The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

The Barred Window
News from the county jail.

    FROM SOUTHERN OREGON.--A correspondent of the Yreka Herald, writing from Jacksonville, over date of 14th inst., says that the two Indians who killed Kyle have not yet been retaken. It is supposed they are among the Umpquas.

Sacramento Daily Union, December 26, 1853, page 2

    The Indians who were in custody in Jackson County for murder had made their escape. They were assisted by other Indians in the neighborhood.
"News from Oregon and Washington Territories," Weekly Placer Herald, Placer, California, January 7, 1854, page 3

Special Session July A.D. 1855
    The Board of County Commissioners of Jackson County met this day, the 21st of July A.D. 1855 at the Office of the County Auditor in pursuance of a call made by the said Auditor for a special session of the Board.
    Present Martin Angel, President of the Board, and Henry C. Rowland and S. D. Van Dyke, Commissioners.
    The subject of building a Jail was presented to the consideration of the Board by sundry citizens of the County and requesting the official action and sanction of the Board in the premises.  
    After due deliberation upon the matter the following proceedings were had--
    Whereas--a private subscription has been gotten up for the purpose of raising funds to defray the expenses of building a County Jail, it is resolved by the Board--That so soon as the said Jail shall have been completed & paid for by private subscription in coin, the subscribers to such private subscription who shall have paid towards raising said funds shall be entitled to receive County Warrants for the amounts respectively subscribed by such subscribers and paid by them.
    The said Commissioners further agree that they will each take a Copy of the subscription paper with the view of securing additional subscribers to raise the amount of funds requisite to defray the expenses of building said Jail.
    The following are the dimensions of and the kind of materials to be used in the construction of said Jail--to wit--the dimensions to be twenty-five (25) feet by thirty-four (34) feet--one story high, to be built of hewed logs, the walls to be of three tiers or thicknesses--the out and inside tiers to be laid horizontally and solid and the middle tier to be put in perpendicularly, the floors are also to be of hewed logs and the lower floor to be laid double or two thicknesses of logs, the whole to be under the supervision and management of a Committee appointed by the subscribers, to wit, W. W. Fowler, M. G. Kennedy and S. H. Taylor--who are hereby authorized to erect the said Jail upon a certain Block of ground on the Town Plat of Jacksonville, donated to the County Commissioners by James Clugage, for the purpose of being used as the site for County buildings and selected by the Board.
    Now comes James Clugage and offers to donate to the Board of County Commissioners and their successors in office, a certain Block of Ground on the Plat of the Town of Jacksonville on the condition that the said Board or their successors shall erect thereon a County Jail and such other County buildings as may be necessary for the use of the County at such times as may be deemed proper by the said Board or their successors. The said Block of ground so donated is designated on the Plat of the Town of Jacksonville as Block number Nineteen (19)--which ground, the said James Clugage agrees to convey to the Board of Commissioners, absolutely, for the purposes aforesaid, whenever he the said James Clugage shall receive a Patent from the United States for the land upon which said Town Plat is laid out.
Jackson County Commissioners' Journals

Territory of Oregon vs. George W. Livingston. Indictment for assault with intent to Kill.
    Now at this day the accused is brought into Court and in consideration of the premises, it is considered by the Court that he be sentenced to confinement in the common Jail of the County of Linn in the Territory of Oregon, there being no Jail in Jackson County, and the said County of Linn being the nearest thereto in which there is a Jail, for the Term of One year and that the Territory receive of him the costs of this prosecution to be taxed.
Jackson County District Court docket,
page 83, session of August 11, 1855

    HORRIBLE MURDER.--The Oregon Statesman says:
    "Joel Perkins, proprietor of the town of Lafayette, Oregon, was murdered in the southern part of the Territory, near the California line, on the 24th ult., by a man named John Malone. Malone was arrested and confined in the Jacksonville jail, where he hung himself with the chain with which he was secured. Perkins' wife was charged with being accessory to the murder, and had been taken into custody, and was undergoing an examination when our informant left. The report is that Malone murdered Perkins for his wife."
Washington Union, Washington, D.C., September 30, 1856, page 3

    . . . on Friday evening, the 29th ult., just about dark, Eli Judd, who was charged with perjury in the examining court in the case of the Territory vs. Noble, broke jail, and on the 23rd ult., George Livingston, sentenced to four years' hard labor in the Penitentiary, broke jail and escaped.
"Further from Oregon," quoting the Table Rock Sentinel, Sacramento Daily Union, June 15, 1857, page 1

    PRISONERS ESCAPED.--Two prisoners confined in the jail at Jacksonville, Oregon, escaped on Saturday night, June 27th, in the absence of the keeper. Their names are Goddard and Marshall. They were the only occupants of the establishment.
Sacramento Daily Union, July 10, 1857, page 2

is in receipt of a letter from Jacksonville . . . . He further says that they are erecting a new jail in Jacksonville, and thinks such an institution very much needed.
Daily Globe, San Francisco, July 13, 1857, page 2

    BURGLAR ARRESTED.--The Shasta Courier states that on Friday, Sept. 4th, Deputy Sheriff Follansbee, in that place, arrested Noble, who escaped from the Jacksonville jail some months since, where he was imprisoned under the charge of housebreaking &c. He is now in the Shasta jail, where he will remain until communication has been had with the Oregon authorities.
Sacramento Daily Union, September 7, 1857, page 2

    ESCAPED FROM JACKSONVILLE JAIL.--John W. Fulp, who was charged with horse stealing in Wasco County, Oregon, escaped from the jail in Jacksonville, November 14th. He succeeded in wresting one of the grating bars from the window, with which he broke the lock on the door, and made his escape unobserved. He has not been since heard from.

Sacramento Daily Union, December 3, 1857, page 2

    A CAPTURE AT YREKA.--An escaped
convict by the name of Owens, from the Jacksonville Jail, O.T., was captured January 21st near Yreka, by a posse who went in pursuit of him. Some twenty-five shots were fired before Owens was brought to.
Sacramento Daily Union, February 3, 1858, page 3

    CAPTURE--TROUBLE WITH INDIANS.--The Yreka Union says:
    We are informed that on Thursday of last week, a man named Owens, who escaped from jail in Jacksonville, Oregon Territory, last fall, was captured by a party of men about twenty-five miles above Cottonwood on the Klamath. The party in pursuit caught him about midnight, and had fired twenty-two shots at him during the chase. He is now on his way back to his old headquarters in Jacksonville, where it is to be hoped he will be more secure for the future. The prisoner stated that the Indians at the Cave would be troublesome in the spring, with whom he had been stopping until quite recently, when on becoming alarming he left for his own safety.
Weekly California Express, Marysville, February 13, 1858, page 1

    The cost, to the Territory, of bringing a penitentiary convict from Jackson and Josephine counties, is from $300 to $700, according to the number of guards.
Oregon Statesman,
Salem, March 2, 1858, page 2

    RENDITION OF FUGITIVES.--We publish the following letter, says the Jacksonville (O.T.) Herald, from our Territorial Executive, in answer to a request for a gubernatorial requisition for the rendition of Jim Stevens, now confined in the Yreka jail, California:
Territory of Oregon, Executive Office,
    Salem, June 10th, 1858
Thomas Pyle, Sheriff of Jackson County:
    SIR: Your communication of the 28th ultimo has this day been received, and in reply I have to say that, in consequence of a decision made by the courts of California in a recent instance, wherein I made a requisition upon the Governor of that state for the surrender of certain fugitives from justice, it would be entirely useless to make another and similar requisition while the statutes of California remain unamended in reference to such cases. The result, I apprehend, would only be as before, the release of the accused on habeas corpus, and a heavy expense to the Territory. Among other points, the decision alludes to ignoring the authority in a Territory to make the demand upon a state for the rendition of escaped criminals. Whilst I regret that crime should thus be permitted to go unpunished, I must decline acting any further in the premises. Indeed, I would prefer to pay Mr. Hoffman for the animals stolen rather than again subject the Territory to the expense attending the necessary steps to be taken to demand the delivery of the criminal fugitives without the probability of any satisfactory result. I am, very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
    Geo. L. Curry,
        Governor of Oregon.
Sacramento Daily Union, July 23, 1858, page 1

    A young man named Burris, a miner, from Evans' Creek, was brought to town on Tuesday by Mr. Bethel, in a state of apparently hopeless insanity, and from want of a better place he is now confined in the jail. His father is either on Galice Creek or the Umpqua Valley, and sometimes called "Kentuck." Anyone knowing him would perform an act of humanity by informing him of the condition of his son, and telling him to come to his assistance, as the young man often calls for his father.
"Jacksonville, O.T.," Sacramento Daily Union, July 23, 1858, page 3

    On Monday evening last Dept. Sheriff Brown returned from Yreka, having in custody James Stephens, who had been confined in the jail at that place.  He was delivered up by the authorities of Siskiyou, although the Governor had deemed it fruitless to grant a requisition in any future case until the California statutes were amended.--Jacksonville Herald.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, July 27, 1858, page 2

    Two prisoners broke from the jail at Jacksonville, O.T., last night, all that were in the jail at the time. They cut through the back part of the jail while the keepers were asleep in the front room.
"By Magnetic Telegraph," Daily Alta California, San Francisco, August 5, 1858, page 1

    JAIL DELIVERY.--On the night of the 3rd inst., all the prisoners in the jail at Jacksonville, O.T., five in number, escaped and are at large. They worked a hole through the stone wall, says the Sentinel, with the aid only of a broomstick. The jailer was asleep in the front room, and blankets were hung up against the door by the prisoners to prevent his being awakened by the noise.
Daily National Democrat, Marysville, California, August 17, 1858, page 3

    Sheriff Duncan, on Friday of last week, succeeded in taking John Smith, one of the prisoners who escaped from the jail of the county recently. He was found on the north side of Rogue River, some twelve or fifteen miles from town. Nothing has been heard of the other four who escaped at the same time.
"Jacksonville," Sacramento Daily Union, August 20, 1858, page 5

    The prisoners confined in our jail--five in number--took advantage of the somnolency (which, by the way, I am inclined to think is constitutional) of the jailer to make their escape on the night of the 2nd instant. They effected their exit from durance vile by means of a broom handle, with which they made a breach in the wall three times larger than was necessary for their purpose, the jailer, in the meanwhile, sleeping calmly in an adjoining room, undisturbed by the sound of the falling rocks and mortar. One of the fugitives was arrested a day or two afterwards, on Evans Creek, about twenty miles from town. The other four are probably wending their way to Fraser River, where they will perhaps find exercise for their skill in digging.
"Letter from Rogue River," Oregon Statesman, Salem, September 7, 1858, page 2

    FUGITIVE ARRESTED.--On Friday night last Sheriff Connoyer arrested Thomas Greenwood, one of the prisoners who escaped from the jail at Jacksonville on the night of the 2nd August last. Greenwood was stopping at the Marion House, in this place, under the assumed name of Lawrence Thompson. When arrested, he readily acknowledged his identity, but refused to give any clue to the whereabouts of the companions of his flight, two of whom are believed to have been here recently. Greenwood will be kept in custody here until sent for by the authorities of Jackson County.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, September 7, 1858, page 2

    JACKSONVILLE, O.T.--We find in the Sentinel, of October 2nd, the following intelligence:
    "The Deputy Sheriff of Douglas County brought back and delivered to the Sheriff of Jackson County the escaped prisoner Greenwood, who had been arrested at Salem and made his escape and was again retaken by the Sheriff of Marion."
Sacramento Daily Union, October 9, 1858, page 3

    SHOOTING IN YREKA.--E. Rhoades, lately escaped from Jackson County, Oregon, was held to bail recently, in Yreka, in the sum of $600, for using firearms in a saloon, wounding one John Donovan.
Sacramento Daily Union, December 6, 1858, page 2

    One Rhoades, a Jackson County convict, flourished a pistol in a Yreka saloon until a man was shot in the leg.
"Brief Reference," Trinity Journal, Weaverville, California, December 11, 1858, page 4

    BROKE JAIL.--Two soldiers, who were deserters, confined in the county jail, succeeded in sawing off the fastenings on the cell door, and by executing a bold and skillful flank movement, made their escape to the mountains about 4 o'clock p.m. on Wednesday last. When last scene, the bold cavalrymen were making a desperate charge over the hill, in the rear of Mr. Hoffman's residence.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, April 16, 1864, page 8

    JAIL LIBERTIES.--The County Court has established the following boundaries of the jail liberties of Jackson County, to wit:
    Commencing at the southwest corner of California and Oregon sts. in the town of Jacksonville, including the sidewalks, and running thence N., on the west side of Oregon St., including sidewalk of said st., to the north boundary of the corporation of Jacksonville, being the S. boundary of J. N. T. Miller's land claim, thence E. with said north boundary of the corporation until it strikes the eastern boundary of the corporation, thence with the said eastern boundary until it strikes the south side of road leading from Jacksonville to Yreka or California Street, at or near the first bridge east of the present residence of A. M. Berry, thence with the south line of California Street, including the sidewalk, to the place of beginning.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, October 7, 1865, page 2

    BROKE JAIL.--Wm. Horton, who was confined in the county
jail, awaiting the action of the grand jury, on a charge of robbery, succeeded in making his escape on Friday night last. It appears that he drew out a heavy hinge, upon which the door of his cell had formerly hung, and which was accidentally left when the door was swung so as to open the other side of the partition between the two cells. He made excellent use of this tool, and in a short time succeeded in tearing a hole through the stone wall of the building, large enough to crawl through. The work must have been done between the time the jailer gave him his supper and bed time, as the slightest sound in either of the cells is perceptible in the jailer's room. He has not yet been recaptured, and if he keeps away, the county will be saved the expense of convicting him.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, August 10, 1867, page 2

    CAPTURED.--Wm. Horton, who made a job for the stone masons on our county jail last week, was captured at Kerbyville a few days since, and is now safely lodged in the jail of Josephine County. After making his escape from here, he stole a horse from Mr. York, of Applegate, on which to continue his journey, and was brought to grief thereby. A "bad egg" is Horton, and if he does not make his words good and escape from his new quarters, the chances are that he will receive instructions in the manufacture of brick at the expense of the state.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, August 17, 1867, page 3

    IN HIS OLD QUARTERS.--Horton, who broke jail here a short time since, was brought from Kerbyville on Wednesday evening by Sheriff Owen. The authorities of Josephine County were about to turn him loose, but our Sheriff requested the honor of his company, and tendered him the hospitality of Jackson County until the next term of court. Owen expresses the belief that the fellow is an accomplished burglar, but thinks he can hold him this time. He broke the heaviest kind of shackles in the Kerbyville jail, with very little difficulty, and nearly turned the building--which is constructed of heavy, hewn timber--topsy-turvy. It is only to be regretted that the evidence against him here is slight, and if he is convicted it will only be on general principles.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, August 24, 1867, page 3

    SLIPPERY HORTON.--Yesterday morning Deputy Sheriff Reames discovered that his boarder had secreted some shackle keys, a knife, and the identical piece of iron he used to make his escape before, inside of his cell, and was apparently making preparations for another "break." He is watched pretty closely, and it is probable that his wild career is checked until next term of court.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, August 31, 1867, page 1

    INDICTED.--Horton, who has been in the Jackson County jail for some months past, was taken to Kerbyville on Thursday last, to answer an indictment for stealing a horse, on Applegate, about the 1st of August.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, November 2, 1867, page 2

    HORTON, "the jail bird," pled guilty to an indictment found by a grand jury in Josephine County, charging him with stealing a horse, and was sentenced to state prison for three years.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, November 9, 1867, page 3

    MURDEROUS ASSAULT IN AN OREGON JAIL.--A dispatch dated Jacksonville, February 17th, has the following: Yesterday afternoon a Chinaman confined in the jail of this county made a desperate assault on a fellow prisoner named Burchdorff, with a billet of wood, and beat his head in a shocking manner. The cries of Burchdorff for help disturbed the services of a neighboring congregation, and but for their timely aid he undoubtedly would have been killed. The Chinaman is under sentence to the Penitentiary for six years for burglary. It was evidently his intention to murder Burchdorff and effect his escape.
Weekly Colusa Sun, February 22, 1868, page 2

    ATTEMPT TO BREAK JAIL.--On Tuesday night last, Chadwick, who is confined in the county jail on a charge of grand larceny, took advantage of the temporary absence of Deputy Sheriff Reames and made a desperate attempt to escape. When the jailer returned, he discovered that the prisoner had nearly sawed off one of the iron bars across the window with a case knife, but had abandoned that project and was at work trying to force the door open. Reames immediately put a heavy shackle on him as a reminder that good behavior, under the circumstances, is the cheapest.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, April 11, 1868, page 3

    ATTEMPTED ESCAPE.--The prisoner in the county jail (Chadwick) seems to be "on it." He procured a case knife last week and went to work on the rivet of his Gardner shackle, but was discovered before it was entirely sawed off. The rivet was replaced by one of cast steel, which will probably defy his efforts.Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 2, 1868, page 3

    There is a man in the Jacksonville jail charged with stealing a shotgun. The man who "runs" the jail, a sort of keeper, is at the present time confined to the jail also, sick with the smallpox. The Reveille, in mentioning the case, says it attaches no blame to the jail keeper for preferring his present quarters to those of the pest house; the prisoner it holds equally blameless for preferring any other quarters, the pest house excepted, to those of the jail; deeming it no joke to be imprisoned before guilt is established, especially when locked up with a case of smallpox, and offers as an opinion merely that one or the other--the prisoner or the smallpox man--should have been removed at once, and not allowed to have remained together a day.
"State Items," Albany Register, January 16, 1869, page 2

    ESCAPED.--The man who was put in jail some weeks ago, on the charge of stealing a watch, sawed his way out and escaped a few nights since. On examination he was found to have sawed off 4 iron bars of considerable thickness, in the door of his cell, which made an aperture just large enough for him to crawl out at. He claimed to be some relation to Dave Logan. There was a Chinaman in a cell opening into his cell, but instead of letting him out too, the gentleman bolted the Celestial in "for sure," before taking his leave.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, October 8, 1870, page 3

    PRISON BREAKING.--An outbreak occurred at the county jail in this place, on Tuesday evening last, under the following circumstances: The jailer, whose name is Howlett, went into the jail to give the prisoners their supper, about half past six o'clock. After they had eaten, he proceeded to lock them up for the night, and stooped down to pick up an iron used in fastening the door. Two of the four prisoners confined there now jumped upon him and held him fast to the floor, while a third proceeded to rifle his person of his pistol and money. The Chinaman, Lui Shing, became alarmed and cried aloud, when one of the breakers knocked him down. The other three then let go of Howlett, and darted outside of the jail door and locked it upon him. They then broke for the woods, having each taken a blanket. Howlett was soon released by Deputy Sheriff Foudray, who dispatched riders in every direction in search of the fugacious gentry. Klippel telegraphed to the north and south in search of them, and used every means to close all avenues of escape, but up to last accounts no sign of them had been discovered, save that on that night some unknown person slept in the shavings in an old carpenter shop owned by Squire Berry, at the east end of town. The names of the escaped men are James Good, Julius Warner and Charles Morrell. We believe that James is far from being good; that Charles' behavior is very immoral, and that Julius' conduct should be a warner to wrongdoers. Sheriff Klippel offers $100 reward for the capture of these "goners." Who will bring them back?
    LATER.--Since the above was in type we learn by a dispatch from Stephen Booth to Sheriff Klippel that the members of the "Can't-get-away Club" have been captured. They were brought in from Ashland by a posse of armed citizens on Thursday evening, and reinstalled in their former quarters as guests of the county. Too much credit cannot be given to our sheriff and his deputies for their alacrity.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 18, 1871, page 3

    The grand jury of Jackson County declare the jail at Jacksonville "a perfect nuisance--unfit to keep the meanest Chinaman on the coast in. The building is so small and close that all the jailers in America could not keep it in anything like decent order if it contains one prisoner."
"Oregon Items," Sacramento Daily Union, March 4, 1873, page 1

    The following report was submitted by the grand jury of Jackson County: "We find the public buildings as good as could be expected under the circumstances, except the kitchen to the jail. It is fit for nothing at all, and we recommend a new one."
"Oregon Items," Sacramento Daily Union, November 29, 1873, page 4

    THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS.--The grand jury, in its report, announces that they find the public buildings in good condition, but pass judgment on the county jail, which they condemn. They recommend the building of a new one.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 21, 1874, page 3

    COUNTY JAIL.--Sealed proposals for building the new county jail will be received at the office of the County Clerk until September 23, 1874. For particulars see advertisement in another column.

Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 11, 1874, page 3

    The county court of Jackson County let the contract for building the new jail to Smith & Hall at $3,875.
"News Items," New Northwest, Portland, October 23, 1874, page 5

    PRISONER ESCAPED.--Harris, the negro held to answer the charge of larceny of a horse, last Saturday escaped from the county jail. It seems that while James Leslie, the jailer, was at breakfast, and Chas. Harris alone in charge, the negro asked to go out in the yard, and permission was granted him. One of the prisoners inside the jail just then called for a basin, and while Charley was giving it to him, the negro slipped the shackles (which Harris had fastened too loosely) off his feet and made tracks for the brush. His absence was soon perceived, and R. L. Ish and W. H. McDaniel dispatched after him. Although he was supposed to have gone in the direction of Bear Creek and was reported to have been seen in that vicinity, a thorough search there failed to reveal his whereabouts. A few days afterwards, he was seen on Applegate. Deputy Sheriff Kent started after him on Tuesday, and succeeded in getting on Harris' track; but owing to the inefficiency of those assisting him, together with some tall running on the part of the negro and the thick brush convenient, he failed to capture him. Mr. Kent returned yesterday, and we learn from him that the negro broke into a cabin belonging to a Mr. Baker, stealing a pair of blankets and some provisions therefrom. He thinks the prospects for his capture very fair.

Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 28, 1875, page 3

    GONE FROM OUR GAZE.--Harris and Johnson, the negroes convicted at the present term of court for larceny, and sentenced to the penitentiary for six and seven years respectively, were last Friday taken to Salem, in charge of Deputy Sheriff Kent and P. D. Hull.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, 
June 11, 1875, page 3

    The boarder in Manning's hotel complains of being lonesome. He thinks it is a poor county that can't afford more than one prisoner.
"Random Jottings," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, October 31, 1877, page 3

    The old jail will be demolished before long.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 13, 1882, page 3

Treachery of an Under Jailer.
    PORTLAND, Oregon, Sept. 1.--Saturday, four prisoners confined in the county jail at Jacksonville, Oregon, effected their escape. It appears that while the jailer was asleep a trusted employee obtained the keys which hung near the jailer's bed, and passed them to the prisoners, when every door in the jail was opened, also the outer door. Four of the worst prisoners walked out unmolested. They are: James Bassett, stage robber; J. M. Culp and Joe Justus, held for murder. The fourth prisoner was held for burglary. A few hours after the prisoners escaped, the discovery was made. Justus was overtaken and recaptured. The others escaped.
Harrisburg Independent, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, September 1, 1884, page 1

    The four prisoners confined in the jail at Jacksonville were all set at liberty Wednesday night. It is reported that the jailer was not sleeping in the building, and by some means one of the prisoners got possession of the keys left hanging outside the inner door and unlocked all the cells, and then the outer door was also opened. Bennett, the state robber, and Culp, who was apprehended for the murder at Willow Springs, are both at large. Geo. Justus went over to Medford, and was arrested there next morning by Sheriff Jacobs. The other prisoner aroused the jailer and told him of the escape of the rest.
'News Summary," Corvallis Gazette, September 5, 1884, page 4

The Ghost Story.
    A ghost story in these times is something of a rarity, and not to be passed by without due consideration by newspaper reporters. The spook of the county jail, mentioned recently by the Sentinel, should be written up in full. We have only a meager report of his doings, but will give that for the public benefit. The spirit is supposed to be that of a Chinaman who hanged himself in the jail several years ago, and is trying to induce somebody to send his bones to China. Several persons have been disturbed in the past by strange noises and other spiritual manifestations, and one man recently discharged complained that the pestiferous ghost came and slapped his face one cold and dismal night. Since the watch was put upon the condemned murderer, O'Neil, the ghost has been rampant, and in one particular cell of the jail has been playing such pranks as only spirits are supposed to take delight in. The cell has not been occupied of late, except by the ghost, but at night strange noises are heard there, the furniture has been moved about, etc. The night watch reported this to the sheriff, and one evening the latter had the room put in apple pie order and bed nicely made up, and then locked the cell and carried off the keys in his pocket. Next morning the room was found to be in disorder. The bed clothing had been tumbled about, the pitcher moved from the washstand to the bed, looking-glass turned to face the wall, etc., etc. That's all we know about it, and we can only say that if this will add to the terror of the jail and restrain evildoers from trespassing against the state statutes, the ghost may be considered a valuable acquisition.
Ashland Tidings, February 26, 1886, page 3

The Haunted Jail
    The Jacksonville papers report that the deputy sheriffs who keep the death watch over the sentenced murderer, O'Neil, now confined in the jail at that place, believe that the prison is haunted. Strange noises are heard and sights seen which are blood-curdling. The history of the old stone jail at that place, if written up, would read like a story of the French Bastille. It was there that murderer Barden starved himself to death while under sentence to be hanged for killing a sheep raiser who resided near Rogue River and stealing his whole flock. He refused nourishment of any kind, until he became an emaciated skeleton. There was an incident occurred in this connection which is spiced with grim humor enough to provoke a smile from an executioner while adjusting the fatal noose. There was two brothers named Brown confined with the jail with Barden, charged with the murder of a man near Klamath Lake. They were afterwards tried and acquitted on the ground of justifiable homicide. They were wicked but witty fellows, who feared neither God, man nor the devil. In Jacksonville, as well as in Portland, is a class of good-hearted women, whose sympathetic souls are stirred to a greater depth over the misfortunes of a condemned, bloody murder than the sorrows and suffering of the innocent orphan and mourning widow. When it became publicly known that
these ladies became very much interested in his case. They begged permission to visit him in his prison cell and pray with and for him. They were admitted and the prisoner pretended to accept their assurance that they could waft him to Heaven on the wings of prayer, but he wouldn't accept their "grub," which they brought in quantity and quality sufficient to seduce the dormant appetite of an Egyptian mummy. One day these noble, self-sacrificing ladies called on the object of their sympathy and solicitude, and among other delicacies and substantials brought him a nice sirloin steak. Barden lay on his squalid couch, with death hovering near him, while the two Brown boys were playing a game of bean poker in an adjoining cell. "Good morning, Brother Barden," said one of the good Samaritans, "we've brought you a nice breakfast and we do want you to eat something; we cooked this ourselves." A gurgling rattle from the throat of the dying criminal was the only answer. "Oh, Brother Barden," continued the lady, "do let me give you a piece of this splendid beefsteak." No answer came through the clenched teeth of the prisoner, but one of the Browns sang out: "Try him on mutton chop; he goes his last red [cent] on sheep." The ladies were shocked and departed, wiping their weeping eyes with their aprons, while the two reckless, jolly brothers proceeded to go each other ten better in their game of poker, and Barden was left alone to die. The reference to mutton brought up the memory of the murdered sheep herder, for whose tragic taking off the starving prisoner was under sentence of death, and made a joke of a serious matter.--[Portland] Mercury.
Oregon Sentinel, February 27, 1886, page 1

    At Jacksonville, Ore., the jail is so badly haunted by the ghost of a Chinaman that the hungriest tramp will not run the risk of sleeping in it for the inducements of comfortable quarters and good food which it holds out. Would it not be well for somebody to start the report that our calaboose is haunted?
Findlay Weekly Jeffersonian, Findlay, Ohio, May 6, 1886, page 3

An Ex-Convict's Trouble.
    Frank Warner had no sooner concluded a term in the pen than he burglarized a store at Medford and was arrested and taken to Jacksonville. He tried to escape from jail by burning that structure down. A big fire was kindled by himself and two other prisoners a few days ago and they came near going up with the jail.
Capital Journal, Salem, June 3, 1889, page 4

Prisoners Suffocated
    Jacksonville, Ore., July 13.--Yesterday morning the jail, containing three prisoners, was discovered to be on fire. Before the cells could be reached the prisoners had suffocated. The origin of the fire is a matter of conjecture. Their names were: Newton Cook, of Tennessee, aged 56; Henry Hoover, family in Michigan, aged 55, an honorably discharged soldier, and Frank Warner, aged 19.
Alexandria Gazette, Alexandria, Virginia, July 13, 1889, page 2

    The most unfortunate occurrence that has called for comment by the press for many a day was the burning of the county jail at this place last Friday morning at about six o'clock, when three prisoners confined therein, in helpless agony, endured a thousand deaths in anticipation, before being suffocated by the smoke. The fire, when first discovered by persons on the outside of the jail, had gained such headway as to be beyond control, and as it was located in the front portion of the building, access to the cells was entirely cut off, and no help nor succor could reach the prisoners, despite their piteous cries. The first alarm was given by Sam Taylor, and the engine and hose were soon on the ground, but through mismanagement it was some time before an effective stream of water reached the fire. Much water was thrown by buckets, but did little good. The flames at the west window were partly kept in subjection by a small force pump in the hands of A. H. Carson of Josephine County, but the volume of smoke and flame steadily increased in the interior for full twenty minutes after the crowd arrived. An entrance was finally effected into the front room and, after a lapse of almost a half hour from the first alarm, the locks of the corridor were smashed with a sledge and an entrance gained to the cells, from which the dead bodies of the inmates were removed. In the first cell on the right was the corpse of Frank Warner, the young German who burglarized Mount's store at Ashland sometime in May last. He was lying on the floor with blood flowing from his mouth and nose, indicating a most painful death. He was clothed, but had evidently dressed hurriedly, and was doubtless aroused by the fire or smoke from slumber. The occupant of the second cell on the same side--Newt. Cook was the name under which he was committed, but which was supposed to have been an alias--was not clothed, and had thrown himself on his knees beside his couch, his face resting in his hands and his body partially on the bed. He had striven to exclude the smoke by hanging his bedding and blankets in front of his door, and many suppose that he was still alive from a fancied movement in the dropping of his arm from hs chest when carried out to the open air. Cook was the man who purloined Prof. J. B. Farley's overcoat from the U.S. Hotel some months ago, and was committed on a charge of larceny in a dwelling. The remaining victim was Harry Hoover, committed at Medford a few weeks since on a charge of larceny from the blind lady elocutionist, Miss Steinbach, at Talent. He was arrested at Portland, charged with the offense, when on his way to Michigan, from which state he came to Oregon, and where he is said to have a wife living. The testimony elicited at his preliminary examination was not conclusive as to the guilt of the accused, and his attorney, S. S. Pentz of Medford, had drawn up the necessary papers to effect his release on a writ of habeas corpus the day he met his death. His dead body, undressed, was found partially in bed, in the front cell on the left of the hallway, his head enveloped in the blankets, evidently having striven to keep out the smoke, and his knees resting on the floor. After the rescue of the bodies, it was some time before the flames in the roof were extinguished, and there was much apprehension lest the adjoining sheds and woodpiles should take fire and endanger the courthouse.
    In the afternoon Coroner Pryce empaneled a coroner's jury composed of Peter Elmer, A. H. Maegly, Chas. Prim, A. L. Reuter, F. R. Ne
il and H. Weydeman, and proceeded to hold an inquest over the bodies, District Attorney Colvig questioning the witnesses.
    The first witness, Philip Miller, testified that no one was at the jail when he heard the alarm and ran down; that the prisoners were still crying "fire"; that the blaze was coming out of both windows, but the heaviest from the east window; that the sounds from the inmates soon after ceased.
    J. A. Wilson testified that he assisted in removing the bodies from the cells and that he thought there was life in the body of the second one removed, Newt. Cook. Wilson testified as to the positions of the bodies when found, substantially as stated above. Also that he was at the jail at six o'clock and that fire was coming out of both windows and over the door at that time.
    Peter Boschey testified that he passed on the street in front of the jail at 3:30 o'clock in the morning, and that there was no sign of fire at that time.
    William Deneff testified that he was deputy sheriff; that it was his custom to sleep in jail when the sheriff was gone; that he did not sleep there the night preceding the fire, as he was called to his mines on Jackson Creek to fight a mountain fire raging about his claim; that he was in the jail and changed his clothes preparatory to leaving, between nine and ten o'clock on the preceding evening; that there was no fire about the jail at that time, except the candle he used; that the candle was not over three inches long and was in a candlestick hanging on the end of the wardrobe in his changing room; that he was sure that he blew out the candle before leaving, as he had trouble in finding the keyhole in the door when he came out; that he hunted for Birdseye to notify him that he intended to leave town, but was unable to find him; that he left word for him with the city marshal at the hotel and with several other parties to the effect that he would not be back that night and perhaps not the next night; that Birdseye's customary place of sleeping was in the building in the courthouse yard formerly occupied as a sheriff's office; that he looked for him there, but was unable to find him; that he asked Sam DeRoboam if Birdseye was at the hotel and he said he did not know; that he and the sheriff each had keys to the front door of the jail; that the keys to the corridor door hung in the sheriff's office, there being but one set of them. In answer to a question by one of the jurors, witness stated that he did not notice whether there was a coal on the wick or not when he blew out the candle; that the candlestick was about five inches in diameter; that there was a rim around the bottom about an inch and a half high; that part of the candlestick was hanging on the burnt part of the wardrobe that day when Mr. Maegly and he examined it, but the bottom had melted out.
    Sheriff Birdseye, being called, testified that he was sheriff and ex-officio jailer, and identified the bodies as being those of the prisoners, Frank Warner, Newt. Cook and Harry Hoover, confined in the jail, each being held under a charge of crime; that Newt. Cook was a native of Tennessee and supposed to have been a single man; that Hoover was from Michigan here; thought he had a wife there; was 55 years old; that Warner was a native of Hanover and about 19 years old and a single man; that he did not get word that Deneff had left the jail, and supposed he was sleeping there; had no means of knowing how the jail took fire; was up on on the street when he first heard of the fire; on arriving at the jail, as soon as buckets of water were procured, opened the outer door. First ran into the sheriff's office and got keys to the corridor door; that there was nothing to prevent his opening the door on his arrival; that his reason for not doing so was that it would increase the draft; that it was five minutes or more that he waited for the water; that he went in as soon as the flames were stopped and tried to unlock the door; did unlock one of them, but the locks were hot; the door was sprung, and the key stuck in the second lock and we had to break them--knock them off--because they were so hot they could not be handled; that we got in then, got the front door open and began knocking the locks off of the cell doors and packing the bodies out. Mr. Birdseye explained that the keys for the inner cell doors were kept in the bedroom and the partition had burned and fallen down on them; that he afterwards found one ring with two keys on it, one of them partially melted off; that he did not take hold of any of the bodies to help carry them out; that the did not hear anything from the prisoners after he arrived at the jail; went out beside the jail and called to them, but got no answer from them; that he was last in the jail and heard the prisoners laughing and talking about eight o'clock the preceding evening.
    Birdseye and Deneff both recounted the particulars of an attempted escape of two of the prisoners about two months ago, but as there was no evidence of the present fire having originated in the cells, we do not reproduce that portion of the testimony. The sheriff also stated what property the several prisoners had when brought to his keeping. In answer to a question of a juror, Birdseye stated: Did not sleep at my room last night; the bedbugs got too much for me, and I took up my quarters at the hotel. Sam DeRoboam didn't know I was to sleep there, but I spoke to the old folks about it. Deneff did not know I was to sleep at the hotel. I spoke to him about the matter yesterday afternoon and told him I guessed I would have to get out of there.
    Dr. Sommers, being examined in a professional capacity, testified that he had examined the bodies in the presence of the jury, and that in his opinion the cause of death of Harry Hoover, Newt. Cook and Frank Warner undoubtedly was suffocation by smoke from fire or asphyxiation. That neither of them was alive when taken out; that he examined them and was of the opinion that they had then been dead a full half hour.
    After hearing the evidence the jury rendered a verdict to the effect that the deceased men came to their death by suffocation from smoke, and that the cause of the fire was unknown.
    The damage to the jail consists principally in charred and smoked walls, burnt-out ceiling and rafters, and considerable damage to the floors and door and window casings. There was also some damage done to the outer wall, and a new roof will be necessary.
    The most effective work done at the fire was by Chris. Ulrich, J. A. Wilson, J. Nunan, Ed. Farra, A. H. Carson and some others, the two former being chiefly instrumental in breaking the locks from the corridor and cell doors and rescuing the bodies.
    It was very evident from the appearance of the jail and from the evidence elicited that the prisoners themselves had nothing to do with starting the fire, and there is absolutely nothing on which to predicate the theory of incendiarism. The generally accepted theory is that there was a candle left burning in the jail the evening before, or that matches in the clothing of the deputy became ignited when he was removing his clothes and smoldered through the night in the woolen cloth. It is difficult to conceive of anyone so fiendish or malignant as to willfully fire the building, knowing the prisoners to be within, and there was no testimony that any suspicious-looking strangers had been seen about the jail. It was an untoward train of circumstances which rendered the casualty possible, and the public must always hold the officers accountable for neglect in making it possible even under those conditions.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 18, 1889, page 2

Burning of the Jail.
The Correct Account of the Affair Is Given by All the Papers at the Time.
Valley Record, July 18th, 1889:
    Last Friday morning about 6 o'clock some parties heard the prisoners in the county jail at Jacksonville crying fire. Soon the word went forth and the men on the streets at that hour rushed to the scene and to the engine house. The fire when first discovered was raging in the jailer's room and front of the building, and grew rapidly in the dry pine wood of the inside of the jail, and although all that was in the power of men to do was done to try and save the lives of the three confined prisoners it was a futile task, as they ceased talking soon after the first man arrived, whom one prisoner told to hurry up or it would be too late. The jail is of brick, one story high, with spiked scantling cell walls inside, forming the cells, which are arranged on either side of the corridor with a heavy grated door in front leading to a receiving room in the front of the building, which was divided by a brick partition into a sleeping room for the guard and a vestibule. One of the first men on the scene threw water from a bucket onto the flames through the iron grate window. A. H. Carson, the nurseryman of Grants Pass, who is introducing a spraying apparatus among the orchardists, was eating breakfast when the alarm was given and jumped up and ran to the barn and brought his little pump to the scene, which did effective work in extinguishing the flames by squirting water on the fire. But it was fully half an hour before the bodies could be removed from the cells, the different locks refusing to work by reason of the heat ruining them, and they had to be broken with a sledge hammer.
    At the coroner's inquisition conducted by Dr. R. Pryce, coroner of Jackson County, and Wm. M. Colvig, district attorney, Deputy Sheriff Wm. Deniff stated that he had left the jail about 10 o'clock in the evening before to look after his mines situated four miles from town up Jackson Creek, the premises of which were threatened with destruction by forest fires. He was in the jailer's room for about half an hour before putting on his old clothes, but noticed nothing unusual about the premises. He says he had a piece of candle lighted in a tin candlestick, hung on a wooden cupboard in his bedroom, but is positive he extinguished the light before leaving, and is stronger in the belief because he said he had trouble in finding the keyhole, although he does not remember whether he snuffed out the spark or not. He was unable to find Sheriff Birdsey (who is a widower and sleeps in the jail yard about 100 feet from the jail) in his room and went downtown to hunt him up and notify him of his going, but not finding him told Dr. Jackson, City Marshal Helms and others to tell Birdsey that he had gone up to his mines. Sheriff Birdsey stated that he was driven from his room in the jail yard by bedbugs and had slept in one of the rooms of the U.S. Hotel, although he did not tell the manager about it, who did not know it until next morning. Mr. Birdsey did not know until morning that Deniff was out of town. Both Birdsey and Deniff carried keys to the outer door of the jail, and the keys to the corridor door are kept in the sheriff's office.
    An examination of the jail shows that the prisoners could not have started the fire, as their cells removed them from all of the fire. Of course the final and definite cause of the fire will probably always remain a mystery. The theory generally accepted that the fire started from the jailer's room, evidently about the cupboard in the room, and a draft blowing through the window grating spread it through the whole front part of the building. Sheriff Birdsey and his immediate friends first thought that a jail delivery had taken place and the prisoners had set fire to the building to forever hide the trace of their escape, but unfortunately for the victims of mismanagement and neglect it was a mistaken idea, as the subsequent finding of the asphyxiated bodies proved. The latest theory entertained by Mr. Birdsey is that it was an incendiary fire for the purpose of liberating the prisoners, and as a reason for believing that says that young Frank Wade, who was confined in the jail for the stealing of a horse and afterward sent to the asylum as insane, told him that Frank Warner, one of the deceased prisoners, told Wade that Sayle and Simmons, the accomplices of Warner in the burglary of Blount's store, who were out on bail, had promised to help get him out of jail before court met. Henry Hoover was lying in bed undressed when found, and evidently did not know what was going on. Warner and Cook were both up and dressed, Warner lying on the floor of the cell and Cook was kneeling beside his bunk with his face in his hands, probably saying one of the prayers learned him when a boy, which he had doubtless not repeated for a long time before. He put his bedding up against the iron bars and made all the preparations possible to save his life, but without avail. When taken out one man handling him said he made a final struggle, but others think it must have been impossible for him to have been alive to that extent. Efforts at resuscitation were made, and after it was all over they were stood up alongside a tree and photographed.
    Sheriff Birdsey informed the writer last Monday that there was no law compelling him to sleep in the jail or to have a guard sleep there. If this is true, as it undoubtedly is, this incident will throw enough light on the next legislature to amend the law relating to the duties of the county officers by establishing a severe penalty for officers who will let prisoners be locked up in their cells and handicapped in every way from protecting themselves through the dead hours of the night, without a guard to protect them or attend to their wants. The very fact that this jail was a notorious death trap should itself be a strong argument that as long as one or more lives were at its mercy the authorities should give that undivided, vigilant and cautious care that at least unconvicted prisoners should be assured by the state. It is rather late to lock the barn door after the horse has been stolen, but a law to establish the plain duty of an officer will at least prevent the occurrence of such a horrible catastrophe as this again.
    Life is sweet to all, whether criminals of the deepest dye or mortals of the purest impulse, and while everyone deplores the sad accident which occurred to all three, the most heart-rending is the case of Henry Hoover, the victim of neglect and circumstances that have brought what we believe a truly good, conscientious man to a death followed by the damnable suspicions of having been a low, cowardly villain. He was arrested on the charge of having robbed the trunk of Miss Stumbach, a blind elocutionist, at Talent, and given a hearing at Medford. The examination was said to be nearly all guesswork, and the witnesses all thought he was the man because a stranger without means. Not having money or competent friends to give his side the attention it should have received, he was hustled off with the suspicions of being a common tramp or thief whom it would be all right to let lay in jail till court met. When he had to go to jail his heart was almost broken, and he cried piteously, "I'm accused of robbing a poor blind woman. I didn't do it. I am innocent. I am innocent!" But beneath the common clothes there was a human being who, during his residence in Ashland of several months before, conducted himself in such a manner as made all people who chanced to know him believe he was a man of nobler sentiments than are contained in the carcasses of many people more wealthy and learned. While here he always kept in communication with both his mother, who lives in California, and his wife, who lives in the pineries of northwestern Michigan. They have two grown children--son and daughter--the latter being married. Being a man of no schooling, his friends here would read letters from his folks and answer them for him, hence they became conversant with his private affairs and learned his true nature and character. The letters he received from his wife were those of a true woman whose tone was filled with a commendable Christian spirit. The main object were pleadings for him to come home, and each time he would sit down and cry. The last letter was read for him by a friend, wherein she suggested that he write to some of her relatives for enough money to come home on. While most people would jump at this offer it was repugnant to his feelings, and with tears streaming down his cheeks he said no, that he thought his luck would turn better and he could soon earn enough money by his own hands that would bring him home with a feeling of better satisfaction to himself. At the time he had finished a job of common labor some time before, and intended to stay and wait some time for another which had been promised him, but this letter filled his ignorant mind with a determination that he would go where he thought employment was more plentiful and cast his fortunes there. But alas for his luck! When he got as far as Talent and remained around there a few days the robbery and its consequences occurred. His friends all expressed surprise as soon as it was discovered that he was the man that was bound over, and were of the opinion that it was a direful combination of circumstances against an innocent man. But his poor luck. The morning of the fire a Medford attorney had the papers all out and ready to start to the county seat to release him on a writ of habeas corpus, when he learned that his man was dead.
    It is said that actions will be begun for damages by some of the relatives of the deceased, and it seems that in the case of Hoover a jury would bring in an amount
for a big sum.
Tidings (Birdsey organ), July 19:
    Undersheriff Deniff was called to go to his mountain ranch on Jackson Creek, where forest fires threatened his home, and not finding Sheriff Birdsey on the street, he left the keys, with instructions that the keys should be given to him; he went to the guard room where he usually slept at 9:30 o'clock to change his clothing, and says he remembers perfectly well having extinguished the candle, which he had lighted before leaving. The candle was on a tin candlestick hanging on the wardrobe and was in the corner exactly opposite to the corner where the fire evidently burned the fastest, and where it broke through the ceiling and burned the roof.
    Sheriff Birdsey, who usually slept in the old county clerk's office about 100 feet from the jail, had that day taken a room at the hotel in consequence of the discomfort of his apartments, and the deputy had not been apprised of the change.
    Many conjectures are rife as to the origin of the fire, some holding that it might have been an incendiary attempt to liberate the prisoners, as such an attempt had but recently been discovered in the jail. This occurrence seems to be one of those unfortunate and distressing calamities, that occur now and then, which is impossible to satisfactorily account for, and for which no one can reasonably be held responsible.
[Democratic] Times, July 18, 1889.
    Birdsey and Deniff both recounted the particulars of an attempted escape of two of the prisoners about two months ago; but as there was no evidence of the present fire having originated in the cells, we do not reproduce that portion of the testimony. The sheriff also stated what property the several prisoners had when brought to his keeping. In answer to a question of a juror, Birdsey stated: Did not sleep at my room last night; the bedbugs got too much for me and I took up my quarters at the hotel. Sam DeRoboam didn't know I was to sleep there, but I spoke to the old folks about it. Deniff did not know I was to sleep at the hotel. I spoke to him yesterday afternoon and told him I guessed I would have to get out of there.
    It was very evident from the appearance of the jail and from the evidence elicited that the prisoners themselves had nothing to do with starting the fire, and there is absolutely nothing on which to predicate the theory of incendiarism. The general theory is that there was a candle left burning in the jail the evening before, or that matches in the clothing of the deputy became ignited when removing his clothes and smoldered through the night in the woolen cloth. It is difficult to conceive of anyone so fiendish or malignant as to willfully fire the building, knowing the prisoners to be within, and there was no testimony that any suspicious-looking strangers had been seen about the jail. It was an untoward train of circumstances which rendered the casualty possible, and the public must always hold the officers accountable for neglect in making it possible even under those conditions.
Jacksonville Items in Valley Record of July 18, 1889:
    At the coroner's inquest the sheriff was asked why he didn't steep at the room in the jail yard where he was supposed to slumber. The answer was that the bedbugs drove him out and he slept in a room at Uncle Sam's hostelry. He must have "slipped in" there, at least the clerk was not aware of his being a tenant of the house that evening, and hence he did not receive the keys from Deputy Deniff. The county should furnish the court yard sleeping apartments with a "varmint" extinguisher--the Widow Buhach's remedy---for the comfort of "Bed Bug" Jimmy.
    A marriage in high official life has been arranged to come off before the votes of the next campaign "blooms in the spring, love!" as Madam Rumor says.
Valley Record, Ashland, May 29, 1890, page 1

