3 votes

Buskirk Ford Bridge


McKee Creek Bridge

Photo taken by Chris Gonnerman in March 2012

License: Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike (CC BY-SA)


BH Photo #228886


Originally, this bridge was called Buskirk Ford per local news clipping. August Lange was the stonemason & foreman of this job. He worked for the Gottlieb S. Busch Co, who were the local contractors of record.

Buskirk Ford Bridge is a through truss bridge over McKee Creek in Adams County Illinois built in 1885 and is still open to one lane through traffic of less than 4 tons.

From my research I found the following history about the bridge and I took the photos on November 8th 2018. Please see more photos in the comments.

A special committee visited the proposed location at Buskirk Ford for the new bridge and estimated the cost in the Spring of 1885 and reported as follows: We find the necessity for the bridge urgent and the location satisfactory. We made careful soundings and found the foundation all that could be desired at a depth of three feet from the surface. - The Quincy Whig.

May 1885 Estimates

Number cubic yards masonry 238....$1000.00

Length of span 74 feet to sustain a moving weight of 1200 pounds per lineal foot, 14 foot roadway......1200.00

Total Estimated Cost...$2200.00

June 1885 the following advertisement appeared in the Quincy Daily Whig:

Notice To Stone Masons!

Sealed proposals will be received at the office of Peter Smith, County Engineer for Masonry for abutments and wing walls for a bridge across McKee's Creek at Buskirk Ford in the county of Adams and State of Illinois until 12 o'clock Monday.

The committee contracted with Messrs J Busch & Co of Quincy Illinois for masonry at $5.95 per cubic yard and with the Morse Bridge Company of Youngstown, Ohio, for the superstructure at $10.85 per lineal foot, the total cost being as follows:

Masonry....$1409.87 Superstructure.....707.43 Total...$2200.00

October 1885... Solomon Belmeyer, John H Yeldell and F W Kestner, the committee of the board of supervisors on the Buskirk Ford Bridge, report that the work done by Messrs Gottilieb H Busch & Co was first class in every respect and the best bridge work ever put up in Adams County and they also wish to return thanks to August Lange, foreman for the firm, who worked day and night to get the work done on time and in a satisfactory manner. - The Quincy Daily Herald.

December 1885.....The committee reported... this bridge is a very substantial wrought iron structure, 73 1/2 feet span, and that the same is now completed and paid for. - The Quincy Whig.

September 1893 - A special committee met to examine the Buskirk Ford Bridge, which had been washed away from its abutments by a flood the previous Spring. It was reported that the cost to repair the bridge would be $800 to make it fit for travel and it was recommended that the amount be appropriated for the bridge repair.- The Quincy Daily Herald.

The work was reported finished in December 1893, and the bill of $650 was allowed. - The Quincy Daily Whig.


Pratt through truss bridge over McKee Creek on TR 416, 4.7 mi. west of Kellerville
Adams County, Illinois
Intact but closed to all traffic
Built 1885 by the Morse Bridge Company
- Morse Bridge Co. of Youngstown, Ohio
5-panel, pinned Pratt through truss
Length of largest span: 71.8 ft.
Total length: 90.8 ft.
Deck width: 13.7 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 13.1 ft.
Also called
McKee Creek Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.92807, -91.03039   (decimal degrees)
39°55'41" N, 91°01'49" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/668307/4421631 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 2008)
Inventory numbers
IL 001-3196 (Illinois bridge number)
BH 14987 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of April 2018)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 18 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • July 11, 2019: New photos from Jeremy Ruble
  • November 18, 2018: Updated by Jeremy Ruble: Updated Description
  • January 26, 2018: New photos from K. Allen Ballard
  • January 9, 2018: New photos from K. Allen Ballard
  • November 29, 2017: Updated by Christopher Finigan: Added category "Pin-connected"
  • November 29, 2017: New photos from K. Allen Ballard
  • July 18, 2015: Updated by Elliott Johnson: erected in 1885, found date specifics in stonework
  • July 15, 2015: New photos from Elliott Johnson
  • July 14, 2015: Updated by K. Allen Ballard: Add brief history of actual men & contractor who built bridge.
  • October 16, 2014: New photos from K. Allen Ballard
  • April 1, 2012: New photos from Chris Gonnerman
  • May 5, 2010: Updated by Anthony Dillon: Added builder and changed date


  • Tony Dillon - spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Chris Gonnerman
  • K. Allen Ballard - speedeeprint [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Elliott Johnson - elliottsgon15 [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Jeremy Ruble - jaruble1982 [at] gmail [dot] com


Buskirk Ford Bridge
Posted July 22, 2020, by Skyler Collins (skylercollins1970 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Sad to report that the date stone has been stolen. Also some of the railings are breaking off. She's not doing to well guys. These pictures were taken by my girlfriend Lumina Buss on 7/20/20

Buskirk Ford Bridge
Posted July 11, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Jeremy, I love the new photos

Buskirk Ford Bridge
Posted July 10, 2019, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Well let's just hope they have enough common sense to preserve it!

Buskirk Ford Bridge
Posted July 10, 2019, by Jerry Totsch (jltotsch [at] gmail [dot] com)

Sad to report that after 134 years of service Buskirk Ford Bridge over McKee creek in Adams county has been closed to traffic. Your service is over and you did it well.

Buskirk Ford Bridge
Posted January 9, 2018, by K. Allen Ballard (speedeeprint [at] gmail [dot] com)

FINALLY! getting around to posting some pics from 2.5 years ago following the massive storm that hit West Central Illinois. I showed up at work that day and was told to go home w/ power pretty minimal in Quincy, IL. So, I decided I'd go bridge hunting and headed towards western Adams County and Brown County. Very productive hunt July 14th, 2017.

McKee Creek Bridge
Posted May 5, 2010, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Definitely a Morse! And much older than the 1905 date since Morse became the Youngstown Bridge Company around 1890.

McKee Creek Bridge
Posted May 5, 2010, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

This is a beautiful bridge! It looks like the work of the Morse Bridge Company of Youngstown, Ohio.

McKee Creek Bridge
Posted May 5, 2010, by Dale Travis (daletravis [at] bigfoot [dot] com)

Photos taken 4-28-10.