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Administration building, Kansas State Penitentiary

Administration building, Kansas State Penitentiary
Creator: Kansas State Penitentiary
Date: Between 1920 and 1929
This is a view of the administration building at the Kansas State Penitentiary in Lansing, Kansas.


Administration building at the Kansas Women's Industrial Farm, Lansing, Kansas

Administration building at the Kansas Women's Industrial Farm, Lansing, Kansas
Date: 1936
This is a photograph of the administration building at the Kansas Women's Industrial Farm in Lansing, Kansas. In 1916, this facility was established, and, for a year, it was a branch of the men's prison at the Kansas State Penitentiary in Leavenworth County. In 1917, it began operating as a separate, satellite unit. The Industrial Farm was under the supervision of the State Board of Administration before coming under the control of the Board of Penal Institutions, which was eventually reorganized as the Department of Corrections. It housed women who had committed crimes against the state. In 1980, the facility became co-correctional and the name was changed to the Kansas Correctional Institution at Lansing in 1983.


Aerial view of the State Industrial School for Boys

Aerial view of the State Industrial School for Boys
Date: Between 1960 and 1969
State Industrial School for Boys opened its doors in 1881 to educate young men who had committed criminal acts. The school was located north of the capitol building on about 170 acres of land that was given by the city of Topeka.


A hanging in Kansas

A hanging in Kansas
Creator: Topeka State Journal Company
Date: February 18, 1916
This newspaper article published in the Topeka State Journal illustrates the confusion surrounding the history of state death penalty laws in Kansas. The article concerns the possible execution, under federal law, of a convict at the federal penitentiary at Leavenworth. The article claims that should this execution proceed "Kansas will see its first legal hanging in its history as a state." The article concludes by saying "that there never has been a hanging under state law in Kansas." In fact, between 1862-1888 there were nine legal executions in Kansas under state law, three under military law, and two under federal law. The state repealed its capital punishment law in 1907.


Allen County Jail

Allen County Jail
Creator: Kansas State Historical Society. Historic Preservation Office
Date: 2012
Allen County Jail is located in Iola, Allen County, Kansas. It was built in 1869 by White and Hays. The building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.


Appeal for Pardon - Harry E. Monk

Appeal for Pardon - Harry E. Monk
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1915-1919: Capper)
Date: 1915
This file includes general correspondence relating to an appeal for pardon for Harry E. Monk. The letter by Harry E. Monk explains that he is in jail in Leavenworth and needs to provide support for his wife and child. Monk is asking Governor Capper to reconsider his case which the Governor's office responds that they have no jurisdiction in jail sentences. This is part of a bigger collection of Governor Arthur Capper correspondence.


Carry Amelia Nation

Carry Amelia Nation
Creator: Harden, Alden Wakefield, 1838-1927
Date: Between 1904 and 1905
A portrait of temperance leader Carry Amelia Nation, 1846-1911, shown with her bible kneeling in prayer by a chair in a jail cell at an unknown location.


Carry Amelia Nation

Carry Amelia Nation
Creator: Harden, Alden Wakefield, 1838-1927
Date: Between 1904 and 1905
A portrait of temperance leader Carry Amelia Nation, 1846-1911, shown with her bible kneeling in prayer by a chair in a jail cell at an unknown location.


Carry Nation praying in a Topeka, Kansas, jail cell

Carry Nation praying in a Topeka, Kansas, jail cell
Date: 1901
This photograph shows Carry Nation praying in a Topeka, Kansas jail cell.


Charles Robinson to J. C. Fremont

Charles Robinson to J. C. Fremont
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: July 28, 1856
While a prisoner at Camp Sackett near Lecompton, Kansas Territory, Charles Robinson informs Fremont that James Emery was traveling east and should be used in Fremont's presidential campaign as a stump speaker as he "can do good service to the cause." Robinson also indicates that he did not know if the Pierce administration had decided whether or not to hang Robinson and his fellow prisoners.


Charles Robinson  to John Brown

Charles Robinson to John Brown
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: September 13, 1856
Charles Robinson wrote to John Brown from Lawrence on September 13, 1856, a short note encouraging Brown to give Governor Geary, who "talks of letting the past be forgotten," a chance and to come to town to "see us." A note from John Brown, Jr., on the bottom of the page, however, advised caution, as he had "no doubt an attempt will be made to arrest you as well as Lane."


