During July, 1884, supervisors called a special session to address Victor Callison’s desire to be free of his commitment to procure an iron bridge for the county. Granting that, the board invited bids for the job, and the results (which were “spread upon the minutes” as the auditor put it) are a sample of what, during the 1880s, one might see when bridge construction bids were opened. 

We don’t know why Callison wanted out of his contract as an agent of the Berlin Iron Bridge Company, but he surely gave the matter a lot of thought. Born in Illinois around 1844, according to his obituary, Callison “enlisted in the 72d Illinois regiment and after a few weeks of training, joined the army of Grant in the southwest. He was with the great general through the Vicksburg campaign, from beginning to end; was discharged at the close of the war, and then afterward took a claim near Clanton creek in the part of Madison county now known as Monroe township. Mr. Callison was more than ordinary in intellect and habits. Quick to see opportunities in social life and business, he soon took his place in that community, and later in social life, in politics and of business.” By the time of his death in 1921, the Callison farm had grown to over 400 acres. 

Throughout the 1880s, at least, the King Bridge Company furnished Madison County’s iron bridges. In earlier years, the Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio, received much of the business, but the results of the bidding process recorded below are an instance of King & Twiss, as they were known, underbidding the competition. 

This week’s segment of minutes include a warrant drawn by W.F. Kiser for roofing Hogback (then known as Clark) Bridge. Kiser, it seems, roofed all of the county’s flat-roof covered bridges and some of the earlier pitched-roof covered bridges as well. Also notable this week are new bridge warrants issued in “redemption” of presumably un-cashable warrants from previous years. The ability of workers to cash in their pay warrants at local banks depended on whether the county’s deposits could cover the individual withdrawals. At times recipients were forced to sell their warrants at a discount to merchants with sufficient cash on hand to cover them. Waiting and bargaining for county pay was a well-known inconvenience resulting from the county’s indebtedness, which fueled resentment against the most overextended cost center – the bridge fund. 

July 12: Board of Supervisors met in special session on call of Chairman Storck. Application of V.L. Callison to be released from contract to furnish an 80ft. iron bridge to Madison Co. made at the June session 1884: considered and granted, and, Auditor ordered to advertise for proposals for a bridge in place thereof. Bids to be opened July 26, 1884. Bids of: King & Twiss, $764.56 + $4.73 per hund. for tubes; Smith Bridge Co, $875.00 +…$5.25…; Milwaukee Bridge Co, $803.25 +…$4.95…; Raymond & Campbell, $845 +…$5.25… . Opened and contract awarded to King & Twiss.

