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Tuscaloosa in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
Horace King
 
Horace King Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Tim Carr, November 17, 2008
1. Horace King Marker
 
Inscription. Born a slave in South Carolina in 1807, Horace King became a master bridge builder while working with John Godwin. With the aid of Tuscaloosa Robert Jemison, King was freed by act of the Alabama legislature in 1846. He went on to build many bridges and other structures across the South. Revered and respected for his organizational abilities, building skills and personal integrity, he formed the King Brothers Bridge Company with his family after the Civil War. After serving two terms in the Alabama legislature during Reconstruction, he died at LaGrange, GA in 1885, John Godwin and Horace King built the first bridge across the Black Warrior River on this site in 1834.
 
Erected 2002 by Alabama Historical Association.
 
Location. 33° 12.812′ N, 87° 34.334′ W. Marker is in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in Tuscaloosa County. Marker can be reached from Greensboro Avenue near 2nd Street (Jack Warner Parkway). Click for map. Marker is located in the Black Warrior Riverwalk Park just east or upriver of the Lurleen B. Wallace Blvd Bridge. Marker is in this post office area: Tuscaloosa AL 35401, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Captain Benjamin F. Eddins (within shouting distance of this marker); Burns’ Shoals (within shouting distance of this marker); Navigation and Shipbuilding On The Black Warrior River (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Black Warrior River (about 600 feet away); Home Guard Defended Covered Bridge / Bridging The Black Warrior River (about 800 feet away); The M & O Railroad Trestle (approx. ¼ mile away); “The Indian Fires Are Going Out” (approx. 0.3 miles away); Alabama Corps Of Cadets Defends Tuscaloosa (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Tuscaloosa.
 
Horace King Marker (foreground) and Captain Benjamin F. Eddins Marker (background) Photo, Click for full size
By Tim Carr, March 13, 2010
2. Horace King Marker (foreground) and Captain Benjamin F. Eddins Marker (background)
The two markers are stand on the approach where Horace King built the first river bridge at this site in 1834. The first bridge was damaged by a tornado in 1842, and rebuilt in 1852, and then destroyed by Union Troops in 1865. Horace King built a new wooden bridge in 1872, that bridge was replaced with a 3-span iron bridge in 1882. To accommodate river traffic a higher bridge with a swing span was built 1895. That bridge was replaced with a drawbridge in 1922 and was used up to 1974 after the Hugh Thomas Bridge was opened slightly downstream. All the bridges built on this site utilized the original 1834 piers.
 

 
Also see . . .
1. Horace King by The Encyclopedia of Alabama. (Submitted on March 21, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama.)
2. Alabama Heritage: Horace King, Bridge Builder. by Thomas L. French, Jr., and Edward L. French (Submitted on March 21, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama.) 

3. Horace King From Slave to Master Bridge Builder by Richard G. Weingardt, P.E. This site contains photos of one of Horace King's bridges that still stands in Georgia since the 1840s. (Submitted on March 21, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama.) 
 
The rock foundations of the 1834 pier and the Hugh Thomas Bridge overhead. Photo, Click for full size
By Tim Carr, November 17, 2008
3. The rock foundations of the 1834 pier and the Hugh Thomas Bridge overhead.
 
 
The site of 6 bridges that crossed the Black Warrior River. Photo, Click for full size
By Tim Carr, March 13, 2010
4. The site of 6 bridges that crossed the Black Warrior River.
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on March 21, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. This page has been viewed 1,513 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 21, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
 
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