John J. Mitchell
The Eads Bridge, completed in 1874, was the engineering feat of the century and the first bridge of steel construction to span the Mississippi River, linking east and west. This National Monument was but one of the many accomplishments of this illustrious engineer. During the Civil War, he built iron-clad gunboats at the iron foundries in Carondelet. General Grant could not have accomplished the siege of Vicksburg without the help of Eads’ boats. He also built a diving bell for salvaging boats submerged in the rivers.