Nesbitt Memorial Library

Sophie Bridge River Observations Book (Ms. 38)


Book of daily observations concerning river depth and weather conditions at Columbus, Texas, kept by Sophie Bridge from July 1, 1903 until February 28, 1914.




Thomas U. Taylor, on page 62 of Water Powers of Texas (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1904), reports that “A gaging station was established at Columbus, Tex., in December, 1902. The gage consists of a plumber’s chain tagged every foot with a lead weight attached as a sounder. The zero of the gage is 50 feet below the top of the cylindrical pier under the southwest batter brace of the mid span of the highway brace near the jail. The gage has also been marked off on this pier, reading to one-fourth of a foot. The observer at this station is W. E. Bridge, the sheriff of Colorado County, whose residence is within 300 feet of the gage.”


The sheriff, Walter Eldridge “Dick” Bridge, then lived in an apartment at the jail with his second wife, Sophie Witting Bridge. She took on the job of making the observations, and dutifully made them long after her husband had completed his term as sheriff and the couple had moved from the jail.