Another Lesser-Known Stone Arch Bridge: Whitewater River Bridge

115th Whitewater River Bridge

Here’s another little known stone arch bridge in Butler County, Kansas.

In Plum Grove Township, about 3 ½ miles north of Potwin, there is a peculiar little stone arch bridge over the Whitewater River on NW 115th Street. Located about ½ mile west of the 115th–Buffalo Road intersection, this little bridge features a remarkably small arch. It is vaguely reminiscent of a low-water bridge — though with a stone arch opening.

115th Whitewater River Bridge
The NW 115th street Whitewater River Bridge is an interesting stone arch culvert in north-west Butler County. As was common for township bridges of the era, the arch opening is rather small for the size of the stream.

The bridge has a long approach, with the arch located towards the western end, and a concrete top. Though somewhat battered, it still appears to be in reasonable condition. The masonry is somewhat crude, but the bridge is nevertheless an intriguing example of stone arch construction.

This bridge was built in 1907, and was actually a township job, as opposed to a county bridge. Plum Grove township awarded the contract for this bridge to J. H. Higdon and S. R. Poe, who were local residents of the Potwin area. It is interesting to note that upon being warded this contract Higdon and Poe headed for El Dorado to buy the tools to fulfill their contract. This bridge was built at a time where enthusiasm for building stone culverts as a means to supplement your income ran high in Butler County.

Additional resource: Index of the Stone Arch Bridges of Butler County, Kansas