A Sensational Item.
    The Ashland Tidings ingeniously conceals its failure to get an "item" in the following small-shot, while following up its advantage with the facts:
    A woman who claims to be the widow of Hoover, one of the prisoners who were suffocated in the burning of the county jail, arrived at Medford last week with a little daughter and the Mail has one of its peculiar, sensational, hydra-headed reports as a consequence of an "interview" with her. It is generally understood at Medford that S. S. Pentz, the attorney who is now figuring in the capacity of a defendant in a state case in circuit court, is largely responsible for the trip of the woman and her daughter to this place, he having held out to her the probability of money being obtained from the county as damages. The Mail said she would sue the county, but the nearest approach to it thus far is an appeal to the county court for money for the widow, and to pay the expense of removing Hoover's body from the Jacksonville cemetery to Michigan.
Medford Mail, September 7, 1889, page 3

    Work on the county jail building is progressing nicely, and it will not be long before the structure will be ready for occupancy. It will be one of the strongest and neatest in the state when completed.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 19, 1889, page 3

    The inmates of the county jail, having been furnished with a banjo and harp, are holding soirees, to the edification of the county officials.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 25, 1890, page 3

March 10th 1891. Tuesday.
    I got up early and went to Talent took freight train for Medford, I found the Sheriff James Birdseye on board with two young Men prisoners who had broken a car open at Medford and taken each a pr of shoes and a blanket. He overtook them at Ashland and arrested them.
    He had William Mayfield to assist him the two officers looked harder Citizens than the prisoners The boys had got tired of Carrying the blankets and had left them in the brush below Phoenix and the train stopped for Birdseye to pick them up
Diary of Welborn Beeson, Talent, Oregon

    The anteroom of the county jail is being used as a storehouse for the effects of dead men and people who have fled from justice, and sometimes as a dissecting room. The late grand jury would not have made the report they did, in reference to the condition of the jail, if they had taken cognizance of these facts.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 22, 1893, page 3

    Sheriff Pelton has four prisoners in his charge, besides Black and Muse, the Josephine County contingent. If this sort of thing continues an addition to the bastille will be found necessary.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 1, 1894, page 3

    J. Lomas, committed to the county jail from Ashland for wife-beating, is busily engaged in trying to reconstruct the trimmings of the county bastille. He broke up all the portable furniture of his apartment one day last week, saying that it was not put together right, and that he proposed to do his share of reforming the administration of county affairs then and there.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 5, 1894, page 3

    Brooks, living in the county jail at Jacksonville until April term of court for maliciously destroying engineer McCarthy's house near Talent, attracts lots of attention by his mouth. He has a strong voice and sings all classes of religious hymns with a great deal of lyrical pathos and noise. He declares that he will not remain in jail until April and is allowed no extra freedom as he is such a crazy lunatic as not to have any more sense than [to] leave the jail these hard times and in this weather.
"Medford Items," Valley Record, Ashland, January 24, 1895, page 4

That Revolver Story.
    Much gossip has been current of late concerning an alleged attempt on the part of Frank Wade, Sr., to smuggle weapons in the Jacksonville jail for the purpose of arming his sons, who are confined there on a charge of murder. Our correspondent, A. C. Howlett, while at Ashland last week obtained from Sheriff Patterson the story of the affair, which we will publish for the purpose of setting at rest the many conflicting rumors now afloat, and which Sheriff Patterson tells in substantially the following language:
    "Frank Wade, Sr., came to me at about the hour of 7 o'clock on the Sunday evening after his sons had been locked up in the jail and told me he wanted to have a private interview with the boys, Frank and Lawrence, of about a half hour's duration. I replied that I would not go to the jail that night, but if he wanted to have a talk with them he could come around in the morning when I gave them their breakfast. The next morning he came around, and when he discovered that the jail contained another inmate--a man by the name of Noble--Wade asked if that fellow was to remain in the jail, and said that he wanted a strictly private interview with the boys. I told him that the man was going to stay until he had finished his breakfast, then he would go to sawing wood. After they were through with their meal, I asked Wade Sr. if he had any arms about him, and he answered emphatically, No. I told him that I would have to search him anyway. I felt of the side pockets of his coat and then began to rub him on the back, thinking that he might have a dagger secreted there. Then Wade said, 'Hold on, come out here,' and stepping outside of the jail he ran his hand into the bosom of his shirt and pulled out a revolver, saying, 'Here, I've got this; it's Frank's and I'm going to throw it away or give it away. I don't care what becomes of it, for I never intend to have another one in my house. See, it's not loaded.' I said, 'Give it to me if you are going to give it away,' and taking the revolver, a thirty-eight-caliber one, I proceeded with my search, and found a pocket knife and twenty-five cartridges, which were for the thirty-eight caliber gun. After finishing the search, I locked him up with the boys and let him stay there until he wanted to come out and then took him to my office and paid him three dollars for the revolver. Evidently his plan was to secrete the revolver and cartridges in the 'cage' while Frank was gone to Medford to have his examination, and then when the jailer came to feed them, they would hold him up, make him open the door of the 'cage' when the jailer would be put inside and the boys would make their way to the hills."
Medford Mail, November 1, 1895, page 1

Broke Jail Easily.
How Two Prisoners Gained Freedom at Jacksonville.

    JACKSONVILLE, Jan. 31.--J. C. Hopkins and Frank Murphy, held for burglarizing the store of D. D. Minkler, in Ashland, three weeks ago, and who were confined in the county jail awaiting the action of the grand jury, broke jail last night, and have not been recaptured. They were in the corridor, and could go in and out of the cells at pleasure. They succeeded in removing the staple which held the bar in the lockbox, and as the lower bar was not locked, they had only to slide it out of the way and the door was open. The staple was removed, it appears, by reaching the hand through a section of the latticework and sliding a thin piece of wood or iron along beneath the staple and lifting it up, when it would turn over and fall out of the bar, thus relieving it and leaving it free to be drawn out, and the door opened without further hindrance. Once in the open jail, it was an easy matter, with a heavy piece of iron they had wrenched from the building, to burst open the outer door and gain their liberty. Their work shows them to be experts of a dangerous character. Sheriff Barnes and several deputies are in hot pursuit of them.
Gold Hill News, February 5, 1897, page 1

    On the 30th of January two burglars escaped from the jail in Jackson County, Oregon. One is six feet tall, thirty years of age, dark brown hair and stammers when talking. The other is 24 years old, five feet 7 inches in height, has dark brown hair, blue eyes, and gave his name as Frank Murphy. Sheriff Barnes of Jackson County wants them.
Del Norte Record, Crescent City, March 6, 1897, page 3

    There would have been an attempt at jail delivery Monday night, in which all the prisoners were interested, had it not been discovered and prevented. A case knife was made into a saw that did good work, and a hole had been cut in the ceiling, through which it would have been easy to escape. Joe French betrayed the secret in the afternoon, however.

"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 22, 1898, page 3

    The occupants of the county jail have been disturbed from time to time lately by the noisy demonstrations of a supposed spook. Several traps have been set for the ghostly visitor, but he always manages to elude them.

"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 15, 1899, page 3

    The county jail is being enclosed with a rough board fence. It cannot be commended for its beauty, but will prevent idle and curious people from lounging about the premises.

"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 29, 1899, page 3    The wood for the fence was probably repurposed from the privacy fence built, but not used, for the proposed hanging of Frank L. Smith.

    Chris. Keegan distinguished himself as an architect and builder in the construction of a substantial fence around the county jail. It should have been built long ago.

"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 8, 1899, page 3

    Hotel de Orme now has four boarders--one being a woman--for keeping whom the law allows the landlord $5 each per week. The addition of another customer would prove unprofitable to the sheriff, for he would be obliged to keep two prisoners free of charge, as he is allowed only $3 a week for boarding each where there are over four.

"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 17, 1899, page 3

    The escape of Thos. Featherstone and M. M. Reed from the county jail at Jacksonville on Sunday night, where they were confined awaiting trial for burglarizing the store of J. Nunan, was evidently the result of a carefully prearranged plan on the part of the prisoners and friends on the outside. At the supper hour on Sunday evening the two men were in their cells, and were locked in by the deputy sheriff. All three of the male prisoners were seen in the cell by the deputy. There are four cells in the steel cage in which the prisoner were confined and [they] are locked simultaneously by means of a bar operated from the outside of the cage. This bar is enclosed in a steel box, fitted with a lock claimed to be proof against ordinary lock picks. In the main part of the jail, outside the cage, was Mrs. Taylor, awaiting trial for adultery. She was the only person who could have had access to the lock. On Monday morning the cage was found unlocked, no bars or anything broken, showing conclusively that the prisoners had been released from the outside. A hole in the corrugated iron roof of the jail showed the manner of their escape from the building. A ladder, left standing against the wall of the jail by workmen engaged in repairing the roof, enabled them to descend to the ground and afterward scale the high fence around the jail. The hole in the roof also shows evidence of outside help. The edges of the iron are bent downward, proving that the cutting was done from the top. The two prisoners who remained in the jail refuse to say anything further than that someone unlocked the cage. Sheriff Orme is of the opinion that the woman released the men, and that they made their way through the ceiling and thence through the roof to liberty. Mr. Orme offers $200 reward for their apprehension.
"Jacksonville News," Medford Mail, February 21, 1902, page 3

Two Criminals Escape.
    Early last Monday morning M. M. Reed and Thos. Featherstone, who were confined in the county jail for burglarizing J. Nunan's store some time ago, took uninvited leave of that institution and have not been heard of since. From what we learned at the sheriff's office they must have received assistance from the outside of the prison. Both had been locked in one of the steel cells the night before, and when Sheriff Orme arrived on the scene after their departure the doors thereto and their locks were open. After getting out of the cell they gained their liberty through a hole in the roof of the building, which the officials think was cut from the outside.
    The other two inmates of the jail--Riley Noah and Mrs. Taylor--give unsatisfactory accounts of the affair. The woman gave the alarm, which was heard by Mr. Huffstater, who lives near the jail, and who immediately notified the sheriff.
    A reward of $200 for their capture and detention is offered by Mr. Orme.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 20, 1902, page 5

    The escape of Thos. Featherstone and M. M. Reed from the county jail at Jacksonville on Sunday night, where they were confined awaiting trial for burglarizing the store of J. Nunan, was evidently the result of a carefully prearranged plan on the part of the prisoners and friends on the outside. At the supper hour on Sunday evening the two men were in their cells, and were locked in by the deputy sheriff. All three of the male prisoners were seen in the cells by the deputy. There are four cells in the steel cage in which the prisoners were confined and are locked simultaneously by means of a bar operated from the outside of the cage. This bar is enclosed in a steel box, fitted with a lock claimed to be proof against ordinary lock picks. In the main part of the jail, outside the cage, was Mrs. Taylor, awaiting trial for adultery. She was the only person who could have had access to the lock. On Monday morning the cage was found unlocked, no bars or anything broken, showing conclusively that the prisoners had been released from the outside. A hole in the corrugated iron roof of the jail showed the manner of their escape from the building. A ladder, left standing against the wall of the jail by workmen engaged in repairing the roof, enabled them to descend to the ground and afterward scale the high fence around the jail. The hole in the roof also shows evidence of outside help. The edges of the iron are bent downward, proving that the cutting was done from the top. The two prisoners who remained in the jail refuse to say anything further than that someone unlocked the cage. Sheriff Orme is of the opinion that the woman released the men, and that they made their way through the ceiling and thence through the roof to liberty. Mr. Orme offers $200 reward for their apprehension.
Medford Mail, February 21, 1902, page 3

Escaped from Jail.
A Peculiar Jail Delivery at Jacksonville, Early Monday Morning.

    Thos. Featherstone and Mike Reed, who some two months ago were arrested for robbing Jerry Nunan's store in Jacksonville, and confined in the county jail at Jacksonville along with a woman and a man who are held on the charge of adultery, escaped during the early hours Monday morning, and no trace has been heard of them since. The prisoners were confined in the steel cages, where it is naturally supposed they were entirely secure, but it seems luck came their way and like the biblical story they were delivered from prison.
    How they succeeded in unlocking the cell doors is a mystery, but the doors of both steel cages were unlocked, and as soon as the prisoners secured entrance to the corridor it was an easy matter to make a hole through the corrugated iron roof.
    Sheriff Orme says the keys to the jail were in his possession that night as usual. The discovery was made by the two remaining prisoners making a disturbance; these prisoners probably know more of the delivery than they have so far told. Sheriff Orme is offering a reward of $200 for the recapture of Reed and Featherstone, but so far they have no trace of them.
Medford Enquirer, February 22, 1902, page 1


Love Prompts a Woman Prisoner to Unlock the Cell Door of Burglars.
    Thomas Featherstone and Michael M. Reed, who escaped from jail at Jacksonville, Or., and were recaptured at Eureka, Humboldt County, were brought to the city prison yesterday by Deputy Sheriff H. G. McCarthy of Jackson County, Or., who will take them back to Jacksonville.
    Featherstone and Reed were arrested for robbing a farmhouse near Jacksonville, and while in jail became acquainted with a Mrs. Martin, who was awaiting trial for deserting her husband and eloping with another man. Mrs. Martin and Featherstone often met in the corridors and she became infatuated with him. She was allowed considerable freedom and planned to release Featherstone. One night she abused the turnkey's confidence and unlocked the door of the cell in which Featherstone and Reed were confined. They made their escape, and it is suspected that Mrs. Martin supplied them with money. She confessed to aiding them to get away and said it was love for Featherstone that prompted her to help them out of jail.

San Francisco Call, April 6, 1902, page 28

    Thos. Featherstone, the burglar, who, in company with M. M. Reed, escaped from the county jail at Jacksonville some time ago and was afterward captured and brought back from California, tells of the escape in this wise: Reed, his partner in crime, who (according to Featherstone) was the leader in their crime, had fashioned a key from a piece of wood from the back of a hairbrush to fit the lock of the steel cage in which they were confined. The key was passed through the bars of the cage to Mrs. Taylor, the woman confined in jail on a charge of adultery, who was allowed the liberty of the main part of the jail, and she unlocked the cage. After this, escape was easy. They reached Talent before daybreak and hid in the brush until nightfall, then proceeded on their way, making a wide detour around Ashland, striking the railroad several miles south. They crossed the Siskiyous, stole a boat at Hornbrook and made a perilous journey down the Klamath to Orleans Bar, where they left the boat and soon afterward separated. Featherstone laughs at the idea that infatuation for him led the woman to connive at the escape of the two men. Featherstone was found guilty of burglary in the circuit court this week, and sentence will be passed today (Friday) at 1 o'clock.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, April 18, 1902, page 7

Jail Break at Jacksonville.
    Friday evening the usually quiet town of Jacksonville was in an uproar, caused by the escape of four of the six prisoners confined in the county jail. Three of those who attempted to escape were the fellows who made so much trouble for the officers when they were arrested near Ashland, in June last. The other was Madison, who was awaiting trial for robbing Selsby & Magill's saloon in Medford. Howard and Keegan, two of the Ashland thugs, were captured quickly, while Wilson, the third man, and Madison made their escape.
    Art. Robinson and Chas. Irwin, the other two prisoners, made no attempt to escape. The break occurred a little after six o'clock. Deputy Sheriff Crawford had entered the jail for the purpose of removing the basket in which he had carried supper to the prisoners, when he was set upon by the gang, which attempted to put him in a cell. They failed to accomplish this purpose, however, but the four above named escaped from the jail and took to the hills. Pat Donegan, Jr., and Clarence Reames were returning from a deer hunting expedition and met Howard in the road. They covered him with their guns and marched him back to town. Keegan was caught a short time afterward in the Karewski barn at the edge of town.
    Tuesday Sheriff Rader received word from the sheriff of Linn County, at Albany, that he thought he had the men wanted. Accordingly Mr. Rader took the northbound train for the north that evening. The men held at Albany proved to be Wilson and Madison, and the sheriff returned with them on Thursday morning's train. The prisoners are not likely to have another chance to escape soon.
Medford Mail, August 19, 1904, page 1

Jail Delivery Narrowly Averted.
    MEDFORD, Or., Feb. 21.--(Special.)--Four prisoners in the county jail at Jacksonville made an effort to escape last night by removing the brick about the jail door. When discovered by the jailer, the door fell in with a crash. The jail is perfectly secure, but the prisoners were allowed the run of the corridor.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, February 22, 1907, page 7

Four Prisoners Escape, Three of Whom Are Soon Retaken.
    MEDFORD, Or., March 11.--(Special.)--Four prisoners escaped from the Jackson County jail yesterday evening by digging through the outer wall of the jail. The same prisoners were detected in an attempt to escape two weeks ago, since when they had been kept under close surveillance. On Sunday this vigilance was relaxed and the delivery was easily accomplished. Three of the escapees have been recaptured, two at Ashland and the third in the hills near Jacksonville. The officers are in close pursuit of the remaining fugitive.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, March 12, 1907, page 6

Prisoners in Jacksonville Jail Make Dash for Freedom.
    MEDFORD, Or., Oct. 15.--(Special.)--Five prisoners confined in the county jail at Jacksonville, awaiting trial at the present term of court, made a successful attempt for liberty tonight shortly after 6 o'clock, by sawing off one of the bars.
    They made their way to the corridor, from which they easily made their exit. Two of the prisoners, Charles and Richard Mow, are charged with stealing a calf near Ashland, and the other three are awaiting trial for robbing the Deuel & Kentner store in this city three weeks ago.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, October 16, 1909, page 2

County Jail an Eveless Eden During Year 1910--
Seven Sent to Penitentiary--Seven Inmates Now Confined There.

    To the fact that not a single woman prisoner crossed the threshold of the county jail during the year 1910 jailer J. W. Wilson attributes the fact that that institution successfully passed through the twelve months without having to weather a single tempest.
    Fifty prisoners, all men, were accommodated by the sheriff, of which number seven were transferred from there to the state penitentiary at Salem.
    Of the remaining number one was paroled, one was sent to the insane asylum, one, a boy, was sent to the Boys' and Girls' Society in Portland, and one, to quote the words of the jail blotter, "was sent after wood and forgot to return."
    All the rest were discharged by the tribunals before which their cases were tried.
    There are now seven inmates in the jail, three awaiting the action of the grand jury and four serving sentences for petty offenses.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 8, 1911, page 2

    That the present county jail is inadequate and a new one is needed is the chief matter urged by the grand jury which adjourned Saturday afternoon. In their report to Judge Calkins they say:
    We have examined the county jail and we find the same entirely inadequate to hold and care for the number of prisoners now being confined therein.
    We recommend that an entirely new jail be constructed with a view to segregating prisoners with regard to their age and experience as criminals and differences of character. As matters now stand, boys charged with petty offenses under sentence from justice courts may be and are cooped up with alleged murderers and white slavers. Three months confinement in a county jail under these conditions may convert a lad who has been a petty offender under sudden impulse into a deliberate criminal with definite plans equipped with technical knowledge of the means to the end. Since reformation is gaining ground as a chief end of punishment it were better that young men and boys charged with misdemeanors go unpunished than to confine them in a jail such as ours. Crime just budding may rapidly mature under the hothouse growth vicious criminal associations naturally compel. A jail large enough and with proper arrangement for the wide segregation of criminals according to their age and experience is a need so imperative and insistent that construction of such a jail should be hastened with all possible dispatch.
"New Jail Needed Says Grand Jury in Final Report," Medford Mail Tribune, March 26, 1911, page 3

County Commissioners Vote To Erect New Bastille
And Call for Bids for Immediate Construction of Reinforced Concrete Building.

