridge. David King's ferry was the first step in the direction of progress in Cedar Rapids. By virtue of a law which went into effect December 22, 1848, Mr. King was authorized to establish and keep a ferry across Cedar river at a point in Linn county opposite Cedar Rapids for a term of ten years with exclusive privilege for the space of one mile on either side. Here King for a number of years did a thriving business, and Cedar Rapids received the benefits of the trade which extended west into Benton county. (History of Linn County)


Lost Ferry across Cedar River
Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Iowa
Replaced by a bridge
Licensed in 1840; Shut down 1857 when all bridges were open
- David W. King
Ferry crossing
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.97642, -91.67238   (decimal degrees)
41°58'35" N, 91°40'21" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/609992/4648010 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Cedar Rapids South
Inventory number
BH 58531 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • October 25, 2013: Added by Dave King