Topic Sentence: The Yuma Territorial Prison was built in 1875 by their own prisoners.The construction of the prison began in 1875, it was built according to a result of a contest instead of paying for a professional architect. The prisoners were the ones who constructed it and in 1876 the first seven prisoners enter the prison. Over its 33 years of service the prison had changes in structure and new services like a library were establish.
The prison had many facilities like sewer system, electricity, flush, toilets, and forced air ventilation system. This was really cool about the prison because it had “technology” that not even the town of Yuma had, not until 1893. Also since the prison was made out of rock and adobe bricks it was more comfortable been there during the summer than the town of Yuma. Source 11 A description of various pros and cons the prison brought to Yuma.The Yuma Territorial Prison was located just south of the Gila River along the fast-running water of the Colorado River.
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The prison beneficiated from these rivers by providing water for cleaning, electricity, drinking and bathing. The water was stored in a water tank underneath the main tower guard. In the south own was the small town of Yuma. This place was one of the hottest in the world since it is located near the Sonoran Desert. This help to prevent prisoners from escaping. At first the prison was going to be located at Phoenix, Arizona, but Jose Maria Arredondo and R.B. Kelly, legislators of Yuma County, thought that having the prison in Yuma was going to be good for the economy so they crossed out Phoenix and wrote Yuma instead.
Source 9 packet ” Why was the Yuma Territorial Prison located in Yuma?” (Marti Murphy, selection taken from The Prison Chronicle: Yuma Territorial Prison Colorful Past). The prison was known at the town of Yuma as inhumane but also a very modern prison. Citizens called the prison ” the country club on the Colorado” and some of them felt that the prisoners lived in an environment more like a paradise.Source 11 A description of various pros and cons the prison brought to Yuma. The town benefited from the prison in many ways.
For example they could purchase electricity which was a big success for such a small town. The negative effects of the prison was the pumping of raw sewage into the Colorado river. This cause the water to contaminate, specialty drinking water. Due to this many diseases were spread like Typhus, smallbox, and scarlet fever. Source 11 A description of various pros and cons the prison brought to Yuma.
Topic Sentence: The Yuma territorial prison had many remodelations and functions.In 1881 a guard tower was built out of wood. It’s purpose was to have an excellent view of the prison grounds and the area around it. This same year a main guard tower was built on top of the water reservoir. At first the water reservoir had only 50,000 gallon capacity (1875), but seven years later its capacity was enlarged to 80,000 gallons. To enclose the prison a 18 feet high fence was built on the north and east side. It was made out of adobe like all the prison itself.
Guards quarters were constructed in 1892 as the assistants superintendent’s office. In 1883 the main cell block was constructed. It consisted of 34 cells and it house 6 prisoners each. The prison had a great hospital too, it was built on top of the cellhouse and it had different necessities like operating room, hospital ward, dispensary, attendant’s room, doctor’s office and a bathroom.
By 1904 maximum security was established to reinforce the isolation of prisoners. As time went by the first woman went to prison so they had to built a fence separating the females from the males.”Park Guide”. The Territorial Prison Library was established in 1883. It was constructed by the prisoners and it provided them with a source of education. It had over 2,000 volumes which was great in that time. Source 3 packet . The Prison practice many punishments some described as inhuman.
The Dark cell was the most terrifying punishment of all. The cell was 15 feet by 15 feet and it was all dark inside. An iron cage las located inside the dark cell to prevent prisoners from escaping.
On the ceiling was a little hole where the light would come through and prisoners inside had no right to get in contact with other people. Once a day they were only given bread and water. In comparison to a normal cell, it had not bedding and restroom facilities. Convicts called the dark cell “Snake den” because a prisoner was bitten while his stay.
In addition it was believe that guards threw scorpions and snakes through the hole. During the summers, the snake den was like an inferno because of the heat. There was another common punishment called Solitary Confident.
