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Iron Bridge


Public Domain: Published Prior to 1923; Used under Fair Use


View this photo at historicmapworks.com

BH Photo #512043


Guessing at the location and details.


Lost Pratt through truss bridge over Fox River on West Main St.
Carpentersville, Kane County, Illinois
Replaced by a new bridge
Built 1869-1870; Replaced ca 1899 by a J.G. Wagner span
- Boyington & Rust of Chicago, Illinois
Vertical Endpost, cast iron, Pratt through truss
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.10853, -88.28944   (decimal degrees)
42°06'31" N, 88°17'22" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/393392/4662630 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 70563 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • December 21, 2021: Updated by Luke: Added appx loss date
  • November 19, 2021: New photos from Art Suckewer
  • November 15, 2021: Updated by Luke: Corrected builder to pre-existing category
  • November 15, 2021: Updated by Art Suckewer: added builder - based on the 1872 Knox Co. IL Atlas, determined that the second name is Rust and the date is 1869, making the co. Boynton & Rust
  • January 15, 2016: Updated by Luke: Refined builder
  • January 15, 2016: Added by Art Suckewer



Iron Bridge
Posted November 15, 2021, by Luke


Iron Bridge
Posted November 15, 2021, by Luke

When I'm off work I can do that.

Iron Bridge
Posted November 15, 2021, by Art S. (Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)


I'm guessing you posted the image from the 1871 link. Can you do the same from the 1872 link: http://www.historicmapworks.com/Map/US/1602467/Iron+Bridge++...

Including close-ups of the plaque, finials and some of the structural elements?


Art S.

Iron Bridge
Posted November 15, 2021, by Art S. (Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

I thought some here might find Rust's obit. useful.

Iron Bridge
Posted November 15, 2021, by Art S. (Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

From the Sept. 1911 edition of the Journal of the Western Society of Engineers Vol XVI No 7 (Pg 629 - 632) NOTE, text unchanged, including typos:


In Memoriam

HENRY APPLETON RUST M. W. S. E. Died February 5, 1911.

Major Henry Appleton Rust was born Nov. 26, 1832, in Springfield, Mass. His father died in 1834, leaving a daughter five years old, and Henry not yet two years old. His early education was obtained in the public schools of Springfield, and the Connecticut Literary Institution, Suffield, Conn. After graduation from the latter he assumed a clerkship in a mercantile house in Springfield.

On reaching his majority, he was so thoroughly imbued with the superior advantages afforded the ambitious young man in the then young and rapidly growing Chicago, that twelve hours after his clerkship engagement expired he started westward, arriving in Chicago March 2, 1854. Here he very soon secured employment in the office of Stone & Boomer, bridge builders. He seized the opportunity this position offered to acquire a practical knowledge of this branch of engineering, to which almost his entire after life was devoted. During 1855-6, when this firm was constructing the Rock Island Bridge over the Mississippi river, he was stationed at Davenport, Iowa, and was on the first locomotive that crossed the river.

During his over three years service in the Civil War, in which he enlisted August 12, 1861, his knowledge of bridge building was utilized in bridge construction and field fortifications. During the Atlanta campaign, from Chattanooga to Atlanta, he had charge of the construction of field works and fortifications extending over about thirty miles. His services in the army were highly creditable, and, were it appropriate here, it would be a great pleasure to record many important events in his military career.

It does not seem inappropriate, however, to mention briefly a most important and daring act which made possible the successful evacuation of Island No. 10 on the Mississippi river. In civilian dress, under cover of night, he embarked in a skiff with a native familiar with the locality, and by a tortuous course across the peninsula emerged upon the Mississippi. At two o'clock in the morning he reported to Gen. Pope personally, on the practicability of making a channel by this route. At a conference of generals the feasibility of his plan was recognized, and the following night Adjutant Rust returned with dispatches from Gen. Pope to Commodore Foote and Gen. Buford which dispatches gave information of a plan to make a channel across the peninsula through the timber. This enterprise was promptly undertaken, resulting in the successful evacuation of Island No. 10.

In the battle of Rocky Face Ridge, one of the many in which he was engaged, he was wounded in the head while in command of the advance line. When mustered out of the service he held the rank of Major of the 27th Regiment, Illinois Infantry.

Upon the termination of his army life he returned to Chicago, where he married Mary Sterling De Forrest, who died about fifteen years ago. Immediately after his marriage he went to Nashville, Tenn., where he engaged in the execution of large contracts with the U.S. Government for the rebuilding of railroad bridges, destroyed during the war, on various lines in Tennessee, Alabama. and Georgia.

In 1867 he again returned to Chicago and entered into partnership with L.C. Boynton, under the name of Boynton & Rust, Engineers and Bridge Builders. This firm constructed some of the earliest combination truss and draw bridges, as those at Peru and Henry, over the Illinois River.

In 1870 the business of Boynton & Rust was merged with that of L.B. Boomer & Co., and formed the American Bridge Co., of which Major Rust was Vice President and General Manager, during the existence of that company, from 1870 to 1879. In this capacity he was influential in obtaining and executing many large contracts for the company - namely, the Missouri River bridges at Omaha, Neb., Atchison, Kans., Glasgow and Booneville, Mo.; and the bridges over the Mississippi River at Hastings, Winona and La Crosse; also the Point (suspension) Bridge over the Monongahela River at Pittsburgh, and the Poughkeepsie Bridge over the Hudson River, for which that company put in the foundations in 1877-8.

He continued in the bridge and contracting business as the firm of Rust & Coolidge from 1879 to 1885, constructing the pneumatic work of the Bismarck Bridge over the Missouri River on the Northern Pacific Ry., and many spans on the line through Montana; also important spans and trestles on the Canadian Pacific R.R., including the span over the gulch at Selkirk, B.C.

Their work included pneumatic substructure and the superstructure of bridges in Arkansas, and over the Arkansas and White Rivers; also the structural iron work of several Chicago buildings, and the present Rush Street Bridge. For some years after the dissolution of this partnership, Major Rust was occupied in railroad construction, notably the Chicago entrance for the Grand Trunk Ry. of Canada; also the securing of an entrance to, and providing terminal facilities for the Wisconsin Central Railroad in Chicago.

Major Rust became a member of the Western Society of Engineers in 1877, and had membership in the Grand Army of the Republic, the Society of the Army of the Cumberland, and the Military Order Loyal Legion; also the Union League, and Washington Park Clubs, Chicago, and was officially connected with representative philanthropic, educational, and other organizations aiming to serve the public weal. From its early organization he was a Trustee of the Chicago University, and contributed liberally both in time and money, to its advancement and until quite recently, remained in active connection with the University as comptroller.

After a most useful, active, and exemplary life Major Rust died Feb 5, 1911. Of his four children the following survive him: Bessie Sterling, wife of James W, Johnston; Philip De Forrest; and Mary Converse, wife of Enos M. Barton.

(Signed) HIERO B. HERR,



Iron Bridge
Posted November 15, 2021, by Art S. (Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Thank you for clarifying Luke. I had a feeling there was a spelling error in my source.