Wife: Arabella Nancy Moore (5)
01 (F): Sue Derrick (8)
Born: 30 Nov 1883
Died: 05 May 1884
Franklin R. Derrick:
Cause of Death: auto acident
Buried: Greenwood Cemetery, Brodhead, WI
Raised Mable Derrick for a time after the death of her parents.
Franklin was a dentist in Brodhead, and also worked in Real Estate and Insurance. Per Ten Eyck Fam. Record Book:
In 1864 Franklin helped his father in the construction of the Clarence Covered Bridge that spanned the Sugar River for Hwy 61 SW of Brodhead. The following article from the Brodhead "Independent-Register" was originally published in 27 April 1928 at a time when there was pressure to tear down the bridge and replace it with one bigger and more modern. Though the bridge survived that onslaught, it was destroyed 4 years later in 1931 when a 30-ton trailer crashed through its floor. But its history survived in story and painting. In 1985 a replica was built and installed on the Sugar River Bike Trail.
This article was republished on 22 MAY 1985 by the same paper as the area prepared to celebrate the installation.
F.R.DERRICK TELLS OF BUILDING COVERED BRIDGE Your request that I furnish you a short history of the locally famous "Covered Bridge" that spans Sugar River at a point on State Highway No. 61, three miles southwest of this city, was a very happy guess. As a fifteen-year old boy, I assisted in building it.My father had the contract to supply and drive the heavy piling at each bank upon which the super-structure rests. My immediate business was to keep Old Maje (Old Maje was an old farm horse) going 'round and 'round on the capstan that raised the hammer on the pile driver. "Old Maje" and I completed our part of the job first, as we necessarily had to do. It was in the early fall of 1864 that the bridge was started.
It was built by a contractor from Racine by the name of Hulburt and was the only bridge built of that exact model. Originally it spanned the full width of the river; about one hundred and fifty feet and had a sixteen foot driveway. It was raised on the ice and the fact that it was an exceptionally fine season for late fall work was a helpful factor. As it was, the early spring weather with its resultant high water forced the contractor to rush the cutting away of the under pinning before he was quite ready to do so. No serious results followed, however.
Soon the anxious watchfulness of the township supervisors discovered that the tremendously heavy super-structure was slowly settling. The crown of eight inches had settled down to about five as I remember it. They called the contractor up from Racine and although he had been paid in full and the work accepted, he strengthened the work by spiking heavy arches on the inside of each side of the frame. They were made by beveling the ends of two by twelve planks in such a way that it keyed one against the other. Two thicknesses of material were spiked in this way, requiring thousands of feet of lumber. This seemed to be all that was needed for some time. Later, however, it was very evident that it was still settling and the township supervisors still further strengthened it by putting in suspending rods on each side of two inch material, running from the top of each end bent slantwise down through the whole timber works, out to about one quarter of the length of the bridge. The rods were then run along the bottom of the frame-work until they met in the center and were screwed up perfectly tight; thus forming two great iron slings within which the bridge rested.
It was left in this way for several years, but the crown of eight inches almost entirely went out, leaving the floor of the bridge about level. It was at this time that the town decided to do what should have been done in the first place, put a heavy abutment in the middle of the river. This was done many years ago, as were the old piling supports at each end changed for modern concrete ones. It looked to me like a reflection on the work and the engineering that "Old Maje" and I did back there in the sixties but it made a real bridge of it.
Within a few years after it was built it was enclosed and roofed. It was never painted. It stands there today, a monument of that past that tried the souls and mucsles of those old pioneers. Modernism has found the old bridge too narrow and demands that it be torn down and replaced by a wider more elaborate and expensive one. There is a demand for more room on the road today than was needed when that old bridge was built. It is looked upon as a grievance today to be obliged to wait an opportunity to dodge by or over or under another auto.
It would be almost sacreligious to think of dismantling the old bridge. It stands on Highway 61 about three miles southwest of Brodhead and is well worth quite a detour to pass through it and listen to the rumbling echoes of that long ago. It is at the extreme point of "Pine Bluff" along whose rugged base the beautiful Sugar River wends its way.
The immediate surroundings are interesting. East of the bridge about a quarter of a mile, is the deserted site of what was once quite a village; with its store, tavern, blacksmith shops and last but not least - the old stone schoolhouse. The old schoolhouse has been replaced by a very modern one but the ghosts of the old "Clarence Schoolhouse" haunt the memories of the few who, as children, attended school there in those garnered golden years of which we have so many pleasant recollections.
