While organizing in the Ramsayer Research Library, I opened up a file marked Canton Bridge Company. Within the file was a plain white mail envelope with the words, “New Canton Bridge (Restored.)” Also enclosed was a hand written letter to the museum that starts out with the word: Friends. This letter dated November 6, 2005 was written by a then eighty-four year old, combat veteran of World War II.
Vaughn Keith Hendricks was born in Upland, Franklin County, Nebraska on Oct. 14, 1921. He served in the United States Army during WW II from August 1942 to November 1945. During his time he saw combat, and helped to liberate people in Europe from Nazi Concentration Camps.
When I found this letter, and the photographs, I had high expectations of writing to this man, or even speaking to him on the phone, to get his perspective on the Canton Bridge in his native Nebraska. Unfortunately, Mr. Hendricks passed away in 2008. He sent the letter, and the photographs and on the back of each photograph states, “Do Not Send Back”
Eight years before Mr. Hendricks was born, another set of heroes from Canton, Ohio constructed a bridge that would soon live in South Central Nebraska.
There is so much more to the story to tell. Please visit The Archway
Source: Find-A-Grave Vaughn Keith Hendricks
Great post, Mark. I think I read that the Canton Bridge Co. bought out the earlier Canton-based Wrought Iron Bridge Company around the late 1890’s. Canton Bridge later was one of the 28 bridge companies (1900) that became The American Bridge Company owned by J.P. Morgan. Anyway great story about the soldier.