Beale Bridges in Oklahoma 1859

Six iron bridges were built in Indian Territory during the years 1859-60. Cut stone abutments were constructed on each side of the stream beds for the bridge frames to be placed on. The bridge types were the Square Whipple bowstring bridge. The design for this bridge was acquired by J. W. Murphey, civil engineer for the Pencoyd Iron Works in Pencoyd, Pa. The owners were two brothers A.&P. Roberts. Most of the bridges were destroyed during the Civil War by Confederate Troops, to slow down the movement of Union Troops. A diligent search for the remains of these abutments by myself and others. A few years ago we located the Beale Abutments for the Little River Bridge located south of Holdenville. The photos below shows what the abutments look like.

A 1909 bridge sitting on 1859 Beale abutments on an old channel of Little River
In recent moths discovery of one of the Beale abutments was discovered on Red Bank Creek located five miles west of Spiro, Oklahoma by Kyle Kurth of that community. Part of the abutment has fallen in the creek as a result of a tree growing in the middle of the abutments. Also part of the abutment is covered by roots and brush on the creek bank. Note how the cut stone matches the Little River Beale abutments of 1859. The bridge over Red Bank Creek was the first completed of the six bridges.
Above is what the Whipple Bowstring iron bridge looked like that were placed in Oklahoma in 1859. More posts to come.
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