Bridge Dedication


John Glenn, Beardstown businessman and former mayor, was master of ceremonies during the festivities celebrating the opening of the new bridge over the Illinois River at Beardstown on September 13, 1955. In the photo above, an entourage including Illinois Governor and Mrs. William G. Stratton, C. R. “Butch” Ratcliffe and Mr. Glenn walk across the bridge after ribbon cutting ceremonies on the east (Beardstown) side of the river on their way to repeat the process on the west end of the bridge.


The governor cuts a ribbon officially opening the new bridge to traffic. Left to right – State Representative C. R. “Butch” Ratcliffe, looking over the shoulders of Rep. Ratcliffe and Governor Stratton, well-known and esteemed BHS history teacher Adele Hegener(?), Lt. Governor John Wm. Chapman, Secretary of State Charles F. Carpentier, Gov. Stratton, Beardstown Mayor Glenn Tillitt, Mrs. Stratton, and John H. Glenn, and an unidentified fan of Davy Crockett.


Citizens and officials walking up the approach to the William H. Dieterich bridge during ceremonies that officially opened the span on September 13, 1955.

Click on an image twice to view enlarged sections of the photo. You may recognize some of the people:

Above images courtesy Illinois State Archives – “Doc” Helm Collection


A piece of ribbon, signed by Gov. and Mrs. Stratton, Lt. Gov. Chapman, and Sec. of State Carpentier.


John Glenn was good friends with a U. S. Congressman from Michigan.

1 thought on “Bridge Dedication

  1. J.D Southwell

    I believe that the Black CADILLAC in picture 91355a1 is driven by C.E. Deacon” BROWN. He ran a jewelry an watch repair in Beardstown.

    Mr. Southwell – Thank you for taking the time to share the information about Mr. Brown.

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