Hopkins Bridge For Sale 1909
RECORD CREATED BY : TINA EASLEY
02/11/2008 06:24:10 PM
I HAVE CREATED THIS RECORD WHILE RESEARCHING THE OLD NEWSPAPERS .
HERE IS SOME HISTORY ON HOPKINS BRIDGE THAT I HAD RESEARCHED SEVERAL YEARS AGO .
The first bridge built across the St. Francis was the Hopkins Bridge , constructed in 1897 by Mr. P.S. Black and Mr. J.T. Hopkins. The bridge was a narrow , one-way structure , and contained no side rails . It consisted primarily of three spans . One span jutted out from each side of the river and was supported by wooden pilings . The middle span was floated on a pontoon , so that it could be detatched at one end and floated aside by the current when boats needed to pass through . Mr. Luther Starnes recalls one of the major problems this created - when the water level changed , so did the distance between the top portions of the spans . At times , there would be a twelve to eighteen -inch drop in the middle span , making it virtually impossible to cross. The bridge was operated as a toll brige for ten to fifteen years.
THURSDAY , SEPTEMBER 23, 1909 - THE DAILY SOLIPHONE
THE OWNERS OF THE BLACK & HOPKINS BRIDGE ACROSS THE ST. FRANCIS RIVER NINE MILES EAST OF PARAGOULD . PROPOSE TO SELL THE BRIDGE TO THE MERCHANTS OF PARAGOULD. IT IS A TOLL BRIDGE AND IS THE ONLY HIGHWAY ACROSS THE ST. FRANCIS RIVER TO THIS VICINITY THAT CAN BE CROSSED BY WAGON , TEAMS AND HORSEMEN.
THE PRICE OF TOLL IS FOR A WAGON AND TEAM ROUND TRIP $ 1, ONE WAY 75 CENTS . PREPORTIONALE , CHARGES ARE MADE FOR A HORSE AND BUGGY OR HORSEBACK RIDERS . THE PEOPLE RESIDING EAST OF THE RIVER CONTIGOUS TO THIS BRIDGE CANNOT ESCAPE THIS TOLL.
THE BRIDGE HAS OPENED UP A GOOD TRADE AREA TO PARAGOULD BUT IT WOULD BE BETTER IF THERE WERE NO TOLL CHARGES.
THE PRICE ASKED FOR THE BRIDGE IS $900 AND IT IS ESTIMATED THAT IT WILL COST ABOUT $300 TO PUT IT IN FIRST CLASS CONDITION. THIS INVESTMENT IS ON THAT PARAGOULD CAN EASILY AFFORD ESPECIALLY SINCE THE PEOPLE EAST OF THE RIVER WANT IT AND ARE WILLING TO BEAR SOME OF THE EXPENSE TO BUY IT AND MAKE IT A PUBLIC BRIDGE , FREE TO EVERBODY.
THE BUSINESS MEN OF PARAGOULD COULD CHIP IN $25 TO $50 FOR EACH FIRM AND THE INCREASED TRADE FROM THE TERRITORY EAST OF THE RIVER WOULD SOON BRING THE MONEY BACK IN INCREASED SALES OF MERCHANDISE.
THE MATTER WILL BE PRESENTED TO OUR BUSINESS MEN AND THEY OUGHT TO ACT LIBERALLY AND PROMPTLY . COTTON IS BEGINNING TO MOVE AND A LARGELY INCREASED TRADE FOR THE FALL SEASON WILL RESULT FROM A FREE BRIDGE TO BE OPENED WITHIN THE NEXT 20 OR 30 DAYS OR SOONER .