The Adair County News, Wednesday, July 4, 1900, page 3

The Second Race [of Milltown Bridge]


In the year 1849 or '50, when a wooden bridge was completed over the creek at Milltown, this county, Mr. John W. Townsend, of Milltown, and Mr. Tobias Leftwich, of Green county, were the first to cross said bridge and after they had crossed the structure they ran a foot race, resulting as we are informed, in a draw for the honor. That bridge served its purpose and has long since crumbled and been borne to other parts by the rapid current that flowed beneath it. Now a new iron and steel structure is to be erected at the same place and in commemortation of its completion, Mr. Leftwich has challenged Mr. Townsend to again cross the bridge and run a foot race. Mr. Townsend has accepted the challenge and the race is a certainty, barring sickness and death.

The right to first cross the bridge will be accorded to the above-named gentlemen, after which they will contend for the honor of fleetness as above mentioned. Both gentlemen have their backers, so to speak, and the race promises to be one of the most interesting events that has happened in Southern Kentucky for many years. So far as we can learn the Green county man is the favorite, owing to the fact that the Adair county man is troubled somewhat with rheumatism, but in this race, as in many in the past, the favorite may smash the expectations of his many backers, for Mrs. Townsend is much interested in the contest and is doing all within her power and the power of oils and medicines to drive a way rheumatic pains in grooming her husband, believing he is able and will win the race. Adair county people naturally will back the Milltown man and we presume that Green county will not be lacking in showing anxiety and appreciation of her son in this contest. A great crowd is expected at the completion of the bridge, which will be within sixty days, to witness a similar conest of fifty years ago. Adair county will furnish a large crowd.

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The Wednesday, September 12, 1900 News noted that "Work on the Milltown bridge is progressing rapidly, and by the last of this week it will be completed." Sadly, however, the News never reported the results of the much-ballyhooed second race, if ever it came off. Mr. Townsend was a fleet-footed lad of about 10 or 11 summers when he and Mr. Leftwich of Green Co. ran the first race of Milltown Bridge. He died in Adair County in late 1917, age 78.