Walker Bridge: An Old Bridge Spanning the Tombigbee River
WalkerLeveeBridge has connected the rich flatlands of northwestern ItawambaCounty with the rugged hills of Ryan’s Well community for generations.. The TombigbeeRiver runs the length of the county north and south forming a natural barrier for travel during the 19th Century. The whole length of the county had but a handful of crossings for horse and wagon travel. WalkerBridge was one of those crossings which included the Fulton Ferry, Beans Ferry, Ironwood Bluff crossing and Barr’s Ferry. The iron bridge at Walker Levee replaced an older wooden bridge in 1923 and that same 1923 bridge spans the Tombigbee today.
WalkerLeveeBridge, or as locals call it - Walker’s Bridge was named for the John Walker family who owned a plantation west of the river. John Walker and his wife Catherine moved from Alabama to ItawambaCounty during 1839 where he had been purchasing property since 1836. They brought their slaves and children - Frances, Martha, Benjamin F.., George B., John, Nancy Ann and Moses L., with them to ItawambaCounty and another child, Mary Katherine, was born after arriving in ItawambaCounty.
By 1850 Walker had acquired 3,000 acres of rich Donnivan Creek bottom land near the headwaters of the TombigbeeRiver. The Walker House, which was built well before the Civil War was a combination plantation home, grocery and ordinarythat was operated by the Widow Walker until well past Reconstruction days. The old home is still standing less than a mile west of WalkerLeveeBridge. John Walker, who was born June 19, 1799, died on his plantation in ItawambaCounty on March 15, 1860, and Catherine, his widow, died on August 18, 1885. Both are buried in the old nearby GilmoreChapelCemetery.
Itawamba History Review is edited by Bob Franks, publications editor of the Itawamba Historical Society. All photographs and editorial content by Bob Franks unless otherwise noted. The Itawamba Historical Society is a Mississippi non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of Itawamba County, Mississippi's history and heritage. Be sure to visit the Itawamba Historical Society Online where you can discover your Itawamba County, Mississippi roots!