Chicago Daily Democratic Press, September 24, 1857. Because of its unusual interest, this case received complete reporting by Robert Hitt, which appeared daily in the Press, September 9-25. The Rock Island bridge was the first across the Mississippi and became the center of a fight between steamboat and railroad interests when on May 6, 1856, about two weeks after its completion, the steamboat Effie Afton crashed into one of the bridge piers and burned to the water's edge, destroying a span of the bridge. Jacob S. Hurd and associates, owners of the Afton, bringing suit against the bridge company for damages, were backed by steamboat interests up and down the river, and the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce, foreseeing the effect of railroad bridges on St. Louis as the center of steamboat transportation, promoted the cause. Lincoln, Norman B. Judd, and Joseph Knox represented the owners of the bridge. Hezekiah M. Wead, Corydon Beck-with of Chicago, and Timothy D. Lincoln of Cincinnati represented Hurd et al.
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