The Indian Territory in the Civil War Message Board

Otter Creek was Little Sans Bois

Jack Beale Smith and I (at least) believe that "Otter Creek" was "Little San Bois Creek" in the Journal of Beale's Survey notes for his federally sponsored Beale Wagon Road from Fort Smith to California. The proposed Little Sans Bois (Otter) Bridge is located 1.4 miles southwest of Keota, OK. Otter Creek runs north through Keota (Ke otter) into the Kerr Lake navigation system.

The 1898 USBLM initial land survey shows the "military road" crossing of Otter Creek to be located about 400 yards west and 600 yards south of the "new" Haskell CR 1220 bridge across Otter Creek. This bridge site is about a mile east of Iron Bridge, OK, which is associated with at least the Big Sans Bois bridge of some renown, it being a 100-foot Whipple bowstring. The smaller Otter Creek bridge would have been only a 50-foot Whipple bowstring.

My recent analysis of Beale's survey notes reveals consistently large errors in his nightly campsite position reports (latitude & longitude, or his GPS). Whatever he was using as a ground truth map was likely even more inaccurate, so smaller creek names being bridged could easily have been misidentified. In 1858, however, today's Otter Creek may have been known to Beale's guide as Little Sans Bois, or just simply given the name by his staff in latter journal references, as its bridge was only 1.7 miles east of the Big Sans Bois Creek bridge.

Messages In This Thread

Five Beale Wagon Road Iron Bridges in IT
Redbank Creek
Sans Bois Creek
Re: Sans Bois Creek
Re: Five Beale Wagon Road Iron Bridges in IT
Re: Five Beale Wagon Road Iron Bridges in IT
Longtown Creek
Poteau River
Poteau River Beale Iron Bridge Location
Re: Poteau River Beale Iron Bridge Location
Re: Poteau River Beale Iron Bridge Location
Beale Bridge Location Not "E Street"
Re: Beale Bridge Location Not "E Street"
Re: Beale Bridge Location Not "E Street"
Beale Wagon Road's Carnall St. Bridge in Ft. Smith
Re: Poteau River Beale Iron Bridge Location
Re: Poteau River Beale Iron Bridge Location
Carnall Ave. Crossing of Poteau--It's a FERRY
Summary: Beale Wagon Road Iron Bridges in IT
Emachaya Creek was a Beale Wagon Road Iron Bridge
Otter Creek was Little Sans Bois
Beale Wagon Road’s Six Iron Bridges in IT