The Old Iron Bridge: Resting, Not Rusting

Here is another of our lesser-known historical treasures:

This is Euless’s old iron bridge.

It was built in 1889 by the King Iron Bridge Company and placed over the Trinity River where the dirt road that is now Collins Street crossed the river in what is now Arlington.

For the first several years of its career, this bridge knew only boots and hooves and wagon wheels. It served for more than a decade before the first automobile tire rolled over it.

This 1895 map of the county shows that back then the crossing was out in the country. That road was the “pike” from Arlington through Euless to Grapevine. (Map from Pete Charlton’s “The Lost Antique Maps of Texas: Fort Worth & Tarrant County, Volume 2” CD.)

Zenas King (1818-1892) had founded the King Iron Bridge Company in 1858 in Cleveland, Ohio. His company built many of the bridges that Americans crossed as they migrated west in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Several King bridges are still standing. Clip is from the 1864 Cleveland Morning Leader.

In the early 1930s the bridge was moved from the crossing at the Trinity River to the crossing of Main Street in Euless over Little Bear Creek. (Photo from Euless Historical Preservation Committee.)

The King company built several bridges in Texas. In fact, the company built another bridge over the Trinity River in 1889. Tarrant County commissioners hired the King company to build an iron bridge at Daggett’s Crossing northeast of Samuels Avenue. C. B. Daggett, brother of E. M. Daggett, owned a plantation on land that later became Mount Olivet Cemetery. (Map from Pete Charlton’s “The Lost Antique Maps of Texas: Fort Worth & Tarrant County, Volume 2” CD.)

The Euless bridge’s 1889 King name plates are on display at the Euless Heritage Museum at the Ruth Millican Center.

The old iron bridge spanned a river, a creek, and a lot of years. In the 1970s it was retired, replaced, and relocated: to South Euless Elementary School.

But even in retirement the old bridge continues to do what it did in its working days: carry people over water. It rests over a small creek on the school grounds.

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