Cheyenne prisoners in Dodge City

Cheyenne prisoners in Dodge City
Date: April 30, 1879
This stereograph shows a group of Cheyenne prisoners seated on the Ford County courthouse steps in Dodge City, Kansas. These men had taken part in "the last Indian raid in Kansas," when around 350 Cheyenne, led by Dull Knife, had killed around 40 white settlers in western Kansas. These Indians were fleeing from their reservation in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) and heading toward their former lands in the northern Great Plains (Kansas, Nebraska, etc.). Several of these Cheyenne men were apprehended and put on trial for murder. They were eventually acquitted of all charges. The individuals in the image are identified as follows: 1) Wakabish; 2) Maniton; 3) Old Cow; 4) Left Hand; 5) Wild Hog; 6) Old Man; 7) Muskekan; 8) George Reynolds; and 9) Franklin G. Adams.


City jail in Kansas City, Kansas

City jail in Kansas City, Kansas
Date: Between 1929 and 1931
This photograph shows the city jail at 7th Street and State Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas.


City jail in Lecompton, Kansas

City jail in Lecompton, Kansas
Date: 1892
A photograph of the old city jail in Lecompton, Kansas.


City prison, Topeka, Kansas

City prison, Topeka, Kansas
Date: June 05, 1914
This black and white photograph shows four police officers on horse back and a horse-drawn paddy wagon in front of the city prison at the northwest corner of 5th & Jackson Street in Topeka, Kansas.


Criminal X-Ray

Criminal X-Ray
Creator: Kansas State Penitentiary
Date: April 1915
Criminal X-Ray, Volume I, No. 3, published by The Kansas State Penitentiary for the Bureau of Identification. The booklet contains photographs, physical descriptions, sentencing information, and relatives of prison escapees, and parole violaters. The publication was used by police authories, sheriffs, and detective agencies to identify and arrest escapees and parole violaters. A reward is listed for each individual.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: February 6, 1859
Cyrus K. Holliday, soon to return to Topeka after a productive territorial legislative session in Lawrence, wrote to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. He wrote about a festival held at the Eldridge House, and reported on several other incidents of note: the arrest of John W. Doy, captured by Missourians while helping former slaves travel to Iowa; John Brown's avoidance of capture by [John P.] Woods (at the Battle of the Spurs on January 31, 1859); and Charles Fischer's escape after being twice arrested as "a fugitive slave." Holliday also wrote that the legislature had passed and Governor Samuel Medary would approve a bill granting Josephine Branscomb a divorce. Despite Holliday's efforts, the constitutional convention would be held at Wyandotte in July. He had refused [Alfred L.] Winans' request for a recommendation.


Dodge City jail key

Dodge City jail key
Date: 1884
Large symmetrical-shaped steel skeleton key. This key, dated to 1884, was reportedly the key to the Dodge City Jail.


E. P. Lamborn correspondence and research papers

E. P. Lamborn correspondence and research papers
Creator: Lamborn, E. P. (Edward Parker), 1890-1978
Date: 1915-1965
This collection reflects E. P. Lamborn's life long interest in crime, criminals and law officers. E. P. Lamborn was an amateur historian and collector of sources on crime and criminals of the Middle West in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His interests ranged from bandits, peace officers, famous detectives, and buffalo hunters. The Correspondence and Research section, presented here, contains much information on these topics from friends, relatives, companies, law officers, etc., who had some connection or dealings with these individuals. The arrangement for this section, generally, is alphabetical by last name of the correspondent. A detailed, searchable calendar of correspondents is available by clicking on "Text Version" below or by accessing the full collection finding aid in the link below. A transcription of this correspondence is not yet available. This series comprises boxes 2 and 3 of the E. P. Lamborn collection. You can find individual items in the order they are described in the "calendar of correspondents" by using the page selection feature available when you are looking at a full sized page image.


Ephraim Nute to unidentified recipient

Ephraim Nute to unidentified recipient
Creator: Nute, Ephraim
Date: February 24, 1859
Ephaim Nute of Lawrence provides an interesting description of the plight of one of the Doy party's fugitive slaves, captured and jailed at Platte City until his escape and dangerous flight back to Lawrence. "We have him now hid & are to day making arrangements to have him set forward tomorrow 30 miles to another depot. I think they (there are 2 others to go) will not be taken again without bloodshed." Nute also mentioned his involvement in the "Charley Fisher affair in Leavenworth." Fisher, a black fugitive, had actually come to Nute's house "disguised in female attire."


