Tuesday, February 17, 2015

County Jail 1900's

Lawrence County News 12/12/1957
The newspaper published this photograph and article in 1957.  Keep that in mind when you try to figure out where the jail was............in the 1900's.

The County Jail Looked Like This
   The Lawrence County Jail looked like the above picture before the residence was built on to it almost 50 years ago.  At that time the sheriff or his deputy locked prisoners in and then went home.  The tall brick part was known as the women’s quarters, and the stone part was for the men.  It wasn’t a very safe jail and there were frequent escapes.
   This building stood alone on the lot where the newer jail and residence now stand.  (1957)  To the left can be seen the rear ends of  business buildings of the north side of the square; and to the right is a residence north of the jail.
   It was about 1908 that the sheriff’s residence was built on to the jail, and Sheriff  W. Alex Cochran was the first sheriff to occupy the residence.  He was serving his second term, having been sheriff  several years previously, but not the immediate preceding year.  He died in office.
   It was also about 1908 that the City of Lawrenceville erected the city hall immediately north of the jail and sheriff’s residence.  Prior to that time the city rented an upstairs room on the west side of the square for council meetings; and prisoners were kept in a sort of iron cage in an old building where the present city hall now stands.  This cell was later moved to South Lawrenceville and was used to detain prisoners until such time as they could be brought to town.  All of this was before police cars, and naturally transporting prisoners was not easy.  As a general thing, the city kept an extra policeman at South Lawrenceville.  Of course that was after that vicinity became a part of the city.