(427) J.F. Jones, labor, $12.50 (428) J.W. Donovan, labor, $12.50 (429) Wallace Bros, mdse for bridges, $167.00 (430) H.P. Jones, labor, $44.00 (431) H.P. Jones, labor, $100.00 (432) J.M. Rutherford, labor, $1.50 (433) Silas Sweeney, labor, $1.50 (434) J.W. Donovan, labor, $7.50 (435) J.F. Jones, labor, $11.25 (436) H. Utter, labor, $3.75 (437) A.G. Cruse, part redemption of warrant 509, $280.00 (438) King Bridge Co, part cost of Webster Bridge, $400.00 (439) same, balance, $406.25 (440) B. Gifford, lumber for bridges, $70.26 (441) Austin Reed, labor, $15.00 (442) D. Clearwater, labor, $24.00 (443) W.H. Kiser, roofing material for Clark Bridge, $155.40 (444) Smith Lake, labor, $36.00 (445) J.W. Donovan, labor, $7.50 (446) J.F. Jones, labor, $7.50 (447) H. Utter, labor, $2.00 (448) Marion Addy, labor, $6.00 (449) J.F. Jones, labor, $15.00 (450) J.W. Donovan, labor, $15.00 (451) King Bridge Co, part payment for 82 ft. bridge at North River, $500.00 (452) same, balance, $409.38 (453) same, partial payment for 102 ft. bridge at Bevington, $500.00 (454) same, partial payment for same, $500.00 (455) same, balance, $320.90 (456) B. Johnson, labor, $20.05 (457) Wallace Bros, mdse for bridges, $61.50 (458) J.W. Donovan, labor, $9.25 (459) J.F. Jones, labor, $4.75 (460) E.H. White, labor, $6.75 (461) John Arnold, labor, $19.25 (462) William Hale, labor, $19.25 (463) Silas Sweeney, labor, $1.05 (464) Mitten Hymes, labor, $1.20 (465) J.W. Donovan, labor, $13.75 (466) J.F. Jones, labor, $13.75 (467) King & Twiss, one half cost of erecting Bevington Bridge, $384.00 (468) King Iron Bridge Co, tubular piers for Bevington Bridge, $509.81 (469) B. Johnson, lumber for bridges, $204.20 (470) CRI & PRR, freight on old Bevington Bridge to Winterset, $10.00 (471) John Arnold, labor, $21.50 (472) D. Clearwater, labor, $40.00 (473) Wm. Hale, labor, $35.00 (474) Smith Lake, labor, $60.00 (475) J.W. Donovan, labor, $9.37 (476) J.R. Shannon, labor, $6.87 (477) J.R. Halloway, labor, $3.00 (478) J.R. Shannon, labor, $10.00 (479) G.A. Turbett, labor, $9.00 (480) J.W. Donovan, labor, $10.00 (481) Not Issued (482) Henry Webb, labor, $6.15 (483) H.P. Jones, labor, $26.00 (484) H.P. Jones, $100.00 (485) J.W. Donovan, labor, $12.50 (486) John Clearwater, labor on bridges - “salvage,” $1.50 (487) H.P. Jones, labor, $36.00 (488) John Cox, labor, $4.50 (489) Isaac Butler, labor, $3.00 (490) John Arnold, labor, $10.50 (491) Wm. Hale, labor, $15.75 (492) J. Gilogly, labor, $10.50 (493) J.W. Donovan, labor, $15.00 (494) J.R. Shannon, labor, $10.00 (495) A.G. Cruzen, part redemption of warrants no. 407 of 1882 and 118 of 1883, $1,309.00 (496) J.B. Halloway, labor, $9.00 (497) O. B. Emerson, labor, $19.50 (498) D. Clearwater, labor, $21.00 (499) John Arnold, labor, $7.87 (1) James Gillogly, labor, $7.87 (2) Thomas Clapton, labor, $25.50 (3) W.A. Hale, labor, $7.87 (4) J.W. Donovan, labor, $16.00 (5) John Hale, labor, $4.80 (6) Theo Armstrong, labor, $5.60 (7) J.R. Shannon, labor, $15.50 (8) Frank Finney, labor, $4.80 (9) D.P. Case, labor, $5.60 (10) Fred Boyd, labor, $4.80 (11) Nick Pitzer, labor, $4.80 (12) J.R. Hawkins, labor, $7.00 (13) G.A. Turbett, labor, $13.95 (14) Theodore Ladd, labor, $1.50 (15) Henry Webb, labor, $21.00 (16) S.E. McNett, labor, $6.00 (17) T.R. Hawkins, labor, $9.80 (18) Geo. Turbitt, labor, $12.60 (19) Theo Armstrong, labor, $9.80 (20) J.R. Hale, labor, $8.40 (21) Fred Boyd, labor, $8.40 (22) J.W. Donovan, labor, $14.00 (23) J.R. Shannon, labor, $14.00 (24) Geo. K Foster, labor, $100.00 (25) Geo. K. Foster, labor, $84.32 (26) F.G. Shipman, labor, $6.75 (27) Smith Lake, labor, $54.00 (28) O. Emerson, labor, $3.00 (29) F.G. Shipman, labor, $3.00 (30) Smith Shepler, labor, $1.50 (31) James Gillogly, $14.00 (32) D.M. Silvers, labor, $8.25 (33) W.A. Hale, labor, $14.00 (34) Barney Johnson, part redemption of warrant no. 404 from 1884, $500.00 (35) Error (36) J.R. Shannon, labor, $12.75 (37) J.W. Donovan, labor, $12.75 (38) Fred Boyd, labor, $7.65 (39) G.A. Turbett, labor, $11.48 (40) H.P. Jones, labor, $54.00 (41) Fred Taylor, labor, $6.00 (42) J.R. Hawkins, labor, $10.20 

Read and Approved, Sept. 1, 1884.