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Title: Warren County's New Jailer's Residence and Jail
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Complete In Every Detail, Up-To-Date, Convenient And Satisfactory.

For the first time in the history of the county we have a jailer's residence and jail which are models in arrangement, completeness, modern in style and convenience from basement to garret. Mr. Tague, our excellent sheriff, and his good wife are taking possession this week and in a few days will be "at home" and ready to see their friends.

Beginning at the basement we find it divided into two apartments-one is styled the laundry room, is on the south side under the residence and has concrete floor. It is 13-8 bye 29-10 feet. The other apartment is 14-2 by 29-10 feet, has a concrete floor and is for the use of the sheriff's family as a cellar. Both rooms are well lighted by windows in the day thime and electricity at night.

Entering the jailer's residence upon the west side you first ascend a a short flight of concrete steps to a concrete porch the door opening into the jailer's office. Once inside and the door closed you find yourself in a room 10 by 16 feet 6 inches. In this room upon the north side is a set of six closets for the storing of the prisoners' clother; on the south side is a flight of iron stairs leading to the second story and is for the purpose of reaching the woman's prison. From this office is the iron or steel door that opens into the jail. On the east side of the room is a square opening protected by grating connecting with the kitchen. Through this opening the food is handed to the officer for the prisoners. The floor is pine, finished in four coats of filler, vrnish and pomice stone. An electric switch in this room supplies light for the porch, jail and office. In this room the prisoner is examined before committing him to the jail. A door leads from this room to the parlor. All openings in the office are well guarded by heavy iron bars or gratings.

The pantry is furnished with drawers for the table ware and linen, cases for the storage of flour, culinary necessities, cupboard for dishes, etc. The room is 7 by 10 feet. Floor and all wood work is finished in the same manner as the office, and this finish is uniform throughout the residence.

Adjoining the pantry is the kitchen, 10 by 12 feet. It is connected with the pantry and living room by swinging doors. In the kitchen is a sink for washing dishes supplied with cold and hot water. It is lighted by two windows, and a door opens into a vestibule on the east which has a concrete floor. From this vestibule you reach the yard by a flight of concrete steps.

The living or dining room is in the northwest part of the building and is 12 by 14 feet, and connects with the kitchen. It is supplied with four windows, and a door leads to the vestibule on the porch on the north.

The parlor is in the southwest part of the house and connects with the dining room by sliding or folding doors. It is 14 by 14 feet. The parlor has three windows, and a door leads to the vestibule on the north porch. From the parlor is a flight of open stairs which leads to the second story. This stairway is quartered oak and finished as all the other wood work.

The porch on the north is 8-11 by 25-10 feet and is reached by a flight of concrete steps. The beauty and utility of this porch is greatly marred by a vestibule 3-3 by 10-4 feet.

Ascending the stairway from the parlor you reach the landing on the second floor. A small hall-way into which each of the three rooms upstairs opens separates the rooms, cutting them off from each other. In the hall is a linen closet well shelved and large enough for all purposes for which it was intended.

The northwest room is 12 by 14 feet, and has four windows. This room has a closet 4 by 4 feet. The east room is also 12 by 14 feet, with a closet 3 by 4 feet and four windows. From the hall a stairway leads to the garret which extends over the entire building and can be sed for a storage room to a great advantage. The southwest room 11 by 13 feet, and has two closets and two windows. Each room is bed room, and has its own heat and light. A bath and toilet room is on the second floor supplied with hot and cold water. In this room is the fuse box for the entire residence part. This room is 6 by 13 feet. This room is lighted from without by a window.

The residence and jail are wholly disconnected. To get into the woman's jail you ascend the iron stair in the jailer's office. The room is and well lighted by eight windows-three each on the west and and two on the south. It is 10 feet, has its own heat and. In the center of this room is et apparatus. The door on entering this room are called or safety entrance. The outer door is solid steel; upon the in side is a second door of closely woven steel wire. Upon entering the first door the inner door is closed leaving room enough between the two for the jailer and his prisoner to stand. Before opening the inner door the jailer closes and locks the outer door, thus preventing the escape of a prisoner already within the jail. In this room a bed or beds and other necessary furniture can be placed for the accommodation of the prisoners.