    Wednesday the county commissioners, with Judge Neil comprising the county court, voted to build the new proposed jail at Jacksonville for Jackson County.
    Bids are to be advertised for immediately.
    The plans will call for a reinforced concrete structure, costing not more than $12,000.
    The recent jail not only is too small and the necessary crowding not sanitary, but it is antique and cannot meet the present requirements.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 6, 1911, page 6

    The new county jail will be a structure not only of great strength, but one of beauty.
    The plans call for a two-story concrete building, reinforced with steel, being 44.2x42 feet, almost square in appearance. The cells will be burglarproof and made of the finest steel. There will be a criminal ward, a woman's ward, and a crazy ward.
    The roof is to be red tiling and the architecture of classic design, which at a glance will show a massive strength. The building will be fireproof.
    The bids will be accepted on the 21st of April and construction begins on May 1.
    The cost of the building will be about $12,000.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 7, 1911, page 2

Jackson County Jail, May 5, 1927 Medford Mail Tribune
May 5, 1927 Medford Mail Tribune

Leonard and Goodhue Are Given Contract for New Structure--
Will Accommodate 25 Persons and Will Cost About $9000.
    Leonard and Goodhue, contractors of this city, were given the contract for the construction of the new county jail at Jacksonville at a meeting of the county commissioners in Jacksonville Thursday afternoon.
    Work will begin immediately on the structure, which will be two stories high, 42x44 feet, and constructed of reinforced concrete. It will accommodate from 20 to 25 persons and cost in the neighborhood of $9000. The cells from the old jail will be used. The building will be finished by September and will be a great improvement over the present jail, which holds only 12 persons.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 9, 1911, page 8

Prisoner Are in Unsanitary Cage; at Jacksonville Temporarily.
    MEDFORD, Or., Aug. 20. (Special.)--"Conditions at the County Jail at Jacksonville are bad." said County Judge J. R. Neil after he had inspected the cage in which 14 prisoners are housed while the new structure is being built. "Fourteen men are crowded into prison space for nine, and the air at night must be vile. There are three small cells in the jail, and they are meant to accommodate a maximum of three men each. To increase the number means to increase the unhealthfulness of the jail and to endanger the health of the prisoners, some of whom may be innocent.
    "We are building a good jail that will accommodate 36 prisoners in a sanitary way, but that will not be completed before October 1, and in the meantime the prisoners must wallow in the hole now provided for them."
    Provided with shower baths for the prisoners, steam heated and equipped with a reading room which will be furnished with good books, the new jail now being erected at Jacksonville is one of the most modern in the state. It is of reinforced concrete and will be plastered both on the inside and out. When completed it will cost $9000. On the upper floor there is a well-ventilated women's cell and a padded cell for insane persons.

Morning Oregonian, Portland, August 21, 1911, page 3

Medford Keeps "Lucky" or "Unlucky" 18 Suspended for Days.
    MEDFORD, Or., Aug. 31.--(Special.)--Suspended in midair, 13 prisoners slept in their steel cage in jail yesterday with nothing but two cables supporting them. The cage is being hoisted to the top of the new jail to make room for the $6500 cells that have been contracted for and which will be put in soon.
    Two long-eared, struggling mules lifted the cage, eight inches at a time, until it had reached the top of the concrete structure. The prisoners busied themselves washing their dishes and singing songs while the work was under way and trusted implicitly to the mules, despite the fact that their number had been reduced to 13 by the paroling of Crocker. The cell, with its human freight, will hang by the cables until the second floor of the jail can be placed in position.

Morning Oregonian, Portland, September 1, 1911, page 1    This article is about the new county jail in Jacksonville, not the Medford city jail.

    One of the county road engines is being used to heat the county jail. At the time the jail was constructed radiators were installed and steam pipes laid in the walls, but no furnace was furnished. One of the road engines has been placed near the rear wall of the jail, connected with the pipes and is being used to good advantage.

"Local News," Jacksonville Post, November 9, 1912, page 3

John Walker Likes Prison Cell.
    John Walker likes his prison cell and has voluntarily returned to it after being released on probation. John says it is better to be sure of "three squares" and a bed than to be looking for work.
    Walker was recently convicted of raising a check and released on probation. For three days he tried to find work and then returned to the county seat, asking the sheriff to lock him up. He is now doing odd jobs about the courthouse.
Jacksonville Post, April 12, 1913, page 3

    The inmates of the county jail held a "kangaroo court" Wednesday. One of the inmates was charged with stealing two eggs, but on trial was acquitted, having proved an alibi. Jailer Stub Wilson was the principal witness.
    Sheriff Singler served a special Easter dinner to the prisoners in the county jail Sunday, and Monday he received a letter of thanks signed by the seven inmates of the bastille, in which they expressed their appreciation of his kindness.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, April 18, 1914, page 3

    J. C. Devereaux, held in the county jail under an indeterminate sentence of from two to 20 years for forgery, was taken to the state prison at Salem Thursday. Devereaux since his incarceration has sold magazine articles to Munsey's, the Review of Reviews and the Literary Digest, and during his prison term expects to be able to continue his literary work. Most of the articles he has sold have first passed through the hands of Circuit Judge F. M. Calkins for criticism. Practically all of his time in jail is spent writing, a typewriter being one of his luxuries.
    Devereaux is a young man, and before he landed in the county jail engaged in varied pursuits. Friends will ask the prison authorities to give him a chance to follow literary bent during his prison term. The sentenced man is also a poet.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 12, 1915, page 1

    Two prisoners, George Botts and Louis Lavinne, confined in the county jail on a charge of shooting at a brakeman on the S.P. railroad while stealing a ride on a freight train, made an attempt to escape Saturday evening, in which Botts got clear away and has not been heard of since, and Lavinne broke his leg and now is in a hospital at Medford. The break for liberty was made while the jailer, who is a new man in the position, was away at supper. The prisoners, being left outside the cells in the jail corridors, ascended to the top of the upper tier of cells, and with a couple of old knives and a jimmy cut a hole through the roof and escaped to the top of the building. Botts jumped first, alighting on the top of a low building alongside, and Lavinne, frightened by the appearance of a passerby, jumped off farther along the roof, landing on the cement walk and breaking his thigh. He was found about 6:30 and taken to Medford, where aid was given. Botts is still at large, although efforts have been made by the sheriff to locate him.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, January 13, 1917, page 3

Charles H. Basye Succumbed to Wounds Inflicted by Prisoner J. L. Ragsdale
in His Jail Break, Who Committed Suicide When Surrounded in Brush by Sheriff's Posse.

    On a marble slab piled high with roses and wildflowers, tokens from mourning friends of several decades' duration, reposed Wednesday afternoon in Perl's undertaking parlors the remains of Charles H. Basye, the Jackson County jailer, who died late Tuesday afternoon from a series of ghastly wounds inflicted with an old-fashioned 5-pound clothes ironer, in the hands of J. L. Ragsdale, the convicted prisoner, for whom Basye was endeavoring to perform a kindly office in telephoning Ragsdale's family when struck down by his prisoner.
    On another slab, less than four feet distant, the body of J. L. Ragsdale, of Lake Creek, the murderer, beshaven of his long Tolstoian beard, and wearing only his blond mustache for facial adornment, rests. Ragsdale committed suicide late Tuesday afternoon, while being surrounded by Sheriff Jennings at the head of a posse of 10, and by five squads detailed from I Company. Ragsdale is believed to have been 53 years of age.
No Inquest Held.
    It is not accurately known yet whether Basye or Ragsdale died first. It will not be necessary to hold an inquest over the remains of either man, declares undertaker Perl.
    Ragsdale killed himself with a bullet from a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver stolen from jailer Basye, which entered the right temple, passed almost directly through the brain, and came out at the left temple. The wound is a particularly clean one. The revolver had evidently been held close to the head when fired. Undertaker Perl is awaiting instructions from Mrs. Ragsdale as to funeral arrangements for the body of the man to whom she had borne a large family of children, and against whom she only recently brought suit for divorce. Ragsdale soon was to have begun a 20 years' sentence at Salem penitentiary for criminal assault on Bessie Downing, his stepdaughter, for which he had just been sentenced.
Gruesome Wounds.
    Basye's wounds, ghastly and gruesome, consist of seven separate gashes [illegible] on left forehead, one deep cut above right ear, the skull crushed in above right eye, four separate cuts at point where skull crushed in, and one and a half inches above right eye, skull again crushed in.
    The flat iron with which Basye was killed was without a handle, and had been used by prisoners for the purpose of pressing their clothes. Ragsdale must have "clubbed" or "palmed" the article while attacking the jailer.
Blacksmith by Trade.
    Basye, who was a blacksmith by trade, had resided in Jackson County since 1862, and in Jacksonville since 1894. His precise age is not known, but it is believed he was near 60. He is survived by two daughters--Cora, a nurse in Willamette sanitarium, Salem, and Zepha, of Portland, a brother, Luch Basye, of Applegate, and a sister, Mrs. James Cook, Applegate.
    Basye was a member of the Jacksonville lodge of Odd Fellows and the Yreka, Cal., aerie of Eagles. Funeral services will be held on Sunday and will be in charge of the Odd Fellows, and interment will be at Missouri Flat Cemetery, where the services will be held at the grove [sic] at 2 o'clock. The funeral party will leave Perl's chapel at 12 o'clock noon. Rev. Badger of Murphy, Ore., will preach at the grove service.
Rippey Gives Alarm.
    The first alarm concerning the jail break was given by Bert Rippey, a prisoner who called through his cell window. Employees of the courthouse rushed to the jail and found Basye lying in a pool of blood. County Recorder Florey and Carl Newbury jumped into an auto and started down the road to Medford in pursuit, armed with a .30-30 rifle. J. A. Norris, courthouse janitor, also started, armed with an automatic revolver. W. J. Kauffman of Forest Creek, who saw the escaping prisoners, directed the pursuers. A band of small boys, Archie Rock, Angus Walsh, Rulard Hartman and Clyde Walsh, followed the escaping prisoners, and directed Newbury and Florey to them as they were crossing a field into the brush on Jackson Creek. Newbury stopped the car so suddenly that it threw Florey out. He fell upon his head and did not recover consciousness until late Tuesday evening, but is on the road to recovery today.
Oehler Returned to Jail.
    Newbury covered one of the prisoners, who proved to be Irving Oehler, the convicted forger, who promptly surrendered. He claimed he had been forced at the point of a gun to accompany Ragsdale. Oehler was returned to the jail with Norris, while Deputy Sheriff Leslie Stansell and Sheriff Jennings summoned a posse and went in pursuit. Ragsdale's body was found in the brush near where he disappeared.
    Both Oehler and Ragsdale had attempted suicide ten days before, the former by poison and the latter by cutting his wrists.
    The authorities are of the opinion that it was J. L. Ragsdale's intention to break jail, force Irving Oehler to drive him to his home in Lake Creek, and there kill the members of his family and himself. There is abundant evidence of this intention. Ragsdale had repeatedly threatened to kill his family, and it was largely because of fear for their lives that led to his initial arrest on an insanity charge.
    It is also known that when Ragsdale returned to jail he told the jailer that there was only one thing he wanted before being taken to Salem and that was to see his family again. He repeated this request several times, and it is believed that it was his entreaty to be allowed to speak to his family over the telephone that led to the tragedy.
    Ragsdale leaves a family of seven children of his own, six boys and one girl, and his stepchild, Bessie Ragsdale, who was the complaining witness in his recent trial. The children include Thomas, 16 years old, the eldest, Tyranabo, named after an Alaskan Indian chief, Marvin, Raymond, Nannie, Wallace and Rodney. Rodney, the youngest, is three years old.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 13, 1917, page 6

Crushes Skull of Jailer with Flatiron, Commits Suicide When Overtaken.
    One of the most sensational and tragic jail breaks in the history of Jackson County occurred Tuesday afternoon when J. L. Ragsdale, a Lake Creek rancher, smashed the skull of jailer Basye with a flatiron and, after securing the gun of the officer, left the jail in company with another prisoner, named Oehler, walked out of the jail door and started down Fifth Street toward Medford, when a couple of blocks from the jail they took to the brush along Jackson Creek and when overtaken were opposite the Elmer house, some five or six blocks from the jail.
    The alarm was given by Rippey, a prisoner in the jail, who secured the attention of the employees in the clerk's office, and an investigation revealed the body of the jailer lying in a pool of blood on the floor of the jail. Carl Newbury and Chauncey Florey jumped into a car belonging to Gus Newbury, and having been told by a bystander that "two men came out of the jail and went down the street," started in pursuit. When near the junction of Blockstone Alley with Fifth Street the car was hailed by some boys pointing across the creek to the northwest, where one of the escaping men was visible. In attempting to get out of the car while it was in motion Mr. Florey was thrown to the ground, where he lay in an unconscious condition. Young Newbury, however, promptly covered the man Oehler with his gun and held him until reinforced by Alex Norris, who came up at that moment. Ragsdale not being in sight, Oehler was returned to the jail, and a posse from the town went to the scene of the arrest, where the dead body of Ragsdale was found, a bullet hole in his head and the revolver of the jailer in his hand.
    Chauncey Florey was picked up after the arrest of Oehler and taken to the Norris home nearby, where he remained in an unconscious condition until about 10 o'clock p.m., when he recovered consciousness seemingly not much worse for the unfortunate tumble.
    The escape was made about 2 o'clock, while the circuit court was in session in the courthouse not more than 100 feet from the jail, people going in and out of the grounds in full sight of the jail door, and but one man saw the prisoners come out; no one, it seems heard any struggle or disturbance in the jail; it was worked almost too smooth for a one-man job.
    Mr. Basye, who died at 3 o'clock Tuesday afternoon, was a resident of this city and had been jailer since about January 1st and seemed to be pursued by bad luck from the very beginning of his term in that position. About three days after his assuming charge of the jail a successful attempt to escape was made by two men, Botts and Lavinne, in which Botts got away and has not been found. About ten days ago two attempts at suicide were made by inmates of the jail, and now the tragedy which resulted in his murder. Chas. H. Basye had been a resident of Southern Oregon for many years and was well-known to many citizens of Jackson County, who will be greatly saddened to hear of his untimely end. He leaves two grown daughters.
    Ragsdale, the slayer of jailer Basye, [who] was convicted in the circuit court of criminal assault upon his stepdaughter and had just been sentenced to a twenty-year term in the state penitentiary and would have been taken to Salem Wednesday, was of a violent and vindictive disposition, and it is thought that the attack on the jailer was prompted by a desire to get even with Mr. Basye for some fancied injury, whether real or not. Several persons who observed Ragsdale closely during his trial and also at the time sentence was imposed upon him declare that he showed strong signs of homicidal mania, which later developments have proven true.
    Oehler, the man who accompanied Ragsdale in his spectacular escape from the jail, denies any participation in the assault on jailer Basye and declares that he was released from his cell by Ragsdale after the latter had killed the jailer, and with a gun at his head was commanded by Ragsdale to accompany him in the flight. This version may nor may not be true.
Jacksonville Post, June 16, 1917, page 1

    An attempted jail break was frustrated by Sheriff Jennings Tuesday night. One of the prisoners picked the lock on the corridor, and the three men, Walters, Alden and Perkins, walked out into the corridor, where they were confronted by the sheriff and one of his deputies, who promptly returned them to their cells.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, August 4, 1917, page 3

    The first county jail escape under the administration of Sheriff Chas. Terrell took place sometime last night and was not discovered until this morning. The erstwhile prisoner who escaped is Joe Martin of Ashland who was held on $3,000 bail on the charge of criminal assault on a young Ashland girl. The sheriff and deputies are scouring the country for him today and the police of all surrounding towns were notified by telephone or telegraph to look out for the escaped man.
    Martin made his escape by sawing off one of the one-half-inch bars across the skylight of the jail corridor with an old case knife, crawling through the skylight and letting himself down to the ground by means of a rope improvised by cutting his bedding into strips. He was not locked in his cell last night and had the freedom of the corridor. By piling up tables beneath the skylight he was able to reach the latter and saw the bar off.
    During the time of Ralph Jennings as sheriff the county jail was thought to have been made reasonably escape proof, but Martin’s absence exposed this fallacy, and hereafter all prisoners will be locked in cells for the night. Martin is thought to be speeding south on a freight train.
    He is 23 years old, a Slavonian in nationality, 5 feet and 9 or 10 inches in height, dark complexion and smooth shaven. He took with him from the jail his bundle of clothes, and is supposed to be wearing a gray and brown mackinaw, gray trousers, high-topped shoes and a black hat. He also had a blue serge suit and $20 in money.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 4, 1919, page 2

    Willis E. Carter, the Los Angeles auto thief and alleged desperate character who was captured at Roseburg last Thursday with a stolen California car valued at $5,400, and was brought here Saturday to answer to the charge of breaking into the Medford service station, in an attempt to break out of the county jail last night met with the surprise of his life.
    A broken skylight in the county jail roof at Jacksonville through which a prisoner escaped last fall has never been repaired. Carter, who with other prisoners was in the jail corridor about 8 o'clock last night, started to escape by placing a chair on the table and mounting to the skylight, over which there were iron bars. The first attempt to squeeze through the bars was unsuccessful and the prisoner came down again and discarded his heavy sweater and shirt. Then on the second attempt he squeezed through and lay flat on the roof.
    In the meantime Sheriff Terrell had learned in some manner of the attempt to escape.
    Hence when Carter raised his head to peer to the ground he was much surprised to see a number of armed deputy sheriffs with rifles scattered throughout the jail yard, and each pointing his weapon at him, ready to shoot should he make a move to come down the jail roof.
    About the same time he heard Sheriff Terrell entering the jail and was commanded to get down quickly, which Carter did. "I was out in the yard when Carter stuck up his head," said Sheriff Terrell today, "and as I did not want to see him killed, for the boys would have shot if he had made a move to come down, I hurried inside and made him come down."
    The sheriff has a difficult job on his hands keeping this young man in jail. Carter declares he will escape if he can and yet will outwit his jailers. It was his second attempt. to escape. Last Saturday night he had only been confined in jail an hour when he repeated his Roseburg jail trick of tearing iron strips off his cell bed with which he either forced the cell door or picked the door lock and gained access to the corridor, where he was discovered before he could make another move.
    "You can't win unless you take a chance," said Carter in an interview today. "If you can't win you might as well quit." The prisoner was in a jovial mood and laughingly discussed with the sheriff and a reporter his frustrated plan to escape.
    "Why those fellows in the yard nearly fell over themselves in getting into position to shoot at me," he said, "and I quickly started to crawl back down through the skylight into the jail, when the sheriff appeared below me with his gun pointed at me. There I was between the devil and the deep sea. I was mighty glad to come down into the jail again."
    Carter was arraigned in Justice Taylor's court this noon but the arraignment was continued over until Wednesday afternoon because Prosecutor Roberts desired to have Chief of Police Shambrook of Roseburg subpoenaed as a witness. In the meantime the prisoner is held in $1,500 preliminary bail.
    In the informal discussion with Prosecutor Roberts of his case Carter showed exceptional shrewdness and familiarity with the criminal laws, especially of California. Prosecutor Roberts is undecided yet whether to hold him to answer to the Medford charge against him, or give him up to the Los Angeles police, who are expected to arrive here tomorrow, to be prosecuted in that city on the various charges against him. The prosecutor feels that he has a sure case against Carter here, and will not probably give him up unless he is convinced that the Los Angeles police have a sure case.
    It is no doubt fortunate in more ways than one that Carter's attempted escape last night was frustrated, as with his leg shattered by a Los Angeles policeman's bullet five weeks ago, if he had dropped from the jail roof to the ground he would have doubtless been seriously crippled. His nerve and daring are remarkable. Carter claims to be but 19 years old.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 2, 1919, page 8

Attempt of Inmate of County Jail To Gain Liberty
Stopped When Sheriff Appears on Scene.

    One of the most daring daylight jailbreaks known in Jackson County was attempted Monday evening at the county jail in this city.
    W. E. Carter, wanted at Los Angeles for
stealing an automobile, arrested at Roseburg last week and brought back here to answer for a burglary charge at Medford, had been permitted the freedom of the jail corridor to get some exercise, and when the jailer stepped out he quickly ascended to the top of the jail, where a hole used by a former inmate to make his escape had been unrepaired. He was ready to make his getaway when he discovered the presence of enemy guns. At the command to get back into his hole he quickly did so, and then found Sheriff Terrill awaiting him with a young cannon in working condition.
    This was the second attempt made by this man, the other being discovered in ample time also. The fellow is full of confidence in his ability to make his escape, but is at present located in the old "polly" cage, from where no one has ever been able to get out.
    He has told his jailers many stories of former depredations and promises them a lively time keeping watch over him.
Jacksonville Post,
September 6, 1919, page 1

Small Blaze in County Bastille
    An alarm shouted by prisoners confined in the county jail Sunday evening apprised passersby that fire had broken out in the attic of that structure. The alarm was quickly responded to and the blaze extinguished before any material damage was done to the building. The fire started by a defective joint in the stove pipe where it enters the roof. Owing to chilly weather a brisk fire had been started in the heater, and flames escaping this aperture in the pipe ignited the rafters. As the jail building is constructed mainly of cement and steel and is practically indestructible, but little apprehension as to their personal safety was manifested by the prisoners, who showed their unconcern, after giving the alarm, by resuming an interrupted card game, which continued while the fire was being extinguished.
    Damage caused by the fire is very slight, and repair work on the building is now under way.

