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Old 04-24-2004, 08:54 AM
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Default United States Penitentiary, Some History

Look at the cost of what "was"....compared to what "is"! How much thee has grown!

United States Penitentiary.—In 1891 Congress provided for the establishment of three penitentiaries, one of which was to be located west of the Rocky mountains and two east. The act made no appropriation for the purchase of sites, and in consequence no prison was established under that act until 1895, when the 53d Congress converted the old military prison at Fort Leavenworth into a civil penitentiary. On July 1 of that year the old prison, which had been built for military purposes more than forty years before, ceased to be an institution under military supervision and passed under control of the department of justice. The suggestion for buildings was brought forward about this time, with the result that Congress passed a bill, which was approved on June 10, 1898, setting aside 700 acres of land on the south end of the Fort Leavenworth reservation for the site. An appropriation of $150,000 was made for a new building, sufficiently large to accommodate 1,200 convicts. An outside wall 2,600 feet long and 30 feet high has also been provided for. Prior to 1910 the sum of $643,000 had been appropriated for prison construction, about one-half of which had been expended. The labor of prisoners has been utilized in the construction work, which gave them an opportunity to learn useful occupations that would prove remunerative upon their discharge from prison. A school is also maintained for the improvement of the convicts in the prison, which in 1910 had an attendance of over 200, all illiterates being required to attend. R. W. McClaughry, connected with the penal and reformatory institutions of Illinois for years, has been warden since 1895. Other penitentiaries provided by Congress were located at McNeil's Island, Wash., and Atlanta, Ga. The U. S. military prison at Fort Leavenworth was again reëstablished early in 1896.

Page 829 from volume II of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed July 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
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