COLUMBUS, Ga.- Richard Gardner has been a Professor of History Education at Columbus State University for nine years and he’s studied the work of Horace King.
“Horace King was a local celebrity and somewhat of a mystery of a man. His engineering skills were above those who were highly educated in a traditional university kind of setting,” said Gardner.
Mercedes Parham works at the Columbus Museum and says King was a genius.
Parham said, “People don’t know or may not realize the extent of his work which is still around today. It shows the credit of his work and the quality of it. In that time period it was very rare especially in the 1830’s.”
King constructed the Dillingham Bridge in 1870.
“He built something along the lines of 120 bridges in his lifetime. You go back to the 1840’s and you’re building a bridge across this mighty river with no power or electric cranes or anything like that,” said Gardner.
Parham says Horace King was a slave who worked for John Godwin.
He then bought his freedom and created his own firm building bridges across Alabama and Georgia.