Champion Bridge Co.

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The Champion Bridge Company, formerly known as Champion Iron Bridge and Manufacturing Company, is a steel fabrication business based in Wilmington, Ohio, in the United States. It has been in business since the 1870s, and several of its works are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

In the 1850s, Zimri Wall (October 12, 1836-n.a.) began building bridges in Clinton County, Ohio.[1] In 1860, he built a number of timber bridges in Clinton County.[2] He established the Zimri Wall Company, and in 1871, he went into partnership with his brother as the Z. & J. Wall and Company.[1][2][3]

The Wall brothers developed a new wrought iron trussed arch bridge which was subsequently patented as the "Champion Wrought Iron Arch Bridge."[4] The patented design reportedly "played a key role in the history of their company."[4] The brothers sought investors to help them exploit their new design. In 1872, they formed the "The Champion Iron Bridge and Manufacturing Company" in partnership with Albert Israel Bailey. The company opened a fabrication shop in Hamilton, Ohio, and in 1875 built a larger shop in Wilmington, Ohio. The business was incorporated in 1878, and Zimri Wall left the business in 1880. In 1881, the company changed its name to the Champion Bridge Company in 1881 and began to also manufacture farm implements, iron fences, and some machinery. In 1893, the company moved to its present location on East Sugartree Street in Wilmington.[1][3] The company was among the first to use and promote steel for the construction of smaller highway bridges.[3]

War on the "bridge trust"[edit]

In 1905 and 1906, a Sandusky County, Ohio prosecutor pursued legal action, State of Ohio ex rel. Kora F. Brigs vs. Henry Hughes et al., against six Ohio bridge-building companies, including Champion Bridge Company, alleging that they had formed a "bridge trust."[5][6] The State alleged that the six companies had conspired to increase prices at the expense of taxpayers.[6]

In 1906, Ohio Attorney General Wade H. Ellis filed criminal charges against 15 bridge companies under Ohio's Valentine Antitrust Act.[6] In October 1906, The New York Times reported that Champion and four other companies had surrendered their charters as a result of Ellis's "war on the bridge trust."[7] Despite the action, the convicted companies were able to continue operating in Ohio by reorganizing in other states or making "organizational revisions under Ohio laws."[6]

Later years[edit]

In the 1930s, the company diversified into other areas of structural steel and began supplying steel for building construction.[1][3][8][9]

In 1935, R. J. Miars, who had previously been the company's general manager, acquired the company in partnership with two investors. Miars later bought out his investors, and he conveyed half of the company to his son, Harry S. Miars, in 1952. The current corporation was established in 1956.[1] [10]

A number of its works are listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.[11]

Works[edit]

Works include:

Kentucky[edit]

North Carolina[edit]

Ohio[edit]

Tennessee[edit]

Virginia[edit]

Other[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Company History". Champion Bridge Company. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved September 29, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Laura Lanese; Eileen Brady; Clinton County Historical Society (2010). Wilmington. Arcadia. p. 90. ISBN 0738584444. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Champion Bridge Company Records Collection: 1870s-1970s". Ohio Historical Society. 
  4. ^ a b c "Egypt Pike Bridge" (PDF). Historic American Engineering Record, National Park Service. 
  5. ^ "Bridge Trust Routed: Five of Its Members Surrender Their Ohio Charters". Youngstown Vindicator. October 10, 1906. 
  6. ^ a b c d ""Forder" Pratt Through Truss Bridge" (PDF). Historic American Engineering Record, National Park Service. 
  7. ^ "Bridge Trust Hit Hard: Five Companies in Ohio Surrender Their Charters". The New York Times. October 10, 1906. 
  8. ^ The Champion Bridge Company, Engineers, Manufacturers, and Contractors of Steel Bridges and Structural Steel Work. Champion Bridge Company. 1901. 
  9. ^ David H. Miars (1972). A Century of Bridges: The History of the Champion Bridge Company and the Development of Industrial Manufacturing in Wilmington, Ohio. Cox Print. Company. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f "Champion Bridge Co.". Bridgehunter.com. Retrieved September 29, 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  12. ^ Green County MRA
  13. ^ "Kentucky State Route 1032 Bridge, Spanning South Fork of Licking River, Berry, Harrison County, KY". Library of Congress, Historic American Buildings Survey, Engineering Record, Landscapes Survey. 
  14. ^ "US 23 Middle Bridge" (PDF). Historic American Engineering Record, National Park Service. 
  15. ^ "North Carolina Route 1336 Bridge" (PDF). Historic American Engineering Record, National Park Service. 
  16. ^ "Person County Bridge No. 35, Spanning South Flat River at State Route 1120, Hurdle Mills, Person County, NC". Library of Congress, Historic American Buildings Survey, Engineering Record, Landscapes Survey. 
  17. ^ Lorrie K. Owen, ed. (1999). Ohio Historic Places Dictionary, Volume 2. Somerset Publishers. p. 152. ISBN 187859270X. 
  18. ^ "Weaver Road Bridge" (PDF). Historic American Engineering Record, National Park Service. 
  19. ^ "Knightly Bridge" (PDF). Historic American Engineering Record, National Park Service. 
  20. ^ http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/va0264.photos.165234p/
  21. ^ "Mount Meridian Bridge" (PDF). Historic American Engineering Record, National Park Service. 
  22. ^ "Wallace Mill Bridge" (PDF). Historic American Engineering Record, National Park Service. 
  23. ^ "Bay Springs Bridge, Spanning Mackey's Creek, Dennis, Tishomingo County, MS". Library of Congress, Historic American Buildings Survey, Engineering Record, Landscapes Survey. 
  24. ^ "Key's bridge is last of its kind in country". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. February 2, 2000. 
  25. ^ "Cyrus Bridge" (PDF). Historic American Engineering Record, National Park Service. 
  26. ^ "Smith Bridge" (PDF). Historic American Engineering Record, National Park Service. 
  27. ^ "St. Anthony Street Bridge" (PDF). Historic American Engineering Record, National Park Service.