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"Ed Nichols, Boy Railroad Bridge Advisor
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Ed Nichols, “Boy Railroad Bridge Advisor”
In 1882 the Santa Fe graded into Morgan, Texas and the unpredictable Steel Creek.
Young Ed Nichols looked up from his favorite fishing hole just opposite the Tonkawas Wigwams lined valley. It was not the Indians, but a buggy load of railroad surveyors that gained his attention.
Ed watched as the surveyors surveyed his favorite creek in preparation for the first railroad bridge in the area. Looking at the driven stakes, Ed asks the surveyors “is that where you are going to build your bridge?” Right here was the reply. Ed quickly responded, “the creek will take it away.” The surveyors laughed and asked if he thought he knew more about how high the bridge should be than they did. I am sure you know more about books Ed replied, but I believe I know more about Steel Creek. The bridge was built, but less than 1 year later it was washed out. It was rebuilt, this time 3-4 feet higher. Again Ed told them it was not high enough. The spring rain came and the bridge was washed out again. The surveyors hunted up the young lad Ed this time and asked him where it should be built. He explained his favorite fishing spot where he would sit on this big rock and dangled his feet into the swollen creek during heavy rains. He told them they needed to be higher than that.
127 years have passed and the Ed Nichols Bridge still stands in Morgan, Texas, enduring heavy rains and heavy trains.
Story researched by Jack Carlton from the book, Ed Nichols Rode a Horse.