Bill Woodall
610 E. Main St
Kilgore, TX 75662

Is the old Sheckels bridge still sitting in a field? Are there plans for it?


Message forwarded to MCHC members.


Mr. Woodall,

For the benefit of the reader of this post, I would like them to know that you and I had spoken earlier today
regarding the Sheckles Bridge. You had mentioned that there was a Kilgore City Park that has a stream flowing
through it. There was a tentative thought that possibly a retired steel bridge might make an interesting
pedestrian bridge over the stream. You also stated that everything was quite "fluid" at this point, with other
possible options. You also said that you had seen a photo of the bridge and knew that is was in a pasture
adjacent the newer, replacement concrete bridge.

After we spoke, I visited the bridge to confirm that it was still in the pasture, and it was. I didn't know if
your view of the bridge showed the detailed existing condition or if it was a distant landscape view. The
distant landscape view is reasonably attractive but closer examination reveals that it needs a considerable
amount of repair work performed and new decking would be required. See above attachments. I would be happy to
provide more detailed photo's should you feel that they are needed.

I called John Fisher, Milam County Commissioner Pct. #3 and learned that the bridge is in Pct. #4. I then
called Commissioner Jeff Mugge who stated that he wasn't sure of the current status of the bridge. The reason
is that contributing State funds are used for the replacement bridge(even though it's on a County Road(CR
429). He didn't know if the old bridge was released to Milam County. He informed me that TXDOT Bridges in
Bryan should be able to determine current ownership.

I felt it best to go through the "chain of command" in Milam County since the County Judge, David Barkemeyer
and the Milam County Historical Commission as well as the Milam County TXDOT representative Brad Powell would
have input on the subject. Plus, I'm treading on unfamiliar ground.

I called Mr. Powell's office, but he was out, so I left word with his administrative assistant. She said that
he would possibly research or, at the very least, return my call tomorrow. I'll advise when I have more

Mr. Powell's public records contact info.; P.O. Box 468 Cameron, TX. 76520  (254) 697-6629

Respectfully, Jack Brooks

Milam County Historical Commission - Milam County, TX
Statue of Ben Milam at Milam County, TX Courthouse
Old Junior High School Building, Rockdale, TX
Milam County Courthouse - Cameron, TX
Preserve America
Milam County Historical Commission
Milam County, Texas
Requests for Info
Received via Website

Sheckels Bridge - Milam County, TX
Sheckels Bridge - Milam County, TX
Sheckels Bridge - Milam County, TX
Sheckels Bridge - Milam County, TX
Sheckels Bridge - Milam County, TX
Sheckels Bridge - Milam County, TX
Sheckels Bridge - Milam County, TX
Photos by Jack Brooks
Mr. Woodall,

Just a heads up to let you know that I haven't forgotten about you. Since I was led to expect a prompt reply
from Mr. Powell at TXDOT, I called back this morning. The Administrative Assistant that answered said that he
ended up being out all last week and just arrived in the office this morning. She said that he was currently
in a meeting but would get back with me at his earliest convenience.

I have since learned that we have another bridge in Milam County that has been replaced and is resting
alongside the replacement concrete bridge. See attachments below regarding the Galbreath Bridge. This
information is derived from the research of the late Mr. Jack Tumlinson and Mr. David Galbeath. It is found in
the same earlier reference; "The Bridges of Milam County" Written by David Ray Galbreath.

I personally have not visited this bridge, but since it appears to have been forgotten for 21 years, I believe
that it should also be considered as a candidate. Especially if it is in better condition than Sheckles

I believe that it is better to have these historic steel bridges used in a constructive fashion anywhere in
Texas rather than for them to rust away in a Milam County pasture. I'm sure that there will be those who

I just checked with Milam County Commissioner Shuffield and he confirmed that the old steel bridge is still on
the edge of Elm Creek and the right of way. I'll share more information as it becomes available.

Jack Brooks


Good morning.I find the bridge on Google Earth but really canít tell much about it. I might have to do a
Saturday ride-around and take a look at both.Thanks for the heads-up and thanks for your continuing interest.
Iím in contact with our city manager and our mayor in an effort to persuade them that re-purposing these
bridges would be a benefit to the community.

Bill Woodall


The Galbreath Bridge is almost a camouflaged bridge. After 21 years of laying in that field, you'd need
a tree trimming crew to clear it before it could be moved. (see photos below)

Jack Brooks


Mr. Woodall,

Mr Powell w/ TXDOT, Cameron, directed me to a Mr. Carlos Neveu (979) 778-9768), whose office is located in
Bryan. His responsibility is bridges in his District and in which Milam County rests.

After researching the records of both bridges he determined that both were in Milam County hands.

I then visited the Galbreath Bridge located on the bank of Elm Creek adjacent CR 240 which is north of
Cameron. It appeared to be in much better condition than Sheckles bridge and even had decking. An added plus
was that it was moved to the old original eastern approach ramp and therefore still on County property. This
avoided having to gain access to private property for removal as in the case of Sheckles bridge.

Minor drawbacks are the numerous moderate size trees that have grown up, around and through it since it was
moved around 1994. If you'll note attachments 1-3, the bridge is almost camouflaged from the roadway.

Prior to attending Commissioners Court on your tentative proposed projects behalf, I spoke with Johnnielyn
Brown, MCHC Chair and Vice Chair Geri Burnett. They are of like mind, that we don't relish losing our historic
bridges. If they are able to be moved,  repurposed and preserved rather than rust away in a field, then it is
the correct thing to do.

They suggested that I also discuss your project with the Texas Historical Commission in Austin. A very wise
suggestion.  I now have a call in to a Ms. Linda Henderson at the THC, Austin (512) 463-5851. I expect to hear
from her Monday 08/03/15.

I'll advise of future developments.
Regards, Jack Brooks


Galbreath Bridge - Milam County TX
Galbreath Bridge - Milam County TX
Galbreath Bridge - Milam County TX
Galbreath Bridge
Galbreath Bridge
Galbreath Bridge