|The Bridge Builder of Union County
|Reuben L. Partridge was born on September 10, 1823 in Essex County, New York to
Cyrus and Lucina Partridge. He was one of four children.
The family was counted among pioneer familes in Franklin County, Ohio, where they
moved prior to 1836. When Reuben's father died in 1836, his mother moved the
family to Marysville, Ohio where her son from an earlier marriage lived. This older son
was Rowland Lee, a local wagon maker. Young Reuben soon learned this trade
from his older half-brother. He remained a wagon maker for over eight years. He
then chose to follow the carpenter's trade.
Reuben Partridge married Maria Wolford in late 1846. At the time of her death, Maria
was the oldest living, native-born, Marysville citizen. To this union were born six
children Asenath, A. Jennette (Vosburg), Frances L. (Sager), Flora L., Catherine O.,
In 1855, Partridge accepted his first contract to build the first self supporting bridge in
Union County. By 1866, Partridge was building bridges full time. In 1872, he
received a patent for his truss design. By 1883, Partridge had built over 125 bridges,
most of them were covered, wooden bridges following his patented design. He also
built some iron bridges. Most of the bridges he built were in Union County. He also
built some bridges in the surrounding counties.
Reuben L. Partridge died from complications due to a broken leg that resulted from a
fall from the Alsaugh Bridge. He was overseeing repairs to this bridge that was north
of Marysville at the time of his fall. He died in July of 1900.
Over the course of his life, Partridge served on the Marysville CIty Council, as the Paris
Township Clerk, and as a Paris Township Trustee. He was also a part of the first
militia formed in Union County, though he never served in the US military. He also
was very active in raising money and support for service groups from Union County
who served in both the Mexican War and the Civil War.
There are four Partridge covered bridges remaining in Union County in 2007. These
bridges include the Bigelow Covered Bridge, the Culbertson Covered Bridge, the
Pottersburg Covered Bridge, and the Spain Creek Covered Bridge. Until 1993, there
were five Partridge covered bridges in Union County. But, unfortunately, the Reed
Covered Bridge fell into Big Darby Creek in August of 1993.
The only Partridge Bridge remaining that was not built in Union County is the
Bergstresser Covered Bridge. This bridge is also known as the Dietz Bridge. This
bridge is located over the Little Walnut Creek near Canal Winchester.
|Copyright © 2008
|REED COVERED BRIDGE
This bridge was built by Reuben Partridge in
1884 over the Big Darby Creek. In 1963 it
was bypassed by a new SR 38 bridge. This
bridge collapsed into the creek on August
19, 1993 during talks on its preservation.
|Pottersburg Covered Bridge
This is an interior view of the Pottersburg
Bridge. Reuben L. Partridge's patented
truss design can be seen in this picture.
This bridge was rehabilitated and moved in
2006 to the North Lewisburg Trail of off
|Mr. Partridge's Bridges