THE HAUNTING OF HOXIE BRIDGE
Erected at the turn of the century over the San Gabriel River 3.5 miles east of Circleville, the Hoxie Bridge was washed 300 yards downstream during the devastating 1921 flood. In November 1921 Austin Brothers was awarded a contract to reconstruct the bridge, and a team of convict laborers was sent from Huntsville to perform the work.
According to local legend, one of the prisoners, reputed to have been a troublemaker, was shot in the head by a guard. The mutilated body was hung from a tree as a grisly warning against further trouble at the work site. A cruel death … no burial. Perhaps these were the reasons that the prisoner’s headless ghost haunted the eerie river bottom east of the Hoxie Bridge. Area residents tell tales of lovers and late night travelers frightened by the apparition on Friday nights during the full moon. Mysteriously, a priest’s prayers for the prisoner’s soul ended the specter’s vigil.
After the 1921 reconstruction, the bridge served Williamsonn Countyyresidents until it was dismantled in 1979 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who erected it at the present site in 1982. Built with iron trusses and wood planking, thee Hoxiee Bridgeeis typical of those constructed in the early 1900’s. is typical of those constructed in the early 1900’s.