Stone Arch Bridges of Butler County, Kansas

Though they are not well-known as the Cowley County, Kansas, stone arch bridges, Cowley’s neighbor to the north, Butler County, has 20+ stone arch bridges and culverts in existence today. Butler County, Kansas, was a pioneer county in stone arch bridge building in Kansas. Butler’s success influenced other counties to use stone for bridges, including Cowley County. Beginning in earnest in 1894, the county built stone arch bridges regularly until 1915. In the final tally, Butler County proper built around 60 stone arch bridges and culverts, but this does not give the whole story. It has been estimated that the townships built hundreds of small stone arch bridges and culverts during Butler’s stone arch bridge heyday, prompting the newspapers to say:

“Butler County, Kansas, is in the lead in stone arch bridges and culverts and in years to come in this respect its fame will go abroad. The county will have nothing else.”

From the Leon Indicator, quoting the Kansas City Star, December 7, 1905.

For the aid of those who would like to view the stone arch bridges of Butler County, Kansas, we have compiled a list of known stone arch bridges and culverts in the county and have recently added a map of the extant bridges and culverts of Butler County.

Note to photographers: No trespassing. A “selfie stick” can make difficult bridge pictures possible.

Using the Map

This map shows the locations of all the known stone arch bridges built by Butler County proper built from 1882 – 1918, as far as we can tell from extensive newspaper research. The bridge numbers give, with reasonable accuracy, the order in which the bridges were completed, while the text color shows the status of the bridge, with green being extant, red being a bridge which no longer exists, and yellow meaning we are unsure if the structure is intact or not. The bridge number will also be used in conjunction with the list below as a reference. So, for instance, the Ellis Bridge is listed on the map as “#25.” As an added bonus, we have also added the two township culverts that still exist; they are labeled T1 and T2, with T meaning a township job, and the number, in this instance, merely referring to the order in which we confirmed the bridge’s existence.

A List of the Existing Stone Arch Bridges of Butler County, Kansas

Ellis Bridge

  • Where: On NE 110th Street where the road crosses the Walnut River, south and west of Cassoday.
  • When: Construction of the original portion began in 1901 and was completed in 1902; bridge received its second full-sized arch in 1906, thereby achieving its final form (minus the cantilevered slab top).
  • Built By: Walter Sharp built original section of the bridge. Abe Matheney put the bridge into its final form (minus the cantilevered slab top).
  • Further Resources: Cassoday’s Double Arch Walnut River Bridge.
  • Map Reference: #25.
NE 110th Street Double Arch Walnut River bridge
Ellis Bridge over Walnut River on NE 110th Street.

 

SW 60th Street Turkey Creek Bridge

Turkey Creek Bridge
SW 60th Turkey Creek Bridge.

 

Diller Bridge

Dillers Bridge
Diller Bridge over Walnut River on NE Price Road.

 

Minos West Ford Bridge

Minos West Ford Bridge
Minos West Ford Bridge over Hickory Creek on SE Ellis Road.

 

Cedar Ford Bridge

  • Where: On SE Pickrell Road a few feet north of where it crosses Rock Creek. Though this bridge originally spanned Rock Creek, it now carries the road over an overflow channel. The long south approach of the stone bridge joins the 1917 concrete bridge which spans the actual creek.
  • When: 1908.
  • Built By: C. C. Jamison.
  • Further Resources: The Cedar Ford Bridge.
  • Map Reference: #44.
Rock Creek Overflow Bridge
Cedar Ford Bridge near Rock Creek on SE Pickrell Road.

 

NW 110th Street Henry Creek Bridge

  • Where: On NW 110th Street, where the road crosses Henry Creek, north of Potwin.
  • When: 1910.
  • Built By: C. C. Jamison.
  • Map Reference: #48.
Henry Creek Bridge
NW 110th Street Henry Creek Bridge.

SE Satchell Creek Road Rock Creek Bridge

Rock Creek Bridge
SE Satchell Creek Road Rock Creek Bridge.

Sycamore Springs Bridge

  • Where: On NE 140th Street where the road crosses the Walnut River, west of Cassoday.
  • When: Construction began in 1899.
  • Built By: Abe Matheney.
  • Map Reference: #20.
Abe Matheney's 1899 Walnut River Bridge
Sycamore Springs Bridge over Walnut River on NE 140th Street

 

SW Tawakoni Road Fourmile Creek Bridge

  • Where: On SW Tawakoni Road where it crosses Fourmile Creek, near Andover.
  • When: 1899.
  • Built By: Abe Matheney.
  • Note: This bridge is scheduled to be reconstructed in 2025. For more info click here.
  • Map Reference: #17
Fourmile Creek Bridge
SW Tawakoni Road Four Mile Creek Bridge.

