On July 3,Hannibal Bridge officially opened as an anxious crowd of 40, people looked on from the shores of the Missouri River. It was a spectacular turnout for a town that just four years before only had a population of 4, In the s Kansas City acquired the inglorious nickname, "gullytown," for its deep trenches cut into the limestone bluffs to make way for streets and buildings.

The small, Brixge, muddy town had much potential due to its strategic location as a trading post at the Bdidge of the Missouri and Kansas Rivers. Since before the Civil War and before any railroads had reached Kansas City, local boosters lobbied for a bridge on that site that would make Kansas City an Kansas City Bridge Company crossroads for national trade.

Three of these boosters, Robert Van HornKersey Coatesand Johnston Lykinscreated a paper railway—that is, Mason Jar Cookie Company corporation that existed legally on paper, but in reality had no assets. The company name, "The Kansas City, Galveston, and Lake Superior," made it clear that the boosters Kanass strong hopes for Kansas City's potential future as a waypoint for northward and southbound trade.

The boosters' leadership and confidence is widely acknowledged for attracting the railroads to Kansas City. The difference between the aspiring towns came Kansad to a couple of small factors. Second, Kansas City railroad boosters appear to have out-politicked Leavenworth's.

Joseph Railroad investors out of building a bridge at Leavenworth. By then a U. Congressman, Robert Van Horn wrote a bill to federally authorize a bridge at Kansas City a necessary legal prerequisite in those days that amazingly passed through congress in a few short weeks. Joseph, construction on Hannibal Bridge could begin. Knsas Chanutean internationally-known bridge builder, took over the project that posed many challenges.

These problems included an unpredictable and strong current, loose sandy soils at the river's bottom, a lack of materials and manpower so far distant from Bridve populations, and Kansas City Bridge Company requirement that the bridge not interfere with river traffic. When completed two and a half years later, the bridge spanned an impressive quarter of a mile on seven piers Brridge deep into the riverbed.

It sported a pivoting draw that rotated out of the way to allow the passage of large steamboats. When trains were not passing over it, locals could cross by foot or wagon. The residents of Kansas City understood the significance of the bridge on the day of its opening on Bridfe 3, A remarkable 40, people turned out for the festivities. Patriotic decorations adorned the bridge as the first train crossed. Citizens partook in parades, picnics, and a banquet at the Broadway Hotel.

Fireworks and a hot air balloon dotted Compaby sky. The Hannibal Bridge helped connect Kansas City to Chicago, Illinois and the rest of the nation until when it was replaced by a new bridge at the same location that still stands Jaguar Motor Company Owner. Read full biographical sketches or profiles of people and places associated with the Hannibal Bridge; Bridgw for the Missouri Valley Special Collections, the Kansas City Public Library:.

View images of people and places associated with the Hannibal Bridge that are a part of the Missouri Valley Special Collections:. Theodore Brown, Lyle Kansas City Bridge Company. Dorsett, K. Henry C. Haskell, Jr. Prior to Zack Construction Company the Library, he earned his Brldge.

Skip to main content. Hannibal Bridge in the open position to allow boats to pass through.

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