The American Railroad Journal, Railroad Locomotives and Cars, Vol. 32. P. 747 (11-2-1859) provides the most succinct and complete listing of the iron bridges that E. F. Beale proposed building in Indian Territory in late 1858. The “planned-for” six iron bridges going west from Fort Smith on the Beale Wagon Road were:
1. Poteau River, near Fort Smith (two-span)
2. Red Bank Creek, west of Skullyville
3. Little Sans Bois Creek
4. Big Sans Bois Creek
5. Longtown, or Frenchman’s Creek, and
6. Little River, at Edwards Trading Post.
The first five bridges were located in the Choctaw Nation, and the sixth in the Creek nation.
See the Journal of Beale Wagon Road Survey to California, Univ. of Michigan, IT part in pp. 8-12, at:
Details of the Beale Survey’s Itinerary and Journal Log in Indian Territory will be found on pp. 76-77.
My research concludes that the six “as-built” Whipple bowstring iron bridge locations in 1860 were:
1. Poteau River, 7.4 miles south of Fort Smith, just below the mouth of Cedar Creek (two-100 ft. spans)
2. Red Bank Creek, 5.3 miles west of Spiro (50 ft.)
3. Otter Creek, 1.4 miles southwest of Keota (50 ft.)
4. Sans Bois Creek, 0.6 miles northwest of Iron Bridge (100 ft.)
5. Emachaya Creek, 0.8 miles west of Whitefield (50 ft.), and
6. Little River at Edwards Trading Post (100 ft.).
The first five bridges were in the Choctaw Nation, the sixth in the Creek Nation. All were built according to the Whipple patented design—Cast & Wrought Iron Bowstring Arch Bridges.
Similar Existing Whipple Bridges
See a Whipple example for all six bridges at:
1. Poteau River https://bridgehunter.com/ny/columbia/shaw/
2. Red Bank, Otter & Emachaya Creeks https://bridgehunter.com/ny/monroe/ehrmentraut-farm/
3. San Bois Creek & Little River https://bridgehunter.com/ny/albany/whipple/
These example Whipple bowstrings are all located in New York. See more on Squire Whipple at:
A special "Thank You" goes out to Jack Beale Smith and Gene McCluney for their comments and guidance as this work ends.