 

Grant Bridge

  • Where: Spanning Satchel Creek on NE Grant Road, east of El Dorado Lake.
  • When: Completed in 1914.
  • Built By: C. C. Jamison.
  • Further Resources: The Grant Bridge.
  • Map Reference: #54
Satchel Creek Bridge
Grant Bridge over Satchel Creek on NE Grant Road.

 

Liggett Ford Bridge

  • Where: Spans Harrison Creek on SE Price Road, east of El Dorado Lake.
  • When: 1903.
  • Built By: C. C. Jamison.
  • Map Reference: #28.
Harrison Creek Bridge
Liggett Ford Bridge over Harrison Creek on SE Price Road.

 

Wilson Bridge

1899 Dry Creek Bridge
Wilson Bridge.

 

Hill Bridge

Hill Bridge
Hill Bridge over Dry Creek on SW Diamond Road.

 

NW 160th Street May Branch Whitewater River Bridge

  • Where: Spans the May Branch of the Whitewater River on NW 160th Street, in Clifford Township.
  • When: 1906.
  • Built By: C. C. Jamison.
  • Map Reference: #42.
1910 May Branch Whitewater River Bridge
NW 160th Street May Branch Whitewater River Bridge.

Brainerd Bridge

  • Where: Spans Dry Creek on abandoned section of NW Indianola Road, east of Brainerd. (Private property.)
  • When: 1903.
  • Built By: C. C. Jamison.
  • Map Reference: #27.

SW Walnut Valley Road Cave Spring Branch Turkey Creek Bridge

  • Where: Spanning Cave Spring Branch of Turkey Creek on SW Walnut Valley Road, south of El Dorado.
  • When: 1910.
  • Built By: C. C. Jamison.
  • Map Reference: #49.
Cave Spring Branch Bridge
SW Walnut Valley Road Cave Spring Branch Turkey Creek Bridge.

 

Walz Ford Bridge

  • Where: Just south of the Rock Creek crossing on SE Bluestem Road, in Clay Township. Though the bridge once spanned the creek, it now carries the road over dry land.
  • When: Construction began in 1899; bridge was accepted in 1900.
  • Built By: Walter Sharp.
  • Further Resources: Rediscovering the Walz Ford Bridge, 4 Lesser-Known Stone Bridges of Kansas.
  • Map Reference: #19.
Walz Ford Bridge
Walz Ford Bridge near Rock Creek on SE Bluestem Road.

 

SW 70th Street Turkey Creek Bridge

  • Where: Spans Turkey Creek on SW 70th Street, near El Dorado.
  • When: 1897.
  • Built By: Abe Matheney.
  • Further Resources: The 1897 Turkey Creek Bridge.
  • Map Reference: #7.
Abe Matheney's 1897 Turkey Creek Bridge
SW 70th Street Turkey Creek Bridge.

 

SW 230th Street Polecat Creek Bridge

  • Where: Spans Polecat Creek on SW 230th Street, south of Rose Hill.
  • When: 1901.
  • Built By: C. C. Jamison.
  • Further Resources: The Polecat Creek Bridge.
  • Map Reference: #22.
Polecat Creek Bridge
SW 230th Street Polecat Creek Bridge.

 

Thomas Jefferson Smith Ford Bridge

  • Where: Where SE Summit Road spans the north branch of Hickory Creek, southwest of Beaumont.
  • When: 1906.
  • Built By: Abe Matheney.
  • Map Reference: #38.
North Branch Hickory Creek Bridge
Thomas Jefferson Smith Ford Bridge over Hickory Creek on SE Summit Road.

 

SW Santa Fe Lake Road Gillion Creek Bridge

  • Where: Spans Gillion Creek (Fourmile Creek) on SW Santa Fe Lake Road, south of Potwin.
  • When: 1901.
  • Built By: Abe Matheney.
  • Map Reference: #23.
Gillion Creek Bridge
SW Santa Fe Lake Road Gillion Creek Bridge.

 

NW 115th Street Whitewater River Bridge

115th Whitewater River Bridge
NW 115th Street Whitewater River Bridge.

SW Diamond Road Culvert

  • Where: Carries SW Diamond Road over a small channel near Augusta. The culvert is located roughly halfway between Diamond Road’s intersection with SW 60th Street and Diamond Road’s intersection with SW 70th Street.
  • Note: This culvert has been widened with a cement arch culvert on both sides. As a result, it looks like a concrete culvert from the outside. The stone arch section is intact within the culvert.
  • Further Resources: A New Addition to the Stone Arch Bridges of Butler County List
  • Map Reference: T2
SW Diamond Road Stone Culvert
Interior of SW Diamond Road Culvert.