Newspaper Archive of
The Perkins Journal
Perkins, Oklahoma
January 30, 2014     The Perkins Journal
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January 30, 2014

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A6 - THE PERKINS JOURNAL, Thursday, January 30, 2014 Back Page HISTORY Continued h'om Page A5 the Cimarron River south of Perkins, replacing one of the state's oldest river crossings built in 1905. Lee Kirk, former Payne County commissioner for 30 years, recalled, "I had quite a "time getting this last bridge in here. H. E. Bailey was a good friend. I said tO H. E. one day, 'When will you be up in Payne County?' He said any time he could. I told him we needed a new bridge. The old one was rattling and about to fall in, so he set a date one day and he and his wife came to my place for dinner. 'Course I'd framed up on him quite a bit to get him down here," Kirk admitted. After dinner, Lee told Bailey he wanted to take him down to the bridge and take him across and see what he was trying to tell him. As a result, he said, "H. E. promised if it was in his power or any way he could help, he'd get a new bridge here." Lee said he told every- body Bailey was coming, so they had gathered on the south side with wagons and teams. "We walked across from the north side ad Bailey said, 'What's all that?' I said they wanted to meet you. He said, 'My Gawd!' Then I motioned for everyone and they all camr"upon the bridge where he was at. He'd done told me he was going to grant me a bridge if he could get it done. I knew he could do it. I said to the people that this was H. E,*Bailey, and he could do it, and I wanted him to tell you just like I told you folks that we were going to get a new bridge here before long. H. E. said he'd never seen so many interested people, but he told them, 'I'm going to grant you a bridge.' Someone said, 'When?' He said when I leave here and the capitol opens in the morning, I'm going to grant Lee Kirk a bridge here, and he did." Construction on the bridge was started May 11, 1953; by R. R. Quay, an Oklahoma City con- tractor. The $288,633 contract specified an 800 foot long bridge, with 28 feet of roadbed, three foot wide sidewalks on either side, and it was a hanging 1-beam structure, allow- ing it to "give" as weight was put on it. Additional work to the roadway, State Highway 40, cost another $115,311. Construction was completed in January 1954, and the bridge was opened to traffic. The Per- kins Lions Club sponsored a dedication program on Sunday, January 24, 1954, that was attended by an estimated 4,000 people. Prior to the dedication a contest was held to select a bridge queen, a tradition started with the first bridge in 1891 The thirteen young ladies competing for the title were Rosetta Brixey, representing Sandyland Community; Nedra Hal- brook, Washington Irving H. D. Club; Julia Sadler, F, F. A.; Edna Westfall, W. S. C. S.; Marilyn Youngker, band; Edwina Albright, Forest Valley H. D. Cluib; Betty Jamison, footballl; Shirley Jenkins, Lions Club; Yvonne Lacy, Women's Council of the Christian Church; May- belle Redus, M. W. U.; Norma Sue Smith, Perkins H. D. Club; Doris Spillers, Rainbow; and Leta Sue Westfall, F. H. A. The candidates were judged on the basis of looks, poise, and personality, by a panel of judges from Oklahoma A & M College. Miss Julia Sadler was chosen as Queen of the Cimarron River Bridge, with Betty Jamison, first runner-up. On dedication Sunday, a parade line formed at the Community Building. At 2:00 p.m. the parade, headed by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, proceeded to the corner of Main and Stumbo for the crowning of the bridge queen, 'then down Main Street to the bridge. There was a color guard, the Perkins High School band under the direction of drum majors Maybelle Redus and Johnny Rusco, convert- ibles carrying the bridge queens, dignitaries, and Perkins old timers, includ- ing William Knipe, Sig McDaniel, Frank Eaton, and Rassie Hert. They were followed by the Coyle round-up club. Arriving at the bridge, the band played the Star Spangled Banner, and Queen Sadler snipped the blue and gold ribbon across the bridge, using a pair of engraved scissors presented to her by Elmo Barnes, president of the Lions Club. Attending Sadler were Betty Jamison, Shirley Jenkins, and Leta Sue Westfall. Also taking part were Mrs. Nellie Stumbo Mote, queen of the 1891 bridge, and Mrs. Daisy Clark Holbrook, queen of the 1905 bridge. The parade then continued across the bridge to the speakers platform located at the southwest comer of the bridge. At the speakers stand, Representative James Arrington, master of cer- emonies, suggested the structure be known as the Lee Kirk Bridge, named after the long time county commissioner from this district. Speeches were given by Senator Robert S. Kerr, former governor Roy J. Turner, District Judge Robert L. Hert, and state Senator Everett Collins. Chilton Swank presented Miss Sadler a commission from Governor Johnston Murray making her queen of the Oklahoma Navy. Dig- nitaries present included Lt. Queen Judy Sadler about to cut the ribbon officially opening the new Cimarron river bridge, January 24, 1954. Watching are (I to r) Mrs. Nellie (Stumbo) Mote, Queen of the 1891 Bridge; Miss Betty Jamison (Moser), Miss Leta Sue Westfall (Rusco), attendants; Mrs. Daisy (Clark) Holbrook, Queen of the 1905 Bridge; Miss Shirley Jenkins (hemphill), attendant; and Elmo Barnes, Lions Club President. Cimarron river bridge, January 1954. Portions of the old bridge can be seen to the rigt of the old structure. The truck belonged to Weaver Wright. Gov. James E. Berry; C. A. Stoldt, director of the State Department of Highways, C. O. Brewster, division engineer; S. T. White, R. A. Ward, and Nell Chesnutt, State Highway Department; Lee Kirk, Payne County commissioner; Jack Tway, contractor for the bridge; Grant Williams, foreman of the bridge crew; Dr. Oliver S. Willham, presi- dent of Oklahoma A & M College; Rep. Lou Allard; Ray Sadler, Carney; Harley Thomas, Stillwater; Bob Barr, State Highway Com- mission; and delegations from Cushing and Ponca City. The bridge underwent repairs in 1977 including resurfacing and a rededi- cation was planned for Sunday, April 24, 1977, at 2:30 p.m. In 1954, it was suggested the bridge be known as the Lee Kirk bridge, but nothing had officially been done. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation agreed that this should be done 23 years later. The Perkins Lions Club organized the event frllowing the original pro- gram as closely as possible. Robert L. Heft, Jr., was the master of ceremonies, and Jim Arrington presented Lee Kirk and then unveiled a bronze plaque at each end of the bridge designating it the Lee Kirk Bridge. A reception was held at the middle school gym follow- ing the dedication hosted by the Perkins Lions Club and the Mutual Improvement Club. Don't miss out on the best offer of the year! Receive a FREE furnace (or air ham:Jed m41enyou an tjible unitald  Here's a cleat F)u can really warm up to, From January ! Ifmgh r- 28, 2014, get renowned Trane  and  at ae best vak t, ver. Call Country Comfort to schedule your free in-house consultation! t Imllwu 0> o,* 4ms:,mm and Save in 20! Needing a logan? Let us help you accomplish your goals. Auto Real Estate Business Home Improvement Recreation Construction Agriculture Stop in and visit with a loan officer for details. PaynYO. Can ... , e County BanR Us! www.paynecountybank.com Main Bank. 202 S. Main Member ' Convenience Branch 417 E. Hwy 33 Perkins, OK IR[C 11111 I 'l ] I II.'L ............ I II I II1'11111 I I ' 1  , ,ll /