Jacksonville Post,
September 18, 1920, page 1

Carroll Denies Stories

    To the editor: Referring to different statements which have appeared in your paper in the past fifteen days relative to my activities in the valley, the following are false and should be corrected:
    "Carroll refused to return without extradition papers." This is absolutely fake, as I was willing at all times to return as soon as requested. "Carroll while posing in this city and Ashland as the prospective purchaser for $50,000 of the Johnson jewelry store at Ashland made the acquaintance of a school teacher, employed in the rural districts, and according to the police told wonderful tales of his wealth and importance in the business world. His father he said was the leading diamond merchant of Antwerp, Holland [sic]. The school ma'am fell for his line. While testing out the Buick automobile Carroll took the teacher on an auto ride, one day, and running out of funds for refreshments, stopped at the Austin Hotel in Ashland and presented a check for $50. The clerk told Carroll he would have to have someone identify him, and he called the school teacher from the new Buick and told the clerk this 'young lady will identify me.' The young lady said, 'Yes, I know Mr. Carroll, he is all right, he is going to buy Mr. Johnson's jewelry store.' Whereupon she wrote her name on the back of the check in blissful confidence."
    First, I never at any time posed as a prospective purchaser of any jewelry store. Second, I have never represented myself as a son of a diamond merchant in Antwerp, Holland, or any other city. Third, I never presented any check in the Austin Hotel in Ashland for $50 or any sum requesting endorsement by aforementioned school teacher, and she never was required to make good any such check. In fact, I have never been in the Hotel Austin with the school ma'am.
    Feeling that an injustice has been done me by the publication in local papers of statements that were untrue, pertaining to my case, I wish to say that should any further untrue statements appear in any paper, I will feel justified in publishing all the true facts pertaining to my case.
(Signed) A. R. CARROLL.
    Care County Jail, Jacksonville, Ore.
    Note: The facts disputed were given a report of this paper by police officials.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 5, 1921, page 4

    Arnold R. Carroll, a jewelry salesman in the county jail, awaiting action of the grand jury that convenes next Monday on a charge of having defrauded the Medford Auto Company of this city in the purchase of a Buick auto, has gone on a hunger strike, and has not eaten for five days, according to Sheriff C. E. Terrill.
    According to the authorities, Carroll refuses food because he does not want to go to prison, and prefers death to a cell.
    "I told Carroll today that he better get some grub into himself," said Sheriff Terrill, "and he told me he was never going to eat until he was a free man. I told him, 'All right,' and that I could stand it as long as he could. He don't want to eat, because he don't want to go to Salem. He ought to be fairly empty now."
    The sheriff says Carroll spends most of his time lying on his cot in his cell, and does not report for meals, but thinks fellow prisoners give him food. Some of the authorities think the attempt is half-hearted, and a theatrical attempt to arouse sympathy.
    At the present time a chiropractor at Los Angeles, sentenced to 90 days, is on a hunger strike, and it is surmised that Carroll got his idea from reading newspaper accounts of the incident.
    Carroll is a young man, who says his people live in Virginia and are well to do. About the middle of January he negotiated for a car with the Medford Auto Company, and proffered a check on the Ladd and Tilton Bank of Portland for $1800, and gave his note for the balance. He took the car on a plea he wanted to make a trip to Ashland, and when next seen two weeks later was in California. The day the check was issued, a telegram from the Portland bank said the check was no good, and an all-night march for Carroll was made without avail.
    He was brought back from California, and when arraigned in Justice of the Peace Taylor's court, was bound over to the grand jury, and announced that he would have two lawyers from Portland to defend him.
    Later, from the county jail, Carroll issued a statement denying police versions of his escapades.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 15, 1921, page 6

    Arnold R. Carroll, held in the county jail for grand jury action on the charge of stealing a Buick auto from the Medford Auto Company, entered the seventh day of his hunger strike this morning, and according to Sheriff Terrill has gone on a "silent strike," refusing to talk to anyone. Sheriff Terrill says Carroll does not look like he was missing any meals, but knows of three that he skipped. His prison mates say that he is living up to the precepts of his vow: "not to eat until he is out of jail."
    According to the authorities, Carroll started his "hunger strike" immediately after the papers published the story that a Los Angeles corn doctor was using the same scheme. The sheriff urges Carroll to eat, but does not insist, upon the grounds that he can stand it as long as Carroll can.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 17, 1921, page 6

    Arnold R. Carroll, held in the county jail for auto theft, and who went on a hunger strike a week ago, relented Thursday night and ate a ham sandwich, according to County Physician Holt, who visited the youth in his cell and talked to him and examined his physical condition. Carroll is kept in a cell by himself, and has started to weaken in his threat "to die before going to prison." His fellow prisoners have also endeavored to talk him out of his starving campaign.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 18, 1921, page 2

    Jackson County jail, at the present moment, numbers among its inmates a literary gent of exceptional ability. If you don't believe it, read the following effusion from the gifted pen of Jack O'Donovan. Poetry is easy for Jack. Given plenty of writing material and a certain latitude in treating his subject and he will tear off anything from a rippling couplet to 97 cantos of heavy blank verse at a moment's notice. Jack announces his return to the hoosegow thusly:

Again in Jail I Lay

Once more a commitment has been passed;
Once more in jail I lay.
June 22nd these lines are cast,
As my timely pencil I betray,
And now a few do shout, "Hurray!"
They gave me a debt to pay;
And thanks they give, as well they may;
While in Jacksonville jail again I lay.

I hear the R.R.V.Ry. going past--
I see the lawn spray's scattered spray;
Where'er I turn, iron bars are massed,
The inmates a card game start to play,
For well they may sing and be gay,
They have learned what it is to be free.
June 22nd I write this lay,
As again in jail I am to be.

What awful luck and how vast
Does the law threaten with its sway,
And with what fear we stand aghast
As we see ourselves that monster's prey.
How calm the future we survey,
They have us whom their hearts have craved.
And so, June 22nd I say
Again in jail I am to lay.
                                                                  J. R. O'D.
"Behind the Bars," Jacksonville Post, June 25, 1921, page 1


My sympathy, I'd have you heed,
Is with a gentleman who's in need;
Who hastened, with the best intent,
To catch a convict with a finger-print.
He scratched his head and took a notion
To pass his trick of locomotion.
Then, think of his imagination,
When he has no combination.
His features will have a look of pain.
He'll try once more--he'll try again.
Hoping to make up a case
He'll try and try to win the race.
But in the end, with piteous raving,
He'll lose the case he thinks he's gaining.

'Tis thus with me, I will admit,
The finger-print part will never fit.
But, with all truth, I am telling
I am a whiz at good guessing.
I never holler, balk or squeal
At an amateur's finger-print spiel.
I never pause or bat an eye,
But watch this snob with head so high,
And if I had a son with no more sense,
I'd shoot him sure, in self-defense;
It's a sure sign he has no sense
And no print for evidence.
He's trying to show the public he is smart,
But only shows the ignoramus part.

And so it is at times like these
That finger-print snobs need sympathies.
His brain and nerves in wild confusion
Must be victims of base collusion.
He's not filled with righteous indignation
To try to start a finger-print dictation.
It seems to me, at such a time,
To smash such snobs is not a crime.
He sure doesn't know he's living or dead
With all those finger-prints in his head.
                                                               J. R. O'D.
"Behind the Bars," Jacksonville Post, July 2, 1921, page 1


The miser thinks he's living when he's hoarding up his gold,
The soldier thinks it living when he's doing something bold,
The sailor thinks it living to be tossed upon the sea,
And upon this very subject no two men of us agree.
But I hold to the opinion, as I walk my way along,
That living's made of laughter and good fellowship and song.

I wouldn't call it living to be always seeking gold,
To bank all the pleasant gladness for the days when I'll be old.
I wouldn't call it living to spend all my strength for fame,
And forgo the many pleasures which today are mine to claim.
I wouldn't for the splendor of the world set out to roam,
And forsake my laughing children and the peace I know at home.

Oh! the thing that I call living isn't gold or fame at all,
It's fellowship and sunshine and it's roses by the wall;
It's evenings glad with music and a hearth fire that's ablaze,
And the joys which come to mortals in a thousand different ways.
It is laughter and contentment and the struggle for a goal--
It is everything that's needful in the shaping of a soul.
                                                                                J. R. O'D.
"Behind the Bars," Jacksonville Post, July 2, 1921, page 1

    Prisoners in the Jackson County jail have compiled a new set of rules and regulations for observance by the inmates, which will be strictly adhered to in the future, with the sanction of the sheriff and the county court. The rules govern the properties and niceties of serving a jail term, and are enforced by Peter Strauff, sentenced to five years in state prison at Salem for attempted burglary of the Gold Hill bank now awaiting an appeal to the supreme court. The rules are as follows:
    The first one is for the offense of getting into jail, punishable by four hours in the "polly cage." This may be met by a fine. Commercialism is shown in this regulation, for newcomers have money, as a rule.
    For spitting on the floor, through the window, or in the stove, the offender has to wash the dishes and dishrags one day, and for the second offense, he does it for one week.
    For throwing cigarettes, matches, papers, etc., any place but in the stove, the sentence is sweep the floor for two days for the first offense, and a week for doing it a second time.
    Using indecent language, "that can be heard outside," is punishable by from one day to a week in the "polly cell."
    For not taking a bath at least twice a week, non-bather must first wash himself, and then the dishrags. The second offense he is shoved under a cold shower, and for the third offense his fellow cellmates do it for him whenever the notion hits them.
    The glutton is punished severely. The first time he "takes more than his share of the grub, he shall not help himself for four days, and if he does it again he shall never help himself again."
    "For picking up anything that does not belong to him," one to five days washing dishrags is the penalty.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 13, 1921, page 5

    Philip Forrester, one of the most daring criminals on the Pacific Coast, who escaped from the county jail last winter by hitting jailer Moses over the head with a stick of wood, was brought back from Seattle last night by Sheriff C. E. Terrill, to answer to a charge of attempted murder. He was first arrested for endeavoring to pass a forged check upon John Goodrich of The Toggery. Forrester gave the sheriff no trouble on the way south, but he was heavily handcuffed. Jailer Moses accompanied the party.
    Forrester told the story of his escape last winter, and revealed the heretofore unknown information that in his flight from Jacksonville, a bullet fired by jailer Moses nipped him in the muscles of the right leg, causing him to bleed freely. He rode the blind baggage to Sacramento, Calif., and traveled into Eastern Oregon by way of Nevada, and roamed around the Northwest until captured by the Seattle police.
    While in jail awaiting the arrival of Sheriff Terrill a jailbreak was engineered by prisoners wanted for bank robbery in Portland, in which Forrester came within an ace of again flying the coop. With the bank bandits Forrester climbed to an areaway. One of the fugitives picked an Oregon boot with a hairpin. He dropped the heavy boot, which hit Forrester on the shoulder, and knocked him back into jail.
    On the way back Sheriff Terrill lodged Forrester in the Douglas County jail at Roseburg for a short stay.
    Coming through Centralia, Wash., Sheriff Terrill and Forrester saw a man on the depot platform that tallied with Dr. Brumfield, the dentist, wanted for the sensational murder of a homesteader last week. As soon as the Roseburg reporters showed them a picture of the missing man, they identified him as the one they had seen at Centralia. It was in this town that Roy Gordiner, mail sack robber, was captured, after a thrilling escape.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 20, 1921, page 5

    Although government officers have been vigorously at work for some the past, in addition to the investigation being made by county officials, ferreting out the identity of the masked bands of men who carried out the J. F. Hale and Arthur Burr kidnapping and bluff hanging incidents, and much progress has been made to this end by the federal secret service men, no arrests have yet been made. It is claimed however that they may be expected in the not distant future
    J. F. Hale has left the city and gone to Portland, and Burr, the colored man, has never had the nerve to come back to the city and resume his residence in Medford after his thrilling experience with the kidnappers the night of March 14 up on the Siskiyous. They warned him then that he would meet with death if he ever returned.
    There are all sorts of rumors afloat and not a little guesswork, which are impossible of verification in view of the close-mouthed attitude of the investigating officers. The Medford public is wondering what will be next heard of in the line of mob incidents.
    It developed yesterday that it was not county jailer Bert Moses why hailed the passing auto in which were two men and asked them to give Burr a ride to Medford, but Alec Norris of Jacksonville, former well-known county jailer and janitor of the court house for years.
    Jailer Moses had just released Burr on the evening of March 14th, as his 10 days' sentence had expired, and Burr was walking across the county jail lawn to the street, when Norris passed through the jail yard on a crosscut to his home. Norris, knowing that Burr's time was up and that he was about to go to Medford, shouted to the passing auto and asked its occupants if they would give him a ride to Medford. Surely they would, and the unsuspecting colored man climbed in the car.
    It was dark at that time and neither Norris nor Moses who stood with him idly watching the departing auto paid any attention to the two men and don't know what they looked like. They attached no significance, whatever, to the incident. It had been the custom of Norris while he was county jailer to often hail passing autos to give returning prisoners to Medford.
    The two men in the passing auto, containing the two kidnappers, may have been riding back and forth in front of the county jail since 5 p.m. awaiting Burr's coming out to go to Medford, but no one has knowledge to such effect, nor was such car noticed. Anyhow, this particular car was on the job at the psychological moment as Burr was departing from the jail yard. Jailer Moses says that a number of cars passed right after the car which took Burr in, as he and Norris stood talking in the jail yard.
    However, no one could have definite knowledge as to the time Burr would leave the county jail, except Burr himself. Jailer Moses did not even know. Burr's time was up at 5 p.m., and when Moses spoke to him then about it Burr declared that he would not go until 7 p.m., as he wanted to stay until a checker game with prisoners was finished. He had told fellow prisoners he intended to go on the late night train to "Little Frisco," meaning Weed, Calif.
    Moses left the county jail on learning that Burr did not care to be let out until 7 o'clock, and on his return from some errands at 6:30 Burr remarked that he wanted to go then. He took his bundle, Moses let him out of the jail and the erstwhile prisoner was departing as Moses was locking the jail corridor door again.

Medford Mail Tribune, April 3, 1922, page 3

    An attempted jail break from the county jail last Saturday night on the part of "Bob" McClintock, 25 years old, a prisoner awaiting arraignment, was unsuccessful and only resulted in E. D. Collins, county jailer, suffering two bad bruises on the head at the hands of McClintock, who wielded a club made out of iron pipe. The jail attempt was frustrated by the courage and fighting spirit of jailer Collins.
    The attempt was made about 8:30 o'clock by McClintock, who early last week stole Earl Webber's car in Medford, it is charged, and was last Friday arrested at Coquille, Oregon, by the authorities there, was then brought to Medford by Sheriff Terrill, and is awaiting arraignment in court when County Prosecutor Moore returns from his vacation. Little is known of McClintock, who is a stranger here and claims to have a wife in Eugene.
    It seems that McClintock was determined to escape and to that end wrenched a piece of pipe loose from the toilet of the jail, which he wrapped in cloth to form a bludgeon for attack. With this weapon he entered the jail lobby Saturday night to get a change of clothing, which he kept there, and when jailer Collins' back was turned he struck him on the back of the head with the pipe and then dealt him a hard blow on the forehead. The dazed jailer was game, however, and immediately grappling with the prisoner, was able to wrest the weapon from him and finally force him back to his cell and lock him up there.
    Collins then notified deputy sheriffs George D. Alden and L. D. Forncrook, who are in charge of the sheriff's office while that official is on a hunting trip, and his wounds, which consisted of bad lacerations on the forehead and back of the head, were dressed. He remained on duty as usual while McClintock is kept locked in the emergency cell and is being fed bread and water.
    When he is arraigned a charge of attempting to escape from jail will be entered against him in addition to that of auto stealing, to which charge he is said to have confessed.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 4, 1922, page 1

Breaking Through Roof, Four Prisoners Make Getaway from County Bastille in Early Morning--Fugitives Reported Cornered on Umpqua River Near Roseburg.

    Four prisoners in the county jail at Jacksonville escaped sometime last night, by the use of a stick of wood and a case knife. They punched a hole in the roof and lowered themselves to the ground by tying their bedding together to make a rope. According to a telephone message from Roseburg this noon, the fugitives are cornered on the banks of the Umpqua River near that city.
    The escapees are Vern Norris, held for auto stealing, Henry Zangerly, held for larceny, and Bob Black and Eugene Dixon, charged with stealing an auto at Grants Pass. Three of the departed ones are alleged to be auto thieves and returned to that form of crime when free. They stole a car from in front of the Dow Hospital and proceeded north.
    The jailbreak revealed a heretofore unknown fact. Sheriff Terrill's bloodhound trailed the fugitives from Jacksonville to this city, where the trail was lost. Nobody was aware before that the sheriff had a bloodhound. The critter was well tuckered out from strenuous work in the Siskiyous, working on the mail robbery tracks. Sheriff Terrill said this noon, "I can kick out of that jail myself. I never knew the roof was so weak."
    This is the fourth or fifth escape from the county jail in the last four years, the roof exit only being used once before. In the last attempt, the prisoner hit jailer Ed Collins over the head with a window weight. For his pains, Collins arose and gave him a good licking.
    The most popular method has been to hit the jailer over the head with a stick of wood, three escapes in the past being engineered by this process.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 15, 1923, page 1

Three Men Who Broke Jail at Jacksonville Elude Officers on Parrot Hill
Chevrolet Coupe Belonging to Medford Girl Abandoned on Hill Just South of Town--
Was Run on Rim

    The officers today had a thrilling and wet search all over Parrott Hill, southwest of the city, in an effort to recapture three of the four young men who broke jail at Jacksonville last night. The three boys reached Roseburg early this morning in a Chevrolet coupe, the property of Miss Lenore Patton, 704 Central Avenue, Medford. They drove the car to a point a few miles south of Roseburg, where one of the tires blew out. They threw away the tire and casing and drove to a place a short distance south of the dam on the rim. At the foot of the hill leading into Roseburg, the car ran out of gasoline and was abandoned. The men pushed the car into the ditch and then went down to the Myrtles, where they spent a short time.
    A man residing near where the car was abandoned saw the men push the machine off the highway into the ditch and became suspicious and came to town and notified the sheriff.
    The three men went up on the slope of Parrott Hill, where they tried to build a fire with wet wood. The man, after reporting to the sheriff, went back home and saw the smoke from their blaze and investigated. He crept up near their camp and says that one of the three appears to be sick and was lying on the ground shaking.
    The officers were notified, but when they approached the young fellows broke and ran, scattering into the brush.
    The officers trailed them for several hours through the wet brush but failed to locate them and finally had to give up the search.
    Four men broke jail at Jacksonville last night, and the three seen here answer the descriptions perfectly. The ones who drove the stolen car to Roseburg are believed to be Harry Vangerly, Vernon Norris and Bob Black. Their descriptions are as follows:
    Harry Vangerly, age 19, height 5 feet 3 inches; weight 119 pounds; dark hair, hazel eyes, dark complexion.
    Vernon T. Norris, age 19, 5 feet 9 inches, weight 135 pounds; light brown hair, blue eyes, medium complexion, dimpled face.
    Bob Black, aged 22, height 5 feet 8 inches; weight 145 pounds; brown hair, blue eyes, dark complexion, scar near right eye.
    The fourth prisoner who broke jail was Eugene Dixon, aged 19, height 6 feet, weight 165 pounds; brown hair combed straight back hazel eyes medium complexion.
Roseburg News-Review, October 15, 1923, page 5

    The four prisoners in the county jail, who escaped from the bastille Monday morning by punching a hole in the roof with a stick of wood, aided by a case knife, were corralled on Parrot Hill near Roseburg for a while Monday noon, escaped and hithered away, the authorities know not where.
    The fugitives, who stole Miss Lenore Patton's Chevrolet from in front of the Dow hospital on North Central Zvenue, were making good time northbound, when a hind tire collapsed near Myrtle Creek. They drove a short distance on the rim and then pushed the car down an embankment, wrecking it. This looked suspicious to a farmer, who phoned the sheriff of Douglas County.
    The four men went up the slope of Parrot Hill, and tried to build a fire with wet wood. This created a heavy smudge, and attracted the attention Oof other residents of the vicinity. One of the farmers thus aroused crept up close and discovered one of the young men, rolling on the ground from the stomachache. His companions were endeavoring to heat some water to relieve his internal trouble, it developed from the conversation overheard.
    By this time the sheriff and assistants had arrived, and when they sprang from ambush on the party, all broke and ran and scattered through the brush. The officers gave chase. It was rainy, and the brush was damp. The net result of the day was a well-soaked posse.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 16, 1923, page 1

    According to a telegram received this afternoon by the Mail Tribune from the Eugene Guard of Eugene, two men, Robert Black, 22, and Eugene Dixon, 19, are held in, the Lane County jail, as escapees from the county jail at Jacksonville last Monday morning. These are the names of two of the quartet who broke out of the local bastille by punching a hole in the roof with a stick of wood. They stole and wrecked a Chevrolet car belonging to Loretta Patton from in front of Dow's hospital on North Central Avenue, as an aid in their flight.
    The pair held in Eugene are believed to have robbed a country store near Eugene Wednesday night, and when arrested were wearing new leather coats and shoes. They are also suspected of having stolen a Ford car at Wilbur and another one at Drain, Oregon, which they abandoned near Veneta, Oregon, making a total of three autos taken by the fugitives since their escape.
    The pair deny, the message says, that they escaped from the Jacksonville jail.
    The jailbreakers were trailed from the county seat to this city a few hours after the escape, by Sheriff Terrill's little-known bloodhound "Rover." Monday noon the fugitives were cornered near Roseburg, but escaped the sheriff. At that time, one of the escapees was suffering from the stomachache.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 19, 1923, page 1

    Two Men Taken into Custody Yesterday Near Veneta
Roach, Svarverud and Humphrey Take Pair at Camp at Edge of Swamp

    Two of the four men who escaped from the Jackson County jail at Jacksonville a few days ago are now in the Lane County jail, having been captured yesterday forenoon near Veneta by Deputy Sheriffs Rodney Roach, Van Svarverud and Earl Humphrey. They are the men seen in a Ford car in the vicinity of the Central school 12 miles west of Eugene, also at Veneta and Elmira at different times during the past few days, and who were being sought by the deputies as being the jailbreak suspects.
    The men are Eugene Kidder, 19, who was using the name of Dixon, and Robert Black, alias Robert Bull, 22.
Officers Certain of Identity
    There was no question in the minds of the officers as to the identity of the two men as they tallied exactly with the descriptions of the two escapees sent here by Sheriff Terrill of Jackson County. After having been brought to the jail Kidder admitted that they had escaped from the Jackson County jail, but Bull was silent.
    Records of the men show that both have served time in Idaho State Penitentiary for burglary. They were arrested in Jackson County a short time ago on an auto theft charge and locked up at Jacksonville. Kidder told the officers that he led the jailbreak but said he used no saws. Asked how he got out he said, "I just knocked the boards off."
    Both men told the officers that there was no third man with them out in the Veneta territory and they denied that they robbed the Franklin store night before last. Some people who saw them around Central, Veneta and Elmira say there were three men in the car while others declare there were only two. If there was a third man these two would not tell, as they would be anxious to protect him.
    While they deny it, there is no doubt in the minds of the officers that Kidder and Bull robbed the store at Wilbur and procured leather coats and shoes. Coats in their possession and shoes worn by them are exactly like those described as being stolen.
Three Cars Stolen
    The escapees stole a Ford car at Medford and abandoned it near Roseburg. They stole another one there and left it at Drain, stealing a third at that place and driving it to Eugene. The one found near where these men were arrested has been identified as being owned by Elmer Newton, of Drain.
    Kidder and Bull were seen yesterday morning by Veneta people to be emerging from a barn where they slept during the night. Special Deputy Sheriff Charles Simpson telephoned to the sheriff about 10:30 that two men whom he thought were the ones the deputies had been looking for had a camp at the edge of the swamp near town. Deputies Roach, Svarverud and Humphrey drove out in about 20 minutes and arrived just as the jailbirds were leaving their camp.
Morning Register, Eugene, October 20, 1923, page 8


