Charleston, WV Historic Bridge Collapses, Dec 1904

Charleston WV Elk River Bridge Collapse 1904-12-15.jpg

HISTORIC BRIDGE COLLAPSES.

Three Girls Killed and Four Other Persons Injured in West Virginia.

Charleston, West Va., Dec. 15. -- Three girls were killed and four other persons seriously injured to-day by the collapse of the suspension bridge across the Elk River, which connects East and West Charleston.
On the bridge were six children on their way to school and a number of other pedestrians, together with six teams. Those who went down with the wreckage fell forty feet into the ice-covered river.
The steamer 'Baxter' broke the ice to allow small boats to reach the scene and the rescue work began. The bodies of MAMIE HIGGINBOTHAM, eleven years old, and ANNIE HUMPHREYS, seventeen years, were taken out. OLIVE GIBBS, fifteen years old, was among those rescued alive, but she succumbed to her injuries.
The bridge was a single span, 500 feet in length, and was built in 1852. During the civil war the cable of this bridge was cut by Gen. WISE when he evacuated Charleston, the bridge at the same time being partially burned. The same cable was afterward spliced and has been in use ever since.

The New York Times New York 1904-12-16

BRIDGE COLLAPSES.

Charleston, W. Va., Dec. 16. - Three persons are known to have been killed and four others seriously injured by the collapse of the suspension bridge across the Elk River, which connects East and West Charleston. At the time the bridge went down there were six teams and six children on their way to school, and a number of other pedestrians on the structure. Those who went down with the wreckage fell a distance of 40 feet into the ice-covered waters of the river.
The dead are:
MAMIE HIGGINBOTHAM, aged 11 years;
ANNIE HUMPHREYS, aged 17 years;
OLLIE GIBBS, aged 15 years.
The injured:
ZELLA SMITH, aged 17 years, compound fracture of the elbow;
WILLIAM HOLMES (colored), driver, cut and bruised;
HENRY FIELDER, driver, serious internal injuries;
ELMA TUCKER, aged 13 years, both arms and leg broken.
The accident was caused by two cables on the north side slipping from their moorings. When that side dropped another cable on the down side of the stream snapped, the floor tilted and turned completely over.
The bridge was a single-span, 500 feet in length, and was built in 1852. It has been known to be unsafe for some time.

The Worthington Advance Minnesota 1904-12-23