Using the name Halfway Worth Mentioning for this column might
be, at least at this time, a bit of a misnomer.
Since this column will be running at the same time as the Worth Mentioning column, the original reason for choosing the name becomes a moot point. I think enough people associate the name Halfway Worth Mentioning with a historical-related column to at least give the name some creditability. Should the Quad River News become either a weekly or a bi-weekly sometime down the road, the name would be right back in style.
The next best thing to knowing information is to know where to find it. Such was the case with the picture we are using this time. All I had when I started to Sheridan was a picture postcard with the caption "Largest Cement Road Bridge in Northwestern Missouri, near Sheridan". I was certain that John Bainum had the information I was hunting.
Not only did John have that information, but he was more than willing to share it. Futhermore, he had to make an extra trip home to get it. The following description is copied from an article carried in the Sheridan Advance in its 25th anniversary edition in 1912.
"Four miles southeast of Sheridan, Missouri and in the road district of which Jasper Long is overseer; is, according to the State Highway Engineer, the largest cement road bridge in Missouri. Work on the bridge was begun August 3, 1911 and it was completed and open for traffic, November 3.
"The west side of the bridge which is shown in the picture, is 111 feet long, while the east side is only 98 feet. There are as foundations, 4 piers 2 ½ foot wide at the bottom and 18 inches wide at the top and two of them are on foundations 4 ½ by 16 by 6 foot and two on foundations 4 ½ by 16 by 4 ½ feet. 103 loads of sand, 420 sacks of cement and 30 loads of rock were used in the construction and the total weight of material in the bridge is considerably over 400,000 pounds.
The cement bridge is a decidedly good investment over the old steel bridge because of its longer life. Most bridges in Worth County will be cement in the next few years; and when they are, it will be one of the best improvements for county roads that could be made. For instance, there is lots of difference between the life and durability of a steel bridge constructed in which ding-bolts are used, instead of riveted ones and the additional expense of the latter makes it cheaper and more adviseable to use cement in the future in constructing all bridges."
The bridge was constructed on what is now State Route B just south of Highway 46. The home of Norman Runyon is nearby.
I don't know how well the picture will reproduce and enlarge. To the left is a dirt scraper to which a team of mules is hitched. The driver of the scoop is Charles Holiday. Next is a team hitched to a high-wheeled wagon.
The car was a Great Western touring car. It was driven by Newton Long who had the Great Western agency in Sheridan at the time. Loyd Long identifies Newt Long as the man in the large coat standing at the extreme right.
Also in the picture is Ben Winemiller who was in charge of the contruction, Orville Aaron "Teed" young, and Jasper Long (father of Loyd Long).
The children standing along the railing were students at the Gravel Hill School which was a half mile or so on to the south.
The photographer was a Mr. Wray who lived in Sheridan.
Loyd Long, seven years old at the time and standing about even with the corner of the windshield, relates that his Uncle Newt brought the photographer to the site, and while the photographer was setting up for the picture, Newt went on down to the Gravel Hill School, loaded up the kids and brought them back to become part of recorded history. Loyd is also of the opinion that either Blanche or Jessie Graham was the Gravel Hill teacher at the time.
John Bainum is collecting and assembling a terrific pictorial and written history of Sheridan-Defiance. After setting the information I wanted about the bridge, I spent another hour or so looking through other material he has gathered. A lot of people who haven't done any research like that don't realize the hours and hours it takes to put something like that together.
The Sheridan community is already planning for its centennial year in 1987. With both the leadership and the followship they have in that community I'm sure it will be a gala affair.