Executive circular to metropolitan police commissioners

Executive circular to metropolitan police commissioners
Creator: Lewelling, Lorenzo Dow, 1846-1900
Date: December 4, 1893
With this circular, Governor Lorenzo Dow Lewelling of Topeka, Kansas, appeals to police commissioners of Kansas cities to show restraint in the prosecution of the unemployed. The governor argues that high rates of unemployment are a product of the industrial system of production and not the fault of individuals. Since jobs are not available to all employable persons, he argues, unemployed persons should not be treated as criminals. The governor denounces the vagrancy law for first class cities included in the General Statutes of 1889, and similar city ordinances, which allowed for the arrest, imprisonment, or fine of "all vagrants, tramps, and confidence men and persons found in said city without visible means of support, or some legitimate business." The Kansas Legislature originally enacted the law in 1881. Governor Lewelling was the first People's Party (Populist) candidate to become governor. Republican opponents of the Populist governor dubbed this letter the "Tramp Circular."


Fort Hays guardhouse and prison, Fort Hays, Kansas

Fort Hays guardhouse and prison, Fort Hays, Kansas
Date: 1869
A photograph of the guardhouse and Indian prison at Fort Hays. Fort Hays was an important U. S. Army post that was active from 1865 until 1889. Originally designated Fort Fletcher (after Governor Thomas C. Fletcher of Missouri), it was located five miles south of present-day Walker and became operational on October 11, 1865. Troops stationed at Fort Fletcher were to protect the stage and freight wagons on the Butterfield Overland Dispatch (BOD) traveling along the Smoky Hill Trail to Denver. Despite the presence of the soldiers, Southern Cheyenne and Southern Arapaho Indians continued to confront traffic along the trail. David Butterfield, owner of the BOD, went bankrupt and the line was abandoned. Since the Smoky Hill Trail was no longer in use, Fort Fletcher was closed on May 5, 1866. On October 11, 1866, Fort Fletcher was reopened approximately one-fourth mile north of its previous location, at the confluence of Big Creek and the North Fork of Big Creek. The Union Pacific Railway, Eastern Division, was being constructed westward roughly paralleling the Smoky Hill Trail and construction workers needed the protection of the U. S. Army. In November 1866, Fort Fletcher was renamed Fort Hays in honor of Brigadier General Alexander Hays, who was killed during the Civil War. Some of the famous figures associated with the fort included Wild Bill Hickok, Buffalo Bill Cody, General Nelson Miles, General Philip Sheridan, and Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer. It was also the home of several well-known Indian wars regiments such as the Seventh U. S. Cavalry, the Fifth U. S. Infantry, and the Tenth U. S. Cavalry, whose black troopers were better known as Buffalo Soldiers. After 25 years of service, Fort Hays was abandoned on November 8, 1889. Today four original buildings survive: the blockhouse (completed as the post headquarters in 1868), guardhouse, and two officers' quarters. After its closing in 1889 the land and buildings of Fort Hays were turned over to the Department of the Interior, which later transferred them to the state of Kansas in 1900. When Frontier Historical Park was opened at the site in 1929, only the blockhouse and guardhouse remained of the original fort buildings. The two officers' quarters had been sold at auction in 1902 and moved into town at the time the other buildings were being sold for scrap. The officers' quarters were relocated in 1964 and 1987. The visitor center was built in 1967. Today it operates as Fort Hays State Historic Site; it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.


Gallows, Kansas State Penitentiary, Lansing, Kansas

Gallows, Kansas State Penitentiary, Lansing, Kansas
Date: 1965
This photograph shows the gallows at the Kansas State Penitentiary in Lansing, Kansas. The gallows are now part of the collections of the Kansas History Museum, Topeka.


Girl's Industrial School

Girl's Industrial School
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1915-1919: Capper)
Date: 1915
This file includes general correspondence relating to the Girl's Industrial School in Beloit, Mitchell County, Kansas. Topics included, but not limited to, in the correspondence is parole sentencing and placement during parole in what the School considered to be appropriate homes if not the girl's home she was living in at time of arrest. This is part of a bigger collection of Governor Arthur Capper correspondence.


Governor Clyde M. Reed correspondence, Federal Prison

Governor Clyde M. Reed correspondence, Federal Prison
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1929-1931 : Reed)
Date: 1929-1930
This file includes subject correspondence relating to the Federal Prison in Leavenworth, Kansas which is part of a bigger collection of Governor Clyde M. Reed correspondence.


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