Descending the iron stairs we come to the jailer's office. We will suppose the jailer has a prisoner he has examined and is ready to place him behind the bars. He opens the first or outside door which is solid steel. He and the prisoner step in side a small enclosure. The jailer closes and locks the first door. With a second key he unlocks a steel wire door which opens into a corridor three feet wide and immediately in front of the jail door proper. Once in the corridor the jailer closes and locks the second door. This space between the two doors is called the safety entrance and is like the one to the woman's prison. In a square of 11 by 22 feet is the jail proper, consisting of a room 10-8 by 6-10 feet in which is a toilet and basin with hot and cold water. Upon each side of this room are two cells, each 5-6 by 7-4 feet. In each cell is a couch which when not in use can be thrown back and fastened in the daytime. In one corner at the foot of the couch is an iron box which conceals an iron bucket. When the bail of this bucket is upon one side the cover is fastened down tight. Change the bail to the opposite side and the lid is free and can be lifted off. Around the cells next to the walls is a corridor which permits the jailer to make his rounds at any time during the day or night and from which he can see the condition of the prisoners without entering the jail at all. In each cell upon the corridor side is a small opening in the steel sides, guarded by steel bars, through which the jailer can furnish the meals to the inmates.

All this time we have left the jailer and his prisoner standing in the corridor ready to enter the jail. To each pair of cells is an iron box in which is the device which opens or closes the cell doors. This box extends from the corridor floor to the ceiling. The iron door of this box has a combination lock known only to the jailer. He uses the combination and the door is ipened the same as you would open a safe door. This door when open discloses levers which worked a certain way opens the outer door to the room between the cells, and the prisoner is told to step inside. After entering, the door is closed and again the lever is worked and the door is locked. He is then told to enter one of the cells, the door having been thrown open by another lever in the box. After entering, the lever is again worked and the door closes, locking the prisoner within the cell good and fast.

These levers perform their work through machinery stoutly encased and protected by steel boxes over the doors running the length of the cells. Both doors may be opened or shut and locked at the same time. No prisoner is ever allowed in the corridor. The windows which give light and fresh air to the jail are protected with strong steel bars. The jail is heated by a radiator in the corridor. The floor of the jail is first three feet of crushed stone; above this is a triple steel plate bottom, three feet of concrete, then another triple steel plate. On the north side where the corridor is five feet wide is a shower bath for the use of the prisoners. The water for the bath can be hot or cold, to suit the choice of the prisoner. It would seem that for safety and sanitary reasons the ingenuity of man had reached the limit.

The heating plant is at the rear of the jail and is entered from the west side by a flight of concrete step. The boiler room occupies about half of the building. There are two or double boilers of 60 horse power. The fuel room adjoins the boiler room and is 10 by 24 feet and 10 feet high. The heating plant supplies all the heat for the jailer's residence, jail and each room of the Court-house. It is of such distance from the court-house that there will never be any danger from fire. From the boiler room the basement to the jail is entered by an iron door. This basement is simply a corridor which is 3 feet wide on three sides and 2 feet wide on one. The object of this corridor is for the purpose of inspecting the jail below the cells.

The contract price of the jailer's residence, jail and heating place is $17,500.

Mr. Grant Leming was the boss mechanic who superintended the work from start to finish and he has great reason to be proud of the fruits of his skill and espert management of the job.

Date: 7/2/1908
Origin: The Warren Republican
Record ID: 00002504
Type: Periodical
Source Archive: Warren County Historical Society
Date Entered: 8/10/2001
Collection: Court House
Entered By: Leslie J. Rice

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