Day 15 – Black History – Horace King, Bridge Builder

I’m reminded of the 1995 romantic movie, “The Bridges of Madison County.”

Horace King, a man born into slavery on a South Carolina plantation in 1807, rose to become a prolific architect, real estate developer, and Alabama state legislator. Educated and trained as an engineer and contractor, King built bridges, courthouses, and industrial facilities across the southern United States.

King, a mixed-race man with Native American, African, and Caucasian ancestry, received training in bridge building and design working with the man that owned him and his family, John Godwin.

Godwin a master home builder and bridge contractor in the region, often lent his services, as well as King’s labor, to work on lucrative construction projects taking shape in the rapidly growing south.

In 1832, Godwin moved family to Columbus, Georgia, where Godwin was awarded a bid to construct the needed bridge over the Chattanooga River.

Using hand tools, lumber planks, mules, and granite blocks, it fell to King and Godwin to construct a durable bridge connecting Columbus on the eastern banks of the river with Girard on the western side, where newly-acquired land could be settled by land-hungry Americans.

Along with numerous houses and buildings, King built “at least 125 bridges” in his lifetime, according to Troup County Archives.

What a great contribution to new America👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽

Post contributor: Sandra Renaud

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