Eads Bridge

St. Louis, MO

L&N Railroad

Milepost: 484.01

L&N St. Louis Depot

General View of Eads Bridge Spanning Mississippi River, 1983

Library of Congress

St. Louis County

Estimated GPS Coordinates: 38.62879,-90.17890

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Construction on the Eads Bridge began in 1869 and was completed on July 4, 1874 when General Sherman placed the final railroad spike. It's now the oldest standing bridge over the Mississippi River and is considered an engineering marvel as the first steel-truss construction. It transports cars and trains between Illinois and Missouri across the 0.8 mile width of the Mississippi River. James Eads was selected in 1867 as engineer-in-chief for the project. Houdini considered the iconic structure for one of his magical feats but no evidence has been found that he performed an escape there.

Even one suicide is too many.

Robert Olson, Centre for Suicide Prevention

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Phone: 1-800-273-8255

Support for deaf and hard of hearing: 1-800-799-4889

Text: 838255

Chat: Connect Online

Symbolic sites have been historically known as 'suicide magnets'. A major fallacy is that the end will be quick and painless but The Centre for Suicide Prevention reports that disfigurement with massive pain and extreme internal injuries accompany a jump from a bridge.

There is no better way to thank God for your sight than to give a helping hand to someone in the dark.

Helen Keller

Judy (McDonnell) Holtzscher sent information on her Uncle Harvey McDonnell, an L&N Railroad employee at the East St. Louis freight house that tried to rescue a man that jumped from the Eads Bridge in 1910. The newspaper article below has surprising details. Some photos of the family are also displayed.

Constructing Eads Bridge

National Registry of Historic Places Inventory Form

Electric Car Blown Off Eads Bridge by 1896 Tornado

Pictured story of the tornado. [St. Louis, May 27, 1896], St. Louis, Mo., Southern age

4 Bridges Over Mississippi River, 1932

National Archives

Mississippi River Frozen 1905

Missouri Historical Society

L&N Freight House was between the Eads Bridge and Big 4 Freight House, 1989

Gene-Smania, Bridge Hunter

View Looking East Railbed Eads Bridge, 1983

Library of Congress

Looking East Across Eads Bridge 2016

John Marvig

Harvey McDonnell
Nowhere in the world is there a body of workmen superior in mental ability or character to a railway employee. They are uniquely American in character and tradition.
Henry Bruere, Railway Age Volume 76, 1924

Photo Courtesy of Judy Holtzscher

Good Samaritan and L&N Railroad Employee Harvey McDonnell Attempts Rescue

Witchita Daily Eagle, 16 Sep 1910, Article Courtesy of Judy Holtzscher

McDonnell Family Grocery Store with Judy (McDonnell) Holtzscher's dad and grandmother out front.

Judy Holtzscher

McDonnell Family, Thomas and Harvey

Judy Holtzscher

George and Judy (McDonnell) Holtzscher

Eads Bridge Construction

Eads Bridge Panorama