Sugar River itself is no less famous than the covered bridge that spans it. Back in the eighties, during the fresh-water pearl excitement, it was known as the most promising pearl fishing waters of the west. Hundreds of persons spent days, and some of them months, combing the bottom of the river with pearling rakes, ever hoping to secure the largest pearl that had ever been found. Some very beautiful and very valuable pearls were found.
"Pine Bluff" of which the extreme southern point is shown in the photo of the bridge, is also an historic landmark of the region. It derives its name from the score or so of large pine trees that cling to the almost bare sand rock that rises from the river at its base. This bluff was once the gathering place of the native Indians of the region. The writer well remembers the bands of Indians that every spring passed north along the river. They usually divided, part ascending the river by canoes, and part with ponies wending their way along the bank.
It was usually a self-imposed "half holiday" when the word was passed around that the Indians were going by. Poor, dirty remnant of a once mighty people; their star had truly set, and in a few years they ceased entirely to follow the old waterways and trails along the banks of the beautiful Sugar River.
These are the garrulous jottings of one who as a boy crossed the river hundreds of times, both before and after the "Covered Bridge" was built, a boy who swam and fished and skated on the river, a boy for whom the wintergreen beds of "Pine Bluff" were familiar spots and Arbutus blossoms of early spring his personal spoils.
You must pardon me for the length of the communication. It is not I who am guilty of the infliction - it is the reincarnation of that boy - barefooted, excepting "stone bruises" - naked except for "Hickory" shirt, "Denim" overalls, "Home made galluses" and an old "chip hat." Gun on shoulder or fishing rod in hand, he spent a joyous youth shooting wild pigeons on Pine Bluff, or catching monster black bass all through the "open season" that ran without interference from August first to August first next. Should I ever see that boy, I will charge him with being a criminal deserving of severe punishment; but he has secured quite a start of me and I fear I shall never overtake him.
See poem "The Old Covered Bridge" in notes for Lenors Balis Fleek
From The Condon Clan source:
"Frank Jr., stayed in Brodhead and was a lawyer and much admired by everyone. He was a tall rugged man who made wonderful impersonations of Lincoln and Uncle Sam."
From Brodhead Independent Register, 26 Jul 1878
The following appears (copy in files of DZS)
"Our gentlemanly and efficient dentist, F.R. Derrick, has purchased Mr. John Parkins' residence and premises near the Presbyterian Church edifice. Mr. Derrick has a neat home, and will be welcomed as a neighbor in that part of town."
same paper 2 August 1878
"Extracting, 25 cents at F.R. Derrick dental office.
Full sets of teeth as low as eight dollars at F.R. Derricks' dental office
Down go the prices for all kinds of dental work at F.R. Derrick's dental office."
same paper 9 Aug 1878
"Gold fillings from 75 cents & up at F.R. Derrick dental office."
Arabella Nancy Moore:
Buried: Greenwood Cemetery, Brodhead, WI
Line 30 Dwelling # 148 Household # 148
Derrick, F.H. age 46 farmer Real Estate = $15,000 b. NY
Harriet 48 Canada
Theodore 22 farmer WI
Frank 20 in school WI
Mary 17 in school WI
Levi 15 in school WI
Harriet 13 in school WI
Peter 8 in school WI
Lorinda 78 NY
Derrick on Monday, May5, 1884, Sue, infant daughter and only child of Frank and Belle Derrick, aged 7 months and 6 days. Many a heart will be saddened, many an eye dimmed with tears, as they read the brief record of the little life, so small, so weak. How strong the cords of love with which she bound us. Oh how many a life in the wide circle of friends and relatives she laid the gentle pressure of her baby hands and memory shall respond there forevermore. How the world widened and brightened with her presence! Alas! How hath it changed with her absence! The tender sympathy of many friends with the bereaved parents was manifest in the large gathering at the funeral services; in the beautiful songs of comfort sung with trembling voices in the tender and comforting words of hte minister, Rev. G. W. Nuzum. So beautiful, the littler one as she lay in the dainty casket, the heart would fain have kept her eventhuss, and it was hard to lay her away forever from sight
[I believe this article was written by Mary Derrick.]
Revised: February 19, 2018