    Robert Bull and Eugene Kidder, two of the quartet who escaped from the county jail on the morning of October 14th by poking a hole through the roof of the bastille with a stick of wood, have been indicted by the grand jury on a charge of larceny, to wit: the theft of a Chevrolet car belonging to Miss Patton, nurse at Dr. Dow's hospital, for use in their flight. They were in jail for the same offense.
    L. A. Neslor was indicted on a charge of pointing a gun at another.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 13, 1923, page 3

    The work of installing a heating plant at the county jail, and putting iron screens over the windows is under way. The latter improvement was recommended by four grand jury reports, before any action resulted, besides being requested regularly by Sheriff Terrill. The sheriff maintained that it was too easy to converse and pass things inside, from the outside, and others maintained the screens made it too dark in the bastille. The heating plant will be in operation in ten days or two weeks.
    The installation of the heating plant puts a quietus on a thrilling era in Jackson County prison life. Several prisoners, finding imprisonment irksome around the stove, would drop a stick of wood on the jailer's head and depart. The frequency of departure caused a close watch on the woodpile, so the incarcerated gents changed their tactics. The last batch got loose by prying off a section of the roof.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 9, 1924, page 3

    It is cheaper for Jackson County to send its prisoners to Portland and pay Multnomah County 60 cents a day for each offender than to try to look after the prisoners at home, according to County Judge Gardner of Jacksonville, who has been attending the state chamber of commerce and is now attending the sessions of the highway commission. Jackson County is not equipped to take care of prisoners serving a sentence, so it is considered more economical to ship them to Multnomah County, where they can work on the rock pile, than to establish a rock pile in Jackson County and furnish guards.
"Those Who Come and Go," Oregonian, Portland, January 9, 1924, page 8

Virginia June, Six Months Old Daughter of Ruth Brown, Companion of Milam Jones, Coos and Romps in Cell at Jacksonville.
    There is a six months old babe in the Jackson County jail the daughter of Ruth Brown, companion of Milam Jones, brother of Oregon Jones, escaped convict from the state prison at Salem. Jones is held for his alleged connection with the Blackwell Hill automobile holdup. The mother is held as the recipient of loot stolen in the holdup. Jones, the mother, and the baby were brought back a week ago from Los Angeles by Sheriff Terrill.
    The baby's name is Virginia June, and she does not cry--a healthy, happy infant.
    "What is her last name," the mother was asked, "Jones or Brown?"
    "Brown--I guess," was the smiling reply.
    "It must seem tough to have her in jail?" queried Sheriff Terrill.
    "Virginia June don't know whether she is in jail or Japan," answered the fond parent.
    There is one dread in the life of Ruth Brown. She fears some welfare society will come and take Virginia June away.
    Milam Jones will be given a preliminary hearing Thursday. Ruth Brown will appear at the same time.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 8, 1924, page 1

    Alexander Hall, 52 years old, and well-known resident of Ashland, committed suicide last Friday afternoon in the county jail at Jacksonville, following what many believe was a spell of melancholy.
    Hall, who was an inmate of the county jail, used a revolver belonging to the jailer, Robt. DeShazer, having in some manner as yet unaccounted for learned the hiding place of the weapon. He placed the muzzle of the gun to his right temple and the bullet passed entirely through his brain, struck the concrete wall of the jailer's room and glanced downward to the floor. He lived only a few minutes and efforts to revive him having failed.
    Friends of the dead man, as well as the jailer, are somewhat inclined to believe that Hall committed the act in a fit of melancholy.
Former Mate Was Near
    Hall was serving a jail sentence following conviction for the possession of liquor and had been in rather poor health for some time. Jailer DeShazer, as well as inmates of the jail, declare, however, that he was in good spirits during all of Friday and his action came as a complete surprise to them.
    When Hall pulled the trigger of the revolver that sent the leaden missile crashing through his brain, his former wife was in the court house, only a few feet distant across the lawn from the jail. Mrs. Hall, accompanied by her sister, Mrs. Johnson Easterling, had arrived at the court house a few minutes before from Ashland to transact business, and those at the jail are inclined to believe that Hall, who was a trusty and in the office of the jailer at the time, saw his former wife, was overcome with melancholy and was seized with a decision to take his life.
Arrested at Ashland
    Hall was found with a half pint of moonshine in his room at Ashland, and was sentenced July 31 to 90 days in the county jail and fined $250. He had served his sentence of 90 days, but had decided to serve out the amount of the fine and would have been liberated before Christmas. Officers in charge of the jail had made a trusty of him and when otherwise not engaged he sat in the office of the jailer, or when not feeling well reclined on the jailer's bed. On the afternoon of the suicide jailer DeShazer had been engaged in taking the fingerprints of one of the prisoners, and while thus engaged Hall was lying on the bed. Finishing the fingerprints, DeShazer started to leave the office to proceed into the corridor of the jail, when the report of the revolver shot startled him. Wheeling immediately about, he at once noted that Hall had fired the shot, taking his own life.
    DeShazer carries a gun on his person at all times when in the jail and keeps another revolver concealed in his room, and how Hall learned of its location is a mystery.
    Coroner Perl was called to Jacksonville, took the remains in charge and brought them to this city. Circumstances plainly indicated a case of suicide.
Two Children Survive
    Prior to the railroad strike, Hall was a car inspector for the S.P. at Ashland, walked out with the others, and never returned to work. He engaged in cooking and was chef at the Port Shasta restaurant in that city for some time. According to those who know him, he had been in poor health for some time, and this fact may have had something to do with his rash act.
    He was married, but an estrangement occurred several months ago, since which Hall and his wife had not lived together. Two children survive, a daughter, 12, and a son about 18 years of age.
Jackson County News, November 14, 1924, page 4

    A special session of the grand jury was called this morning, to dispose of liquor cases pending. It is expected to conclude the work by night. The cases include those of Bill Short, alias Shannon, who held up Sheriff Jennings and Federal Prohibition Officer McCredie, at the point of a rifle, when caught with illicit liquor on his ranch in the Applegate a week ago. Joe Palmer, a Los Angeles newsboy and preliminary fighter, charged with driving away the auto holding the moonshine and dumping the latter in a creek, and Garland, 14, and Agnes Reid, 19, brother and sister, arrested on the Short ranch, charged with alleged assistance in the making of the moonshine, are also held.
    Tuffy Reid, who was hanged at San Quentin prison last spring, is said to have been a brother of Garland and Agnes Reid. The mother is detained in the county jail, at her own request, and with no charge against her.
    Another case is that of H. T. Stonebreaker, 19, an Ashland youth, charged with possession of a still in the Emigrant Creek district, with Jack DeRondon of this city and C. Conway of Ashland.
    According to the authorities, Stonebreaker and Conway engaged in a fight in the county jail, in which Conway sustained a broken nose. Bad feeling over information given the authorities is said to have been the cause of the row.
    As a precautionary measure since the incarceration of the above prisoners, two jailers are on duty at the county jail until their cases are disposed of.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 3, 1925, page 6

    Considerable of the joy of serving in the Jackson County jail has been extracted by an order signed last Saturday by Circuit Judge Charles M. Thomas, now in full force and effect, and pasted on the jail door.
    The order provides that serving a county jail sentence hereafter means serving a county jail sentence. The position of trusty has been abolished, and the courthouse janitor now mows the courthouse lawn. A trusty was a privileged character. He fired the furnace and brought in the wood and languished in the courtroom during interesting trials. He ran errands, and sometimes read in the jailer's office. A trustyship took the edge off the monotony.
    Another time-honored custom scrunched by the court order is the custom of talking from the jail windows at all hours of the day and night. This was quite a social custom and caused many grand juries to solemnly recommend that more wire netting be placed over the windows of the hoosegow. The county court never did it, so the last two grand juries said nothing about it in reports.
    Visitors to prisoners are now only allowed on Wednesday afternoons from one to five o'clock. Attorneys may visit their clients whenever convenient or occasion demands. A special order of the court will be necessary at other times.
    If a prisoner starts to weaken with confinement, and his health is endangered, the court will take action; also issue an order for working the prisoners.
    No reason is given by the authorities for the change, but, according to courthouse officials, is due to the present inmates having developed hard-boiled tendencies.
    Provisions are also made for keeping the prisoners from the wood box and hitting the jailer over the head with a stick of stovewood, a time-honored custom when freedom called.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 10, 1925, page 5

Harry McElroy, Sentenced to 10 Years, and Don Hill Caught at Albany,
Escape from County Jail, but Are Caught at Gold Hill in Early Morning by Sheriff.

    Harry McElroy, 26, under sentence of ten years to state prison upon conviction by a jury, and a plea of guilty to robbery, in which he was charged with playing the role of Fagin to Richard Dunn Jr., 13, of Oakland, Cal., and Don Hill, charged with auto theft and recently arrested at Albany, Ore., escaped from the county jail about 7 o'clock Thursday evening and were recaptured at Gold Hill this morning by Sheriff Jennings about 4 o'clock, as the pair were entering a rooming house.
    McElroy was sentenced yesterday morning by Circuit Judge C. M. Thomas, and Hall was bound over yesterday afternoon to await the actions of the grand jury.
    The men effected their escape by sawing a bar from the upper tier of windows, bending the bar to one side and reaching the ground with a rope braided from a blanket.
    According to Sheriff Jennings, Hill concealed the hacksaw in the padding of his coat, and the iron bar offered little resistance.
    The fugitives offered no resistance when captured. They told the sheriff the escape plans were made yesterday afternoon, and "with what we had before us, you'd make a run for it too." McElroy, who was first arrested in Gold Hill after his boy assistant had rifled the till of the Kell garage, made the added comment:
    "This town is a jinx for me!"
    The break was discovered by the sheriff and jailer Collins 15 minutes afterwards, and three posses were at once organized to guard the highways.
    According to Sheriff Jennings, the break was not entirely unexpected, but the officials thought "they would try and go through the front door." It is also believed that the escape plans were all made before McElroy entered a plea of guilty.
    The men are now confined in the Pauley section of the jail, under guard. McElroy will be taken to Salem in the morning. It has not been decided yet whether the serious charge of jail-breaking will be filed against the pair. McElroy told jailer Collins this morning: "I'm willing to go now. There is nothing else to do."
    None of the 12 prisoners in the county jail gave any hint of the break, before or after.
    The window through which the pair sawed their way has no protection except bars, and several grand jury reports in the last three years have urged that the county court install steel wire nettings over the windows as a precautionary measure. It has never been done.
    The last escape from the county jail was made by Milam Jones in June, 1923, a brother of Bert (Oregon) Jones, notorious bandit, who was killed in a state prison break August 12. With Jesus Gonzales, a Mexican, he slugged the jailer and unlocked the doors. Gonzales was captured a half hour later. [Milam] Jones is still at large, under indictment in this county for jail-breaking and highway robbery.
    During the trial this week of McElroy, it was brought out that he is an orphan, and a mechanic by occupation. His last employment was in San Jose, Cal., where he worked in a shooting gallery.
    The entire police force of Jackson County was engaged in the hunt for the escapees last night, with guards on the highway north and south. It was thought they would try and steal an auto. The Medford and Ashland police, all constables and state traffic officers assisted in the hunt.
    Up to the time of the capture not a trace was found of the men. At 11 o'clock Sheriff Jennings went to Gold Hill on the theory that they would go north, where Hill is said to have friends. While waiting to search a freight when it passed through Gold Hill, Sheriff Jennings, four hours later, sighted his charges entering a rooming house and arrested them as they were waiting to be assigned a room. It was the plan to remain under cover today and continue their travels tonight.
    McElroy and Hill said they walked cross-country to Central Point immediately after their escape and then took the S.P. right-of-way to Gold Hill.
    According to Tom Murray, abstracter, the rope the prisoners used, made from a blanket, was the neatest piece of rope braiding he had ever seen, being veritably a work of art.

Medford Mail Tribune, December 11, 1925, page 1

Jail Windows Welded Where Yeggs Escaped
    As a result of the recent break from the county jail of Harry McElroy and Don Hall, the county court has a welding crew placing iron ribs across the bars. This will cause restive inmates to saw two bars in the future, when they only had one bar to saw in the past. It is also probable that the county court will further barricade the windows, as often recommended by previous grand juries, with steel netting.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 17, 1925, page 3

    Because the roof moved up and down and Alec Norris, Jacksonville resident, saw it, George Elmore, alias King, charged with grand larceny, is still a prisoner in the county jail, following a futile attempt last evening to escape by punching a hole through the roof. Elmore is a Klamath Falls resident and was arrested here several weeks ago.
    When discovered, he had removed a small area of ceiling plaster and lath preparatory to punching his way to freedom through the tin shingles with a short end of lath, taking advantage of the jailer, Ike Dunford's, dinner hour. However, when Norris came by the jail, Elmore's attempt was discovered because of the action of the roof caused by his vigorous punching.
    Today he is in solitary confinement, while the damage he caused is being repaired.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 27, 1926, page B1

    Enjoying but a few hours of freedom, following their escape from the county jail last night at 9 o'clock by hiding from the jailer and walking out while he was in another part of the jail, Harry Douglas and James Courtland, juvenile charges, 15 years of age, were apprehended this forenoon in the railroad yards at Ashland. The two are to be sent to the state training school shortly, it is said, for petty thievery about the city.
    The two boys were given quarters in the women's ward of the jail when they arrived last week, following their arrest by the local police. Secreting themselves near the padded cell for insane charges, they avoided jailer Dunford, who went to their room to turn off the lights for the night. While he was upstairs they quietly stole out. With the exception of snatching a little rest by sleeping in a hay stack the boys walked the greater part of the night, arriving at Ashland this morning.
    They have no home, it is said, and had been making their quarters in the jungles along Bear Creek, where officers say they cooked their meals from articles stolen from various stores about the city, brought about by desperate circumstances.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 27, 1926, page 3

or Drippings from the Jail-House Roof
By I. M. Here
A Fool's Advice
When the day looks dark and gloomy,
And you are feeling kind of blue;
Remember fellows, after the rain,
The sun will shine on you.
For sure the day is coming,
That you may go again,
In a world that's mighty tricky,
And sure is full of sin.
So fellows, be mighty careful
For whatever you may do;
Let it be an honest living,
And your words be ever true.
And never let your tongue tell lies,
Or let it be your master;
It won't help you anywhere you go,
For truth will travel faster.--C.W.
    John Law is no respecter of persons, it seems. One of the boys who was a temporary guest of Jackson County served his country during the Spanish-American War and was with General Pershing in France at the very start of the United States' participation in the world war. During the late unpleasantness he was attached to the Intelligence Department of the A.E.F. and penetrated behind the second-line trenches of the Boches in the line of duty, bringing back valuable information that aided the A.E.F. in planning decisive action. He remained in Germany with the army of occupation after the signing of the armistice. He was struck in the head and one shoulder with fragments of a German shell and carries a silver plate in his skull, besides having a stiff shoulder. But he found his way into Jackson County jail on a traffic charge.
He battled his way through jungles,
    He braved the frozen spaces--
Won a name in the Hall of Fame
    In the war of many races.
He never knew the word defeat;
    His was a courage fine;
But the poor man fell an easy prey
    To the state traffic cop's line.
    We don't know where he got them and we are not going to inquire too closely, but those watermelons that Sheriff Ralph Jennings rolled in to us last Saturday and Monday were certainly raised by someone who knew how: "Billy the Slav" has been digging seeds out of his ears ever since Sunday.
    "Slick" and "Red" are practicing a double dancing act that they hope to peddle to the Keith or Orpheum circuit in the near future. The only trouble thus far is that "Slick" has one Methodist foot.
    Flowers again adorn the dining room table, the gift of one of the Salvation Army lassies Sunday. Such thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated and proves that there are other ways of reaching a man's head than through the medium of the products of a kitchen.
    There was a small insurrection in Mexico Sunday morning. Villa and Obregon put on the gloves, and for a time it looked like the good old days after Diaz. Obregon received a bloody nose, but outside of that everything was lovely. It was their first tryout with the boxing gloves, and windmills in a windy country did not having anything on them.
    The Kangaroo Kourt purchased a pair of boxing gloves Saturday, and thus far only two black eyes and several soppy noses have been the result. Even the shepherd has announced that he may don the gloves. Tunney, please take notice.
    "Ike's" dad is a prime favorite of the boys on the occasions that he pays the county bastille a visit.
    We had two Sundays this past week. On Saturday the Seventh Day Adventists held forth and one of their number told the story of the Crucifixion in modern language. Sunday morning the Medford Salvation Army came over and held services. A reformed lawyer was the principal speaker and made a good impression on the boys.
    A Challenge--The Jackson County Hoosegow Athletic Club hereby challenges any visiting pugilist weighing up to 175 pounds for a ten-round bout, same to be pulled off preferably in the club room at Jacksonville. The color line is not drawn too fine, but serious objections are made to Chinese. Seconds and towel holders will be furnished. Dempsey and "Terrible Terry" preferred. Address all replies to secretary, Jackson County Hoosegow Athletic Club, Jacksonville, Oregon.
Jacksonville Post, October 1, 1926, page 1

or Drippings from the Jail-House Roof
By I. M. Here
With Apologies to Tennyson
The shepherd's window is empty,
For he has gone away;
But others now are using it--
Using it the livelong day.

The shepherd used this window,
From eight to five each day,
Except upon the Sabbath
When he stopped to eat and pray.

No longer will the damsels
In the house across the way,
Be subject to close scrutiny
For the shepherd has hit the hay.

He kept close watch on the turnkey,
When Ike would sing his lay;
But now everything is lovely,
For the shepherd has gone away.

We'll miss him, yes we'll miss him
The shepherd strong and gay;
But others are here to take his place
While the shepherd at the moon will bay.
    The water shortage has struck the denizens of Sheriff's Jennings' hotel during the past week, and some of the boys missed their Saturday night baths. Although a new pump and tank have been installed, it seems that the level of the water in the well is receding. It is hoped that the fall rains will replenish the supply of aqua pura before some of the boys start to accumulate barnacles.
    The business college closed last Thursday evening with the departure of the shepherd.
    There was a run on the barber shop last Friday. All the sheiks wanted a new Charleston bob. This particular tonsorial creation is a cross between the Zulu pompadour and a crossword puzzle.
    Peanut brittle has been cut out of our bill of fare for reasons best known to ourselves. "Slick's" friends please take notice.
    Help! At the present writing there are thirteen inmates in this jail house.
    "Vern-acular" has made his old cellmates several welcome visits of late. He is doing well on the outside, and strange to say has no disposition or desire to come back here as a guest. Anyhow, he is the salt of the earth, and he has the best wishes of his old pals.
    This is official notice that Perry, the traffic cop, owes this Kourt one round simoleon as his fine for October.
    Three of the boys ran up against the boxing gloves with their lips, and all they need is some burnt cork to qualify as negro comedians.
    The jail house roof is like the lazy man's roof. When it was dry weather it did not need fixing, and when it rained it could not be fixed. At any rate, the durn thing leaks.
    The shepherd has left us, and we miss his dissertations on the origin of man and other weighty subjects. He was high sheriff of the Kangaroo Kourt, to which position "the man who swallowed the whale" has been elected his successor. The shepherd is an authority on female loveliness, and is classed as one of the most successful tenders of the woolly flock in southern Oregon.
    "Billy the Slav" and the "Texas Kid" have succeeded "Jesse, the man with the large appetite" as the knights of the dishrag and mop. With his experience Jesse should be a great help around the home. He left us Wednesday.
    The Medford Salvation Army visited us again Sunday and conducted a very interesting and profitable service. The lady violinist assisted wonderfully with the music. The sobbing notes from the king of instruments found an echo that evening when one of the boys reviewed his past life with a great deal of remorse.
    At last four of our guests are grooming themselves to appear before the grand jury during the next few days. All of them are hoping they will draw a blank.
    Evidently the pear, apple and grape crops in the Rogue River Valley were below par this year, as none of these luscious fruits have found their way into the jail house during the past two weeks.
    Everything is set for a venison feed--all that is lacking is the venison. Our accomplished cook has promised to prepare the steaks for the boys if "Ike's" hunter friends provide the raw material.
    Neither the "Rum Runners Association" or the "Moonshiners' Center" met during the past week. Cause--dearth of members.
Jacksonville Post, October 8, 1926, page 1

    The average person in Jackson County does not understand the self-imposed discipline that is enforced by the inmates of the county jail. This strict discipline is administered by the kangaroo kourt. This tribunal is headed by a judge and sheriff, elected by the inmates, and unless the decisions conflict with the duties of the regularly elected county sheriff, they are final. The kangaroo kourt is also called every time a new prisoner (or "fish") is brought in. New prisoners are usually charged with entering the jail without consent of the old inmates, and the fine is $2.50 for the offense, if found guilty. If the prisoner does not have any money he may work out the fine at the rate of 10 cents a day. He may be assigned to washing dishes, sweeping or scrubbing the floor. The money secured through the fines is placed in a fund to buy tobacco, candies, etc., that are not furnished by the county. When the treasury is well filled, ice cream or fruit is ordered and served to all the inmates.--Jacksonville Post.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, October 16, 1926, page 2

Items from County Jail
    Cleverly written county jail items about doings in that prison and written by one of its prisoners doing a stretch for violation of the auto laws, has been appearing in the Jacksonville Post for some time past, under the title, "The Barred Window," and this matter for last week reads as follows:
Exit Shepherd
(With apologies to Tennyson)

