After an exhaustive search of the roads of Glencoe Township, Butler County, Kansas, we discovered three more stone arch culverts still in use on the roads. This, coupled with the 80th Street culvert mentioned in a previous post, brings the total number of remaining township stone culverts in Glencoe to four, and the total known number of stone arch bridges and culverts in Butler County to 27. We have already added these three new culverts to our Butler County stone bridge page and updated the included map accordingly; for the exact locations of these culverts please refer to this page. In this post, we will summarize the characteristics of these three very interesting little stone bridges.
The Price Road Glencoe/Little Walnut Township Line Culvert
This culvert is a magnificent example of masonry construction. The quality of the build is very high. This culvert has been slightly widened or repaired with the aid of steel beams and sheet metal on one side, and has seen a few stones knocked from the top, but otherwise is a remarkable structure.
There are several interesting features of this culvert. The first is how well the stones fit together. Another feature is the excellently cut skewbacks, which are visible in the photo above. This was clearly no quick, slipshod structure, but was built by an outstanding mason.
Glencoe Township SE 90th Street Culvert
The SE 90th Street culvert is a little and remarkably intact structure. There can be little doubt but that this is the “arch culvert” that was to be built between sections 17 and 20 referred to in a call for bids published by the Glencoe Township trustee in the May 11, 1906, edition of the El Dorado Republican. This gives us a date (1906) and span (6 feet) but not a builder. That said, given the striking similarities in characteristics, it appears likely that the culvert was built by the same person who built the 80th street culvert mentioned in our last update to the Butler bridge list.
The SE 90th Street culvert remains almost completely intact and unaltered and is an outstanding example of a typical Butler County township stone culvert of the type that was so popular in the early 1900s. There may be some slight slipping of arch stones, no doubt due to the loss of mortar throughout the structure, but the stones fit well enough that the mortar was not being totally relied on to help “turn the arch.” The builder, obviously, was a good mason.
Another Glencoe Township Stone Culvert on 80th Street
There is another stone arch culvert on SE 80th street that we discovered during our travels of Glencoe Township. This one appears almost identical to the 90th street culvert and the other 80th street culvert shown above. This culvert is largely filled in with sediment, despite the fact a small stream still flows through the culvert in wet periods.
Some stones have been knocked from the top of this culvert, but otherwise it appears to be in very good condition, even if almost filled in.
According to the old newspapers, the townships in Butler County built hundreds of stone arch culverts. While a surprisingly small number of them are known to remain, it is clear that these modest structures easily escape attention. We have now (as of this writing) conducted a thorough search of the roads in Fairview and Glencoe townships. While we did not have any luck in Fairview, it is plain from our search of Glencoe that there is certainly potential for more stone arch culverts to turn up across the county on the roads, if they are carefully searched for; save for maybe the Price Road Culvert (which can be plainly seen from the blacktop 70th street) the new “discoveries” mentioned in this post were not exactly obvious. How many other stone arch culverts built by the townships remain, waiting to be found?