THE ROCK RIVER

TRUESDELL / TRUSDALE BRIDGE COLLAPSE 1873

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The Dixon (Trusdale Bridge) on the day of its dedication
Contributed by Karen Holt - History of Lee County Illinois by Frank E. Stevens Vol 1 published 1914

At Dixon, Illinois, on the afternoon of May 4, 1873 , a group of New Baptist Converts being baptized at a point in Rock River, just below the 'Truesdale Bridge', about 200 (on page 2 column 1 the same article says 100 people) persons, including women and children, gathered on the iron bridge to witness the ceremony, when without warning, the bridge collapsed.

Some of those near the edge were able to reach the banks but by 6 p.m., 32 dead bodies were taken from the river. It is believed that others are under the wreck of the bridge. Twenty four rescued alive, but more or less injured, some fatally.

The following is a list of the killed and wounded:

Killed 43 People

Mrs. Peter Carney Miss Melissie Wilhelm of Wachuass
Miss Katy Sterling Mrs. Dr. Hoffman
Miss Maggie O'Brien Miss Nettie Hill
Miss Ida Vann (or Vaun) Miss Ida Drew
Miss Agnes Nixon Miss Bessie Rayne
Miss Irene Baker
& little dau. of J.R. Dana (or Dans)
George W. Kent
Mrs. J.W. Laty Mrs. Col. H.T. Noble
Clara Stackpole Ross Stackpole
Mrs. Benjamin Gilman Mrs. Carpenter
Miss Emily Deming J.R. Mason
Mrs. Wm. Cook Mrs. Robert Dyke
Mrs. Merriman Mrs. Peterberger & daughter
Thomas Haley Mrs. C.W. Kentner
Mrs. Thomas Wade Mrs. James Goble
Mrs. Mary Sullivan Miss Catherine F...
Mrs. Elias Hope Mrs. E. Wallace
Mrs. Hillman (or Sillman) Frank Hamilton
Mrs. Hendri.. & children Elizabeth Mackey
Mrs. ..... ...? Alexander

Wounded

Mrs. Daniel Che...? ...H. Whitman
Chas. Murry Mrs. ...Worm
.... Camp Mrs. Wilcox
Mrs. Wm. Stevens Miss Addie Cluei?
Mrs. E.B. Baker Mrs. Dr. Smith
Mrs. Page Mrs. Marsh
Miss Marion Thacker Mrs. John Moore
B.F. Burr's
daughter Eliza Cuddington
Mrs. Edgerton
Dr. Hoffman Miss Hazenping

Reports up to May 6th, place the number of bodies recovered at fourty-eight, with thirty wounded and eight missing, supposed to be under the wreck. An attempt was made to raise the fallen bridge but it proved abortive, the powerful machinery breaking the rotten structure, but not raising it sufficiently to allow the bodies that are supposed to be under the ruins to be recovered.
(Blank spots where damage to paper prior to filming)

Contributed by Barbara Ziegenmeyer our Genealogy Trails Cumberland Co IL Co-ordinator
From the Cumberland Democrat, Friday May 16, 1873 film #1440441

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