The Shepherd's window is empty,
For he has gone away;
But others now are using it--
Using it the livelong day,
The Shepherd used this window,
From eight to five each day,
Except upon the Sabbath
When he stopped to eat and pray.
No longer will the damsels
In the house across the way,
Be subject to close scrutiny
For the Shepherd has hit the hay.
He kept close watch on the turnkey,
When Ike would sing his lay;
But now everything is lovely,
For the Shepherd has gone away.
We'll miss him, yes, we'll miss him
The Shepherd strong and gay;
But others are here to take his place
While the Shepherd at the moon will bay.
    Help! At the present writing there are thirteen inmates in this jail house.
    "Vern-acular" has made his old cellmates several welcome visits of late. He is doing well on the outside, and strange to say has no disposition or desire to come back here as a guest. Anyhow, he is the salt of the earth and he has the best wishes of his old pals.
    This is official notice that Perry, the traffic cop, owes this Kourt one round simoleon as his fine for October.
    Three of the boys ran up against the boxing gloves with their lips, and all they need is some burnt cork to qualify as negro comedians.
    The jail house roof is like the lazy man's roof. When it was dry weather it did not need fixing, and when it rained it could not be fixed. At any rate the dumb thing leaks.
    The Shepherd has left us, and we miss his dissertations on the origin of man and other weighty subjects. He was high sheriff of the Kangaroo Kourt, to which position "the man who swallowed the whale" has been elected his successor. The Shepherd is an authority on female loveliness and is classed as one of the most successful tenders of the woolly flock in Southern Oregon.
    Peanut brittle has been cut out of our bill of fare for reasons best known to ourselves. "Slick's" friends please take notice.
    The water shortage has struck the denizens of Sheriff Jennings' hotel during the past week, and some of the boys missed their Saturday night baths. Although a new pump and tank have been installed it seems that the level of the water in the well is receding. It is hoped that the fall rains will replenish the supply of aqua pura before some of the boys start to accumulate barnacles.
    The business college closed last Thursday evening with the departure of the Shepherd.
    There was a run on the barber shop last Friday. All the sheiks wanted a new Charleston bob. This particular tonsorial creation is a cross between the Zula pompadour and a crossword puzzle.
    "Billy the Slav" and the "Texas Kid" have succeeded "Jesse, the man with the large appetite" as the knights of the dishrag and mop. With his experience Jesse should be a great help around the home. He left us Wednesday.
    The Medford Salvation Army visited us again Sunday and conducted a very interesting and profitable service. The lady violinist assisted wonderfully with the music. The sobbing notes from the king of instruments found an echo that evening when one of the boys reviewed his past life with a great deal of remorse.
    At last four of our guests are grooming themselves to appear before the grand jury during the next few days. All of them are hoping they will draw a blank.
    Evidently the pear, apple and grape crops in the Rogue River Valley were below par this year, as none of these luscious fruits have found their way into the jail house during the past two weeks.
    Everything is set for a venison feed--all that is lacking is the venison. Our accomplished cook has promised to prepare the steaks for the boys if "Ike's" hunter friends provide the raw material.
    Neither the "Rum Runners Association" or the "Moonshiner's Center" met during the past week. Cause--dearth of members.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 17, 1926, page 9

Behind the Bars
(By One Who Is There)

    "Frisco Jack" arrived last Saturday evening from the Bay City to attend court and explain something relative to an automobile he purchased in this county on payments, and having the auto transport him to California some time since. It seems that he forgot the easy payment plan now so much in vogue among automobile dealers.
    Mary, the "Female Impersonator," accompanied by one of his boyfriends, took an auto ride to Grants Pass from Medford for a weekend visit. Not owning a car of their own they became attached to a flivver that seemed to belong to someone else. Hereafter they will "hit the grit" with their brogans.
    "Clarence" gave a party to some of his old friends at Medford the other night. Being an old-fashioned soul he sought to enliven the game of "Authors" they were playing by providing his guests with a beverage a trifle better than that purveyed by the municipality of Medford. The smelling committee got busy, and the host of the party is now sojourning with us for a period of reflection anent the good old days when men were tipplers.
    Business has picked up considerable over the weekend at the Jennings hotel, a total of seventeen being registered Sunday morning, thus breaking the unlucky thirteen. By Wednesday we had twenty guests.
    Perhaps it is a fact that anyone who gets into jail is a fit subject for the "Nut College" at Salem. At least this was forcibly brought to our attention last week when "Jack, the Giant Killer" was adjudged insane and taken north.
    "Ted" and "Little Bob" were brought over from Klamath Falls to await a court decision relative to a quantity of jewelry being "lifted" some time ago. It seems that the boys had too much magnetism or internal electricity. (See Marie Corelli's "Romance of Two Worlds.")
    As a deer hunter, "Ike" is a first-class idler. We are still a-hungered for those delicious venison steaks.
    The new Salvation Army captain from Medford, accompanied by a contingent of the faithful, held regular services here in the hotel lobby Sunday morning. The most enjoyable feature of their visit was a beautiful duet sung by one of the ladies and her daughter.
    "Chick" and "Walt" dropped in on us Tuesday evening to spend some days. Just how long they will stay depends on what the Judge ate for breakfast. (Later: Walt went home.)
    "Billy the Kid" is stopping off here for a few days, being en route to the "big house" at Salem, where he will assist the warden in his exacting duties for several years. While here he joined "Mark's Amalgamated Society of Sheiks."
    "The United Tipplers' Club" will hold an organization meeting tomorrow evening in the lobby. Already politics have entered into this new organization, Clarence fixing up his fences to be elected president.
    "Shorty" got tangled up with some 50-percent bitters and moonshine the other day and forgot to pail the cows. He ruminated on the Volstead Act here for a couple of days, and started for the ranch Wednesday morning.
    The Kangaroo Kourt has had a busy week assessing fines and holding school of instruction for the new guests.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 7, 1926, page B5

    What might have been an attempted jail break is believed to have been prevented last night at the county jail in Jacksonville by Orville Wilson, 13-year-old school boy, who happened to pass by the north side of the jail last evening shortly after 7 o'clock and accidentally noticed several of the prisoners were laboring on steel bars on the lower floor window. When jailer Oscar Dunford arrived on the scene, having been informed by the boy, he found that one bar had been entirely sawed in two and that work had commenced on the second.
    As yet the work has not been attached to any particular prisoner, and suspicions are said to indicate that such may not be the case. The entire jail population, which has dwindled from 27 early this week to 17 today, were locked in their individual cells for the greater part of this morning and forenoon, being released shortly before noon to the liberties of the jail corridors.
    Although the jail has been given a careful search, the saws have not been found. The suggestion has been advanced that they might have been pushed through the windows to outside help, who, upon receiving them shortly after the boy passed by, disappeared.
    Sawing iron bars is said to be a very tedious process, and that the break would not have occurred for several days until plans had been worked out to perfection by the few prisoners who are believed to have been interested in the escape. The report that the entire jail population would have broken out through the severed bars is declared to suggest an impossibility.
    Had a window been attacked on the south side of the jail, success, it is said, would probably have resulted, as that side faces the county court house and is more or less hidden from passersby.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 4, 1926, page 2

DeAutremont Refuses to Make Dash for Liberty When Jailmates Escape by Rushing Deputy Sheriff Liggett--Ray Cozart Captured, Wm. Allen at Large
    Hugh DeAutremont, alleged Siskiyou tunnel bandit-slayer, held in the county jail awaiting trial for first degree murder, scorned a chance to escape Sunday afternoon when two of his prisonmates--Ray Cozart of Ashland, held for auto theft, and William Allen, charged with robbery at Ashland--dashed through the jail door.
    DeAutremont, with the
freedom of the second cell tier, could have leaped to the floor and out the jail door, to face the gun of his special guard, Deputy Sheriff J. H. Liggett, who took three shots, without effect, at the fleeing fugitives.
    When Deputy Liggett returned to the jail he was greeted by DeAutremont with the words:
    "I'm still here, Ham!"
    A search of the jail following the break revealed evidences of a widespread jail plot. A case knife, filed into a saw, and a partially sawed window bar was found, also a knife in the in the cot of one of the prisoners.
    Cozart was caught near Perrydale last night, after he had hailed several passing automobiles for a ride. He waved down a car in which Deputy Sheriff Paul Jennings and Prohibition Officer Terry Talent were driving. He was placed under a gun and returned to his cell.
    According to the sheriff's office, the bar, partially sawed, was worked on during the DeAutremont trial, the cut having been concealed with soap and iron shavings.
    The getaway of Allen and Cozart was a surprise attack and occurred when guard Liggett was letting in a prisoner. Peter Fitzhugh, who was being escorted to the visitors' room. Fitzhugh is awaiting trial on a liquor charge. When Liggett opened the main door to the jail, all the prisoners gathered around him, and Allen and Cozart rushed him, knocking him down. As these two sped through the front door, Liggett sprang to his feet and fired three shots at the fleeing fugitives, and then rushed back to the jail hallway with drawn pistol expecting to encounter DeAutremont, who instead was standing on the upper corridor watching the proceedings.
    While Liggett was attending to routine jail matters during a short absence of the regular jailer, Ike Dunford, DeAutremont was in charge of E. S. Jennings, father of Sheriff Jennings, who however was unarmed.
    After Allen and Cozart had made the open yard, M. S. Baump, a waiter, serving a sentence for selling beer, stood at the door and blocked the way for the brief interval that ensued, and advising the milling prisoners to remain.
    According to Sheriff Jennings, DeAutremont had no part in the plotting, but believes he had a hunch something was going to happen.
    "Some say DeAutremont had a chance to escape, but wouldn't take it," said the sheriff. "The only chance he had was a chance to commit suicide."
    None of the privileges of DeAutremont was curtailed as a result of the break, but restrictions were placed on others.
    According to the sheriff, five or six of the prisoners are desperate and willing to take a desperate chance.
    Allen, who escaped, was still at large this afternoon. He was held on a robbery charge committed in Ashland; Cozart is accused of stealing a motor car. Medford Mail Tribune, May 16, 1927, page 1

    William Allen, held for auto theft at Ashland, who escaped from the county jail Sunday afternoon, was still at large today. It is thought that he has succeeded in making his way out of the county. Points north and south have been advised of his description.
    According to Ray Cozart of Ashland, who was recaptured a few hours after the dash, on the Jacksonville Highway, questioned yesterday afternoon, the unexpected getaway was the result of a sudden inspiration and not planned, as the authorities believe. He denied all knowledge of the sawn bar, and case knife filed into a saw, found in the jail in a search afterwards. An investigation of the break is still underway.
    Hugh DeAutremont, alleged Siskiyou bandit-slayer, awaiting trial for first degree murder, had no comment to make upon the break, which left him as unruffled as usual. During the break DeAutremont stood still in the corridor, with his guard nearby.
    "Hugh acted like a gentleman," was the way jailer Ike Dunford characterized his conduct during the affair.
Medford Mail Tribune,
May 17, 1927, page 3

    An attempted county jail break at Jacksonville, which would have probably taken place Thursday or last night, was closed today by Sheriff Ralph Jennings, who points the finger of suspicion at Charles Wingard and James Vangelates, bootleggers sentenced to terms last week who are believed to have planned their escape by punching holes in the ceiling in preparation for the break.
    Their cause was aided to some extent due to the fact that the interior of the jail is being removed for transportation to the new jail under construction here at the new city hall and temporary court house, which will be occupied by county offices in a short time. Their plans, it is said, were betrayed by fellow prisoners.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 15, 1927, page 1

    The work of installing the cells of the county jail in the new county courthouse started this morning, all the material being moved over Monday.
    According to Sheriff Jennings, there will be one tier of cells in the new jail, with quarters to accommodate 25 prisoners. The work of installing the equipment will take a week or ten days. As soon as the heating plant is in operation the prisoners will be moved from Jacksonville.
    The 15 or 20 prisoners in the county jail now have no cells, and all are in the main section. They have no beds and sleep on the concrete floor, which Sheriff Jennings says was constructed soft side up.
Medford Mail Tribune,
October 26, 1927, page 3

    By the time that the new city hall and temporary court house is ready for occupancy this month, the county jail will be ready to receive prisoners in its new quarters here, following weeks of removing cells from Jacksonville to this city. The entire job of moving the bastille is in charge of Merle Merriman of the Merriman blacksmith shop, who is being assisted by a crew of men, a number of whom are serving jail sentences and welcome the work as something by which the monotony of jail life can be avoided.
    The new jail is built in the northwest corner of the temporary court house, and its walls are constructed so strong that no ordinary man is expected to make a jail break. Especial care is being taken by Mr. Merriman to see that all cells are installed in the new jail even better than they were installed at Jacksonville.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 6, 1927, page 3

    The recently completed county jail in the new county courthouse on North Central Avenue was used officially the first time today when a number of the county prisoners were moved from the old jail at Jacksonville to new quarters here. The remaining prisoners in Jacksonville will probably be moved here tomorrow, making a total of 17 who will be making Medford their home as the guests of the county.
    The jail is in the basement of the courthouse, with its entrance facing Fifth Street, and is somewhat smaller than the old one. It has three Pauly cells, in each of which two prisoners will be quartered during the night, while the others will be given cots in the main jail corridor. The women's ward is in a separate room and jailer Oscar Dunford's office is located in the jail lobby.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 6, 1927, page 5

    Following his escape from a crew of laborers recruited from the prisoners in the county jail two weeks ago, Tracy DeVinney, who was sentenced to 30 days in the county jail and fined $350 on a moonshine charge, has been arrested at Eugene and will be brought back to this city within a week.
    Accused of having passed a number of bad checks in Medford, a charge of obtaining money under false pretenses will now probably be placed against him. DeVinney walked away from a group of prisoners who were at work at the American Legion playgrounds on East Main Street.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 18, 1928, page 3

    An incessant pounding that has been going on at the county jail for the past several days is explained by the fact that over 20 new cots are being installed in the county jail on the first floor. A number of the cots were brought over from the old jail at Jacksonville, and the remainder are new. New blankets are also being furnished with the cots, which take the place of beds that had to be made on the concrete floor of the jail.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, March 29, 1928, page 2

    The county jail here was burglarized and robbed yesterday morning in broad daylight of $190, and no trace has been found of the marauder, who is believed by jailer Oscar Dunford to be a former jail inmate who knew where the money was kept and was familiar with the habits of the jailer by knowing at what times he is absent from his post of duty.
    Entrance was made by pounding a hole in the wire glass near the office entrance door, the spring lock of which was then released by reaching through the open hole. The glass was struck with such force as to cause some bits to fly over 30 feet, hitting the iron door of the main entrance to the jail corridor. The crime took place in the 20 minutes that elapsed between the departure of jailer Dunford at 8 o'clock and his return at 8:20.
    In connection with the crime, the authorities are now very anxious to locate William Leighton, 14-year-old car thief and burglar, who was committed from here to the state training school last month, and from which Leighton escaped last Wednesday. The boy had been held at the jail for several days, was very familiar with the general situation, and knew that a good-sized sum of money was being kept in trust in the office desk for the prisoners, who turned over their cash to jailer Dunford upon being placed in imprisonment.
    The jail is located on the first floor of the county court house on North Central Avenue and Fifth Street.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 2, 1928, page 3

    After having been at low ebb for some time, the county jail again has a good-sized population, with 21 prisoners reported in the jail today held on a variety of charges, including bootlegging, car theft and larceny. Up until yesterday, there were 23, but two prisoners, Harlan Tremaine and Patrick Bishop, were taken to Salem to serve sentences in the state training school and in the state penitentiary.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, February 27, 1929, page 2

Old Jail at Jacksonville Serves as Morgue for Confiscated Booze
    Thousands of gallons of "evidence" are stored in the old county jail at Jacksonville--an accumulation of many months--some of the stuff dating back to "Sailor Jack," one of the most widely known bootleggers who ever operated in Jackson County, according to Federal Prohibition Officer Terry Talent, who transferred the 135-gallon haul made early this morning to the "morgue" at Jacksonville.
    Alcohol predominates, but there is moonshine of every variety, in every stage of fermentation, included in the big stock.
    Then there are stills--several of them confiscated during the last year, all stored in the old jail, which housed many famous prisoners, but  now is used solely for storage purposes.
Ashland Daily Tidings, September 17, 1929, page 1

    Probably the youngest prisoner ever in the new county jail and the first to escape is 11-year-old Maurice Shelley of Seattle, apprehended as a runaway boy by local officers here Saturday and then arrested the next day south of Ashland by Traffic Sergeant C. P. Talent as a burglary suspect. Weston W. Wells, 23 years old, was arrested with the boy and will be held on a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
    When the youngster, who could pass as a primary school student, was apprehended here the first time, he was placed in the women's ward and refused to talk about himself when questioned by jailer Oscar Dunford. He was left in the ward and it was little thought the boy would attempt to escape, but Saturday night, probably around 10 o'clock, he climbed through a small space afforded by the opening of a transom and gained his liberty.
    After escaping, Maurice found his way to the Isis Theater, where he appropriated the use of a bicycle, according to a confession he made yesterday, and rode to Ashland. Upon arriving there, he confessed, he broke into the Briggs service station and took a small amount of change. He spent the night lounging around Ashland hotel lobbies.
    Yesterday he struck up an acquaintance with Weston Wells, a former Medford youth and chauffeur for Frank's Comedians here last year, and suggested the burglary of the Wolters grocery store, Officer Talent related this forenoon. Wells declined to take part but is said to have encouraged the youngster to try it, adding that he had better wait until evening, but Maurice was anxious and broke in through a back door. He returned to Wells in a short time and the latter is alleged to have accepted half of the six dollars or so the boy said he took out of the store. The pair then had a little lunch and left on foot for the south.
    The robbery of the store was discovered on the same day and it was not long until the pair were in the custody of officers. Wells told Officer Talent he had been in jails in Marysville, Sacramento and San Francisco on vagrancy charges. The boy's father resides in Seattle and his name is given as C. J. Shelley. The hoy was stopped in Portland by officers as a runaway, but was later released and was in Medford a week after he left Seattle.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 7, 1929, page 8

Fewer Women Find Way to Jail; Model Prisoners, Says Dunford
    Not so bad at the worst--women are getting better. This is the opinion of jailer Ike Dunford, who took a long optical trek across the pages of his ledger this morning in search of feminine offenders. They were few and far between within the course of a year, and were it not for the quantity of "bad boys" whose names appeared therein, the crime ledger, he said, would be a record of great open spaces.
    The last "lady" to grace the county jail was Lorraine Horton, arrested November 3 in company with a gentleman friend and charged with implication in a forgery case. Before that Carrell Fitzgerald of Ashland held the center of the stage in the women's cell, accused of possession of intoxicating liquor. That was on October 19.
    From there Ike traced the pages away back to June 29, where he found another feminine liquor violator, who was fined $40 and spent 15 days in jail. Altogether, only four women in six months--and, through the year, only one woman to every 40 men who took up temporary lodgings in jail.
    Forgery is one of the most serious crimes common to women offenders. Shoplifting and bootlegging--especially the latter--are two others which result in them sleeping on a cell cot.
    As a rule, Ike said, women are model prisoners--except when, like the little girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead, they are bad--they are horrid. The latter variety are apt to throw tantrums--tear their hair, swear, cry copiously, threaten to kill themselves--and indulge in a variety of outbursts, none of which do them any good.
    A number of them pout and sulk and refuse to eat. Others treat the episode as a joke--shrug their shoulders and ask for magazines to read. But the majority of the women are philosophers--or maybe they are just women--so they put on their sweetest smile--act very, very sorry, and get off with the minimum.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 16, 1929, page 1

Jack Goldberg of New York Held for Breaking in Medford Home--
Asked for Lodging Last August and Got Two Bits.
    He entered the jail by choice a year ago. He is held there today, charged with burglary and bound over to the grand jury with bail set at $1000. He came there to sleep the first time. He has been many places and done many things during the intervening year. But he recognized his old bed when he re-entered the jail a few days ago. He also recognized Ike Dunford, county jailer, and introduced himself as Jack Goldberg of New York.
    "You're the man who gave me a bed and a quarter about a year ago," he told Ike as he entered his iron-latticed abode.
    "I didn't recognize him at first," Ike stated yesterday, "but when he mentioned the bed and quarter I knew he was the same fellow who waked me up last summer.
    "My car was parked just outside the jail. I heard someone get in it and grabbed my gun and rushed out. The fellow said he was just looking for someplace to sleep so I brought him into the jail. The next morning I gave him a quarter and sent him on his way. He went across the continent, but he's sleeping in the jail again tonight."
    Goldberg is charged with burglary of the J. J. Osenbrugge residence.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 12, 1930, page 6

    Hereafter when G. M. Green, manager of the Ashland Tidings, goes a-visiting to interview murderers and otherwise inspecting county jails he will leave his money at home.
    Mr. Green visited the jail this morning with a Mail Tribune reporter to have an interview with Kingsley, the murderer of officer Sam Prescott, and when their interview was ended expressed a desire to jailer Ike Dunford to look through the jail, as he had never done so. The interview had taken place in a separate room from the jail proper, with the prisoner heavily guarded.
    Hence the accommodating Ike conducted the Ashland newspaper man inside the "bullpen" and departed, locking the door behind him. The 20 or more prisoners, ever on the alert to get all the cigarette money possible for purchasing of cigarettes and other dainties, at once saw their opportunity and, passing the word "fresh fish" among themselves, hastily placed their kangaroo court in session, hauled Mr. Green before it and fined him heavily for "rubbernecking" and other serious charges.
    G. M. was game and paid up. That is why after jailer Dunford released him from the prison, he had to borrow 50 cents from a friend to get home on.
    Not only that, but before he was released one unusually hard-hearted prisoner wrote on the spot a poem for G. M. entitled "The Bootlegger's Lament," read it to him and made him take it away with him.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 26, 1931, page 3

    The sheriff's office is taking definite steps against the promiscuous dumping of tin cans and refuse along county roads by city and rural residents. Sheriff Jennings today declared persons dumping trash are subject to arrest. He will welcome information from any person leading to the apprehension of parties responsible for littering up the countryside.
    Oscar Dunford, jailer, assisted by two prisoners, have been clearing up a portion of the refuse by hauling it to out-of-the-way places by truck, but there are so many tin can dumps in the county it will almost be impossible to make a thorough cleanup.
    An outstanding example of the evils of such dumping is pointed out by the sheriff as spoiling what otherwise would be a beautiful drive on the old road over the Jacksonville hill. Cans and trash have been dumped on both sides of the road, and most of the beauty of the drive is marred. It has been suggested that this situation could be remedied by the use of county steam shovels, covering up the cans with dirt. Signs may also be posted.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 13, 1931, page 8

    Oscar Dunford, keeper of the county bastille, has been busy the past week with a group of prisoners cleaning up old graves in the Jacksonville cemetery. As a result of his efforts quite a number of graves and lots have been placed in good condition. Some had been neglected for years.
    He came onto the graves today of four men slain in an Indian massacre in Klamath County by the Modoc Indians in 1872. They were brought to Jacksonville for burial. The names on the grave markers were: William Body, 43; Willie Body, 14; Richard Body, 18, and Nicholas Schira, 28. The group was composed of the father, two sons and son-in-law.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 28, 1931, page 3

    A group of Jacksonville citizens called upon the county court today and asked permission to use the old county jail for the housing of violators caught in that town. The present city jail is so weak that a husky prisoner is apt to kick out of it and necessitates the hiring of a guard. The pay of the guard eliminates all the profits from the fine. The city jail is a wooden structure, and there is the danger of some recalcitrant setting it afire and causing a conflagration.
    The request was granted with the proviso that Jacksonville clean up the abandoned hoosegow and remove 300 or 400 empty bottles, collected from 10 years of prohibition enforcement in these parts.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 17, 1931, page 3