If a prisoner had bad language, fighting or cooking in the yard they were sent to one of 5 cells with a walkway around them. This cells were not constructed as the dark cell, instead they were made out of adobe bricks and had a metal roof.Source 10 packet.Topic Sentence: Over it’s 33 year of service, The Yuma Territorial prison had 3,069 prisoners, including 29 woman.
The Prison had a list of expectations and rules that every convict should follow. For example they were not allowed to injure or alter their cell. They should remain silent when indicated, they must maintain themselves clean as well as the cells. Having any type of games like cards was prohibited. They must cut their hair once a month. If any of this rules are violated there will be a punishment.
The prison housed over 3,069 prisoners, but could only hold 350 at a time. There were convicts from different cultures and ages, the youngest been 14 and the oldest 88 years. Most of the prisoners used tobacco and were catholic and had caucasian or mexican background. Burglary was the most common crime, there were 1287 cases.
Also there was 473 crimes of assault, mayhem, ad riot, 349 for fraud and forgery, 217 for murder, 170 for manslaughter, 143 for robbery, 42 for rape etc. The first convict of the prison was William Hall. The prison was famous for their way of treating the criminals. They were put in hot cells and if they behave bad they were punish by putting them in the dark cell or in solitary confinement. In the story of the prison there was only one men who was sentenced for execution by hanging. His name was Martin Ubillos, he killed another convict of the prison. Once he tried to commit suicide but failed.
There were also some successful attempts to escape and some not that successful. All of the prisoners were men until 1878 when the first female convict, Lizzie Gallagher, enter the prison. One of the famous prisoners of the time was Pearl Hart, better known as the “Bandit Queen”. She along with Joe Boot robed the Globe to Florence to stagecoach. She became a media sensation around the entire country and was sentenced to 5 years in Yuma. Pearl was born in Canada, after getting married she and her alcoholic husband moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1893. She was inspired by many strong woman and she liked the wild west shows. Her husband, Frederick Hart, was abusive and she became brave enough to leave him, so she did and took a train to Colorado.
Later she found out that she was pregnant and she had to return to Canada with her parents. After giving birth Pearl left her baby with her mother and went back to Phoenix, Arizona. Not too much later her Fred contact her and begging her to come back, to what she said yes. They went to parties together and Pearl learned how to drink and smoke marijuana. The couple had problems again, and after having their second child he left her and the kids.
As before Pearl left her other soon in Canada and went back to Arizona. In 1989 she met a man named Joe Boot. At that time she received a letter from her brother saying that her mother was ill and they needed money. So she and Boot planned several attempts to rob money, they first tried by getting men into a hotel room and knocking them out but that didn’t work so then they plan on robbing the stagecoach. On May 30, 1899 they carried their plan, it was successful at first because they got $450.
As they took off on their horses they realized that they did not know the way back, so they had to camp and went to sleep. The next morning they woke up with surrounded by sheriffs. And that is why she was sentenced 5 years at the Yuma Territorial Prison.Topic Sentence: After a new prison in Florence, Arizona was built, the Yuma territorial Prison was abandoned. The prison was used by many different groups after its closure in 1910.
The first ones to used was the Yuma High School students, after their original school was burned they moved to the prison from 1910 to 1914. Their athletic teams were known as ” The Criminals” or the “Crims”. The deterioration of the prison began in 1916 when Then the hospital of the county used the establishment from 1914 until 1923.
After that the prison was used during World War 2, civil defense settle in the main towers for observation. Source 12. Later the prison was good for filming videos and movies. Famous artist like John Wayne and Gene Autry. Citizens wanted to preserve the prison so they rise founds to make it a museum. In october of 1960 the Parks Boards bought the Yuma territorial prison to the City of Yuma for one dollar.
The new Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park opened in January 1, 1961.Introduction: There are many factors that helped Yuma County grow as a city. One of them was the Yuma Territorial Prison. Even though the prison treated the prisoners so badly it had a positive impact in Yuma’s economy.The Yuma Territorial Prison history is very interesting for its big impact in Yuma County and by the way of treating convicts at the time and how it helped the grow of Yuma.