Jackson County Jail, September 27, 1953 Medford Mail Tribune
Jackson County Jail Listed among Top Two in State;
Handled 605 Prisoners in 1952
    The thought of being jailed flabbergasts the average citizen. Luckily, the percentage of inmates to total population is extremely small.
    If and when a citizen's time comes to spending some "time" in jail he probably will have visions of some dark, dank and smelly place, dating to pulp magazine descriptions and Class "D" movies.
Good Example
    However, everything considered, he should be surprised with the clean surroundings, as pleasant as any confining room with bare bars can be. A high-type example is our own Jackson County jail in Oregon. It is rated second only to Rocky Butte jail in Multnomah County, and this only because Rocky Butte has a rehabilitation program. With this one exception, Jackson County has an equally good jail.
    The jail, located on the top floor of the courthouse, is a remarkably complete unit. It includes a kitchen, outdoor clothesline, laundry facilities, jailer's apartment, felon block, "bull" pen (drunks), trustees' lobby and quarters, lawyer's conference room, extra help apartment, "mug" room where prisoners' pictures are taken and developed and fingerprints taken and a multiple-cell block for various types of cases. Shower and toilet facilities are included in each individual unit.
    Inmates include all persons turned over to Sheriff Howard Gault's custody. These can be those processed via a state justice or district court in violation of a state statute and also those held for federal violations.
605 Last Year
    In a year's time, this makes quite a number. In 1952, a total of 605 inmates were held. However, the monthly totals are running much heavier this year than last, averaging about 70. The 1952 total included 205 felons, or persons committing more serious crimes, 291 misdemeanors, 60 juvenile delinquents (in for either misdemeanor or felony), 13 mental observations and 12 AWOL from the military.
    Although no radios are allowed in the cells, up-to-date magazines are available from time to time for inmates. Commissary privileges for purchase of tobacco and candy are available if the money is in the men's possession.
    In charge of the jail is R. L. (Smitty) Janzen with Mrs. Janzen acting as matron for the female prisoners. They reside in a comfortable apartment on the same floor with their minute Chihuahua "Bill." Mrs. Janzen does the planning of the week's menu, while the group of "trustees" does the cooking a modern kitchen. These prisoners are those in for a year's sentence on misdemeanor or lesser felony charges, who are considered trustworthy. They have the run of the main lobby, which is 25 by 35 feet, kitchen, laundry and outdoor clothesline, which, incidentally, also has protective bars, just in case.
    The trustees' quarters can accommodate eight persons. Just off these quarters is the lawyers' conference room and extra help apartment.
    The south wing includes two separate units, the drunk tank and the felon block. The top security felon block is 21 by 42 feet, and includes three cells operated by a remote control setup. A larger room is available to the prisoners, besides their smaller bunk cells. An impressive door system connects the unit with a hallway, with screened talking units and special slots for serving food (see picture).
    The other section is 35 by 42 feet and includes 24 bunks and tables and benches. In it are housed a variety of cases, the great majority being drunks, either in public or while driving. A few others are also held here, when considered not too great a risk. This unit is the only one from which escapes from the jail have been made. In each case, the window bars were broken, but the county court has strengthened the enclosure.
Juvenile Quarter
    The north wing includes two cells with six bunks each, one single cell for solitary and mental cases, and two more cells: one-bed and two-bed setups for women and juvenile cases. The photo and fingerprint room is also in this section.
    A weekly break in the monotony is the almost every Sunday visit by a different church organization. A sermon is given and the group sings for the benefit of the prisoners. They tour the felon, drunk and trustee sections, staying from an hour to an hour and a half.
    At the entrance to the jail proper in the trustee lobby room is the visiting room. Here prisoners can visit with friends and relatives through a double wire thickness for a 15-minute period on Tuesday from 9 to 11 a.m. and on Friday from 1 to 3 p.m.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 27, 1953, page 12

A Reporter's Notebook: Visiting the Jackson County Jail
Mail Tribune Staff Writer

    You don't have to read the signs to know you are approaching the county jail.
    You push the button for the jail elevator while you stand in the small entranceway painted a drab gray. You wait, then try the handle on the door. It's so loose you are afraid it will come off in your hand. Still the elevator doesn't come. After waiting five minutes you climb up the long flight of narrow steps.
    Upon arriving at the jail door you automatically try the handle as a matron and jailer look up. The brightest thing about the jail is the woman's bright blond hair and the brown uniforms of the sheriff's deputies.
    "Just a minute, please," the jailer calls through the speaker system. He tells you to push. You push, and the door swings open. You have already identified yourself as a newspaper reporter and announced you want to tour the jail facilities.
    A young blond blue-eyed deputy with sergeant stripes on his sleeve thrusts himself halfway through the door and tells you nobody can visit the jail without the sheriff's permission. Hal Tune, nurse with the Jackson County Health Department, had previously arranged with the jailer for the visit. An older deputy with jet-black hair combed straight back squints at you suspiciously and prepares to back up the sergeant if you should try to force your way in.
    The sheriff comes in as you are talking to a deputy clerk in his outer office.
    He flashes a big white grin as you tell him you want to visit the jail.
    "Why are you picking on the jail? Everyone wants to write about the jail. Why don't you write about the hospitals? Maybe they aren't providing the kinds of services they should, either."
    You tell him you have already written about hospitals. He complains about some recent articles in another paper. You reply you think he has been treated fairly by your paper. He admits he has. Finally, after some joking back and forth for 30 minutes you get up thinking this contest you have lost.
    He leads the way to the door and says, "Okay, let's go visit the jail. I"ll take you on a tour you will never forget." He did, too.
    As you step through the main door of the jail your first impression is the complete lack of odor--not even a cooking odor from the kitchen a few yards off. Everything is an antiseptic gray. Prisoners--most of them in the white uniforms of kitchen help--are lounging on wooden benches. The main room is spacious.
    Turning to your left you walk down a corridor. You look in cell windows. The cells seem small for the three to four men in them, but from the outside they look and smell clean.
    You glance in through another barred window. There are three men in there. Two are bearded. One of them is dressed only in shorts. Thick hair covers his chest like a broad, dark brown mat. The third man has the lithe, hairless appearance of youth.
    As you turn away to look at another cell, one of the men quickly turns to the window.
    "Hey," he calls. "Are you from the health department?"
    "Indirectly," you reply. You are afraid if you tell him you are from a newspaper he will give you a long, sad story. You have had that experience before.
    "They cleaned this place up just before you came. They always do that." A man with a pleasant face has thrust his beard right up against the bars on the window. "They just sprayed the place, mopped it up and straightened it up. They do that every week just before you people come," he said.
    The youngest of the trio holds up a small garbage can, neatly lined with a plastic liner, and complains that it was left open all week and was finally emptied that day. The sink and floor are not mopped often enough, the older man complains. The third man jigs up, his massive, hairy body almost too big for his shorts. He rolls his eyes and jigs around as you talk to the other two.
    Your original questioner says he is Neil Vallotton, originally of San Jose. He is in on charges of robbery and kidnapping.
    Vallotton said he was brought back from San Quentin. It is hard to believe from his manner and appearance that he could have robbed a motorist in Jackson County then taken the man's money and car after leaving him tied to a log. But that's what he is charged with. He said he had been in jail a few times before.
    As he continues to complain you ask if he thinks San Quentin is better.
    "In some ways it is and in some ways it isn't," he replies. The sheriff stands patiently by, after calling the sergeant and another deputy to hear the man's complaints.
    "In San Quentin they put you in 'the hole' if you complain. Here they don't always listen to your complaints. It takes them a long time to get somebody back here to listen to you. In Quentin they do listen to you. 'The hole' is solitary confinement," Vallotton explains.
    "At least there they give you a cotton-filled mattress. It is easier to clean. There are several ways to clean it. This sponge-rubber mattress can't be cleaned. The dirt is absorbed through the rubber." He yanks a mattress off a metal bunk. You smell it. The sheriff smells it. You don't smell anything.
    "It's not really better than San Quentin here," he continues. "At San Quentin, you have your own TV--in your own cell if you can afford it."
    "What's that back up on the shelf there?" you ask, pointing to a medium-sized TV cabinet.
    "Oh, yeah," he says. "But here they control you with TV. If you don't clean up your cell when they tell you, they turn off the TV and the lights."
    Jim Reich, 16, Medford, leans forward and says he is "up for burglary and theft charges."
    "I'm here as an adult, but they don't always give me cigarettes," he complains. "My mom lets me smoke. Some of the guards give me cigarettes. They gave me these sacks of Bull Durham," he said. The man in shorts jigs back to a bunk and hurries back again with his hand outstretched. He is holding four small sacks of the roll-your-own tobacco.
    A jailer sternly replies: "You're not of age. The judge says you cannot be given cigarettes. It's illegal."
    Harold Orr, the man in shorts, tells you he is from Riverside, Calif. He says he is in jail for possession of marijuana. This was reduced to a misdemeanor, he says.
    The man from San Quentin complains that an American Civil Liberties Union representative came to hear his complaints but only stayed 15 minutes. He complains that his mail to and from the jail was lost. Some of his letters were returned due to his language, he said. It took six days to get a letter across Medford to his attorney, he adds.
    You reply that people on the outside have the same complaints about delayed mail.
    "I have no complaints about the food. I gained weight," Vallotton says. "It doesn't always taste so good, but I guess it's okay if you like plenty of paprika pepper."
    The trio argue that they should have a trusty assigned to their cell to keep it clean as they keep the other cells clean.
    A jailer says later that a broom, mop and bucket were placed in the cell that morning and they handed them out.
    "I finally cleaned the cell out myself," the sergeant says. "They had a mess of paper under that lower bunk," he points. "I cleaned all that out and mopped up the cell."
    Under questioning the trio answer that their laundry is picked up twice a week after they take their showers. The 16-year-old points to a soiled sheet and said the bedding isn't always picked up. He admits that he didn't put it in the laundry bag.
    The youngest man complains about the dirt under the wood planking in the shower. We look. It looks clean. The shower curtain looks brand new. We ask the sergeant to lift up planking. He can't get it up. The sheriff says they have to check the hooks on the shower curtain after each shower or the prisoners will take them back to their cells. The shower hooks have sharp points and could be used as weapons. He said the prisoners had recently ripped up a curtain and it had to be replaced.
    We check the two women's cells. They are spotless. A young woman is stretched out on a lower bunk in one cell. We ask her what she is in for. She replies she is serving out a $75 fine, but won't say what the fine is for. The sheriff points to an overhead TV camera which can swivel around to cover all angles of the women's cell and corridor. A viewer is in the first-floor office of the sheriff's department. Other TV monitors are in the corridors.
    You look at the "felony tank"--a large cell with individual cells opening off from it. You don't see any toilet paper by a toilet. The sheriff says individual rolls are issued to single cells where they are kept. The toilet paper is only issued when the prisoners run out, or it would be stuffed down a sink and the water left on to flood a cell, he says.
    You look at the "misdemeanor tank" with several prisoners stretched out on bunks or sitting up reading. This is where the drunk drivers are placed, the sheriff says. Blankets are stretched over the lower half of the bars to reduce the light. Everything in this large cell is neat. Here the kitchen help stay, and so do the men on the work release program. They may even go out to work for swing shifts at nearby mills. The outside light is screened so they can sleep when they want to. Eighteen men are on the work release program.
    The kitchen is spotless. You see the same large electric mixer you saw when you toured the jail with the county commissioners 10 years ago. A milk dispenser in shiny stainless steel stands against a wall. Prisoners get milk once a day. Diabetics and others requiring special diets get special food, the sheriff says. Other equipment looks fairly new. The whole area is odorless and spotless.
    In one corner of the large entrance room of the jail. Hal Tune, male nurse, is examining a prisoner's leg. Tune comes twice a week.
    The heavy steel door with bulletproof glass clangs shut behind you. You are glad you can walk out.
    Downstairs in the sheriff's private office, the law officer settles into his chair. He says he has 80 prisoners in a jail designed for 52. Last summer he had 110. Getting the "bad ones" away from the others is a problem in such crowded conditions, he admits. Average stay in the jail is seven days.
    Asked about establishing a misdemeanor farm, he snorts and says lawyers, doctors and a sheriff have been fighting for this for a long time.
    "The trouble is you never know from year to year what kind of facilities you will need--ideas about handling prisoners change that fast. Now, authorities say all you will need is minimum holding facilities--work release programs will be the big thing."
    "No, I will not guarantee that prisoners will not get drugs (marijuana and the hard drugs like heroin). Prisoners will make a rope out of strips of blanket, lower the rope out a window and a friend will tie on a bottle of liquor. The county commissioners were having a meeting one night and somebody in the meeting saw a bottle being pulled up past the window," he said.
    County Commissioner Henry Padgham agreed with the sheriff that "people change after being in jail." County Commissioner Padgham says the new justice building will include plans for separating misdemeanants and providing better facilities for them.
    Meanwhile, people just sit in their cells day after day with little to keep them busy. And that's where the trouble is, the sheriff says. But nobody seems to want to change talk into action and do something about it.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 17, 1974, page 6


Mail Tribune Staff Writer
    It's easy to gripe about Jackson County's spending more than $8 million to build a new jail.
    But almost anyone who has seen the old jail on the third floor of the County Courthouse, either voluntarily as a visitor or involuntarily as an inmate, would agree that conditions there are intolerable. And they probably would say the old jail should have been replaced years ago.
    Some people might argue that the new jail is too nice and that prisoners will be pampered by the extra space, the exercise rooms, the bright, cheery, colorful decor and the lack of bars anywhere in the facility.
    But Sheriff Duane Franklin and Chief Jailer Lt. Gale Fulton pooh-pooh that idea. The prisoners still will know they are in jail. But unlike what sometimes happens in the old jail, Franklin and Fulton say, prisoners should emerge from the new jail without having been traumatized by their surroundings.
    Exactly when the 73,000-square-foot new jail will open is still subject to doubt and negotiation.
    Gary Afseth of the Medford firm of Afseth, Jacobs and Schmitz, which designed the three-story building, says he hopes to sign a permit of substantial completion by Jan. 30.
    But the county commissioners may not be ready to accept the building if several engineering and technical problems have not been solved by then. Commissioner Don Schofield at a recent meeting criticized architects.
    Afseth says the two biggest problems should be solved soon at no expense to the county.
    One, a problem with a cold storage compressor in the jail's massive kitchen, will be corrected by the project engineer, Afseth says. The second, a problem with the computerized system by which deputies in the jail's control center open prisoners' cell doors, should be corrected after a meeting Tuesday with the project's communication consultants and representatives of Honeywell Corp., the firm that supplied the computer.
    Afseth says the computer equipment that was installed to open cell doors is not what was agreed to by Honeywell last summer.
    Afseth insists that the problems are relatively minor and could even be corrected after the county takes over the building.
    Franklin says he will need about 60 days after the building is substantially complete to train his corrections officers and other employees to operate the new facility.
    "Operationally, it's entirely different because a lot of it is electronic," he said.
    "We have to be able to get our people over there and look at how we're going to handle the various programs within the facility. How are we going to book people; how are we going to feed people; how do we move people to the recreational areas; how do we evacuate people in an emergency."
    Last summer, and until a new salary contract for sheriff's deputies was settled this fall with the National Union of Police Officers, Franklin threatened to delay moving into the new jail until the county Budget Committee allocated him more money to staff it.
    Now, he says, he will have enough money to hire 31 new employees to join the 27 employees already working at the old jail. But he continues to complain that other parts of the Sheriff's Department may suffer because of the drain in resources to staff the jail.
    "I still maintain that the Budget Committee in their initial allocation provided a basic budget and at the last minute arbitrarily cut $244,000 in funds just to make their contingency," he says.
    And Franklin says the National Institution of Corrections recommends two staff members for each prison bed. With only 58 staff members, he will be about 20 short of the recommended level.
    While the sheriff says the jail staff will be adequate to get the job done, he warns county residents that his Patrol Division may not be able to provide service at the same level as in the past. As vacancies occur throughout the department, they are not being filled, he says.
    Franklin is obviously proud of the impressive structure. He explains to visitors how the county Correction Committee began planning the facility back in 1976 after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on behalf of three inmates. That suit in U.S. District Court in Portland alleged that the conditions in the old jail amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.
    The county commissioners ordered the old jail remodeled after the county Health Officer Lester Wright threatened to shut it down in 1977. The county also built the Work Release Center in Talent. It houses up to 40 inmates, who are released to work during the day but spend their nights in jail.
    But the commissioners realized that wasn't enough. They let the contract for the new jail to Vik Construction Co. in October 1978.
    The design was based on close cooperation with Franklin and Fulton, both of whom visited dozens of jails in Oregon and across the country to find the best possible design, Franklin says. Initially, the committee recommended a 120-bed jail. But later the county gave permission to add a 40-bed dormitory to house more work release inmates, trustees and prisoners sentenced to weekends in jail.
    In its present form the jail has 10 single-man maximum security cells, four four-man dayrooms, 80 medium security single cells, 10 eight-main day rooms and the 40-bed dormitory.
    In addition, there are 16 single cells for women, four dayrooms, two cells for four juveniles, and seven cells for isolation or detoxification.
    Because thick laminated glass is used on most interior walls, guards placed in floor control centers can keep their eyes on inmate behavior in cell blocks on different levels. Inmates can spend most of their waking hours in their dayrooms and then will be locked up at night in their single cells.
    Anytime that a prisoner or group or prisoners begins to cause problems, one or all can be quickly isolated and locked up, Franklin says.
    One or two guards in the main floor computer control center can monitor what's going on in the entire building through an elaborate electronics system. The officer on duty can tell at a glance what doors are open or closed and see key hallways and rooms with the aid of television cameras. He even can monitor sounds in cells by means of hidden microphones.
    One television news report recently questioned whether the laminated glass windows that let sunlight into each cell might be vulnerable to cracking by inmates bent on escape. The report said the new Lane County Jail has thicker glass that inmates there have cracked.
    Fulton says the report was inaccurate because the new jail here actually has thicker laminated glass in the exterior cell walls than the Lane County Jail does.
    "The glass in the Jackson County Jail is thicker than the glass in any jail in Oregon, including Lane County," he says.
    No one can make an "escape-proof" jail, but with proper supervision and proper recreational and educational programs, the risk of escape can be minimized, Fulton says.
    The new jail has two large recreation areas in the open air--but covered completely by heavy screen--and an indoor multipurpose room equipped with a universal gym exercise machine and ping-pong tables.
    Franklin says one of the reasons prisoners in the old jail are constantly going on hunger strikes and committing acts of violence and vandalism is the lack of any exercise area and opportunity for recreation.
    While he can't promise that all such problems will be eliminated in the new jail, he predicts they will be minimized.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 18, 1981, page D1

Officials Expect New Jail Will Reach Capacity Quickly
    Just because Jackson County has spent $8 million in O&C timber receipts to build a new jail doesn't mean that it has permanently solved its jail overcrowding problems.
    In fact, Chief Jailer Lt. Gale Fulton estimates that the new 156-bed facility could be full within six to eight months after it is occupied sometime this spring or summer.
    "We can only go by what's happened in the other facilities in the state and throughout the United States," says Fulton. "And it's very clear that if you have the room in the facilities, the judges have the people to put in there."
    Fulton knows about overcrowding. The old jail almost always is bulging with 20 to 35 more people than the 101 it is designed to hold.
    On an average day, 135 prisoners are lodged there. Some of them are sent to the Talent Work Release Center, but prisoners often have to be bedded down on the floor for the night, Fulton says.
    He and Sheriff Duane Franklin are the first to admit that conditions in the old jail are deplorable.
    The way the old jail is designed, the only way deputies can see what's going on in most of the cells is to open cell doors. If duties in one part of the jail keep deputies from making their rounds as often as scheduled, prisoners can and do commit acts of violence and vandalism.
    Here's how one inmate recently described conditions in the old jail's "bullpen" cell where 23 men were locked up:
    "There's graffiti and pudding hanging from the walls. The depressing atmosphere doesn't do anything for morale. This steel table is like an archaeological find. It's got six layers of paint on it. There's a checkerboard and thousands of initials carved in there. The windows are broken out in here. There's still about nine or 10 panes that are letting cold air in.
    "We have some pretty bad scenes, some bloody scenes," the inmate continued. "The way it's set up now, it can't be overseen by the deputies. If something happens here, you have to scream pretty loud to get help."
    A 19-year-old Medford man, whom we'll call Smith, was placed in a felony cell with seven hardened criminals after his first arrest last spring.
    Smith says that the cell was ruled by one of the prisoners who was called "Big Mouth." Whatever Big Mouth wanted Big Mouth got.
    "I had to abide by his rules or I got beat up," Smith says.
    Those rules included being ordered to clean out the toilet with his only toothbrush and submitting to games like "Pass Out." In that "game," he was forced to squat and do deep breathing until he hyperventilated. Then his fellow inmates choked him until he passed out, Smith says.
    When Smith complained to the deputies, they told him there was nothing they could do. Big Mouth heard about the "snitch" and had two henchmen beat Smith up, he says.
    Smith finally got himself moved to another cell. Later, he learned that in certain parts of the jail it's easy for prisoners to receive smuggled marijuana or to make their own alcoholic drink called "pruno." Pruno is made from yeast, fruit and sugar saved from meals.
    Smith had his troubles with the deputies, but most of the prisoners and former prisoners interviewed said the deputies do a good job under the circumstances.
    That opinion is echoed by Liz Reed, the jail librarian and education coordinator for Project Misdemeanant. She visits the jail regularly to take reading material to the inmates.
    "Under some really bad circumstances, the jail staff has maintained about as well as you could possibly expect," says Ms. Reed. "It amazes me they can maintain the way they do.
    "If you can imagine having people spit in your face and throw urine in your face and you have to sit there and smile," she says.
    The new jail should be much better for inmates and deputies alike.
    "If a guy can just go to sleep at night without being afraid of being attacked, set on fire or something," Ms. Reed says. "Many don't sleep; they're afraid to."
    If Fulton's prediction comes true, however, even the new jail will be overflowing within a year after it's built.
    As he points out, most other counties that have built new jails have experienced the same discouraging phenomenon. Douglas County averaged about 65-70 prisoners per day until its new jail, with a capacity of about 129, was completed a few years ago.
    "They felt they would have many years--10 to 15 years--of safety," Fulton says. "But within two years they were overcrowded again. Now they have up to 140 (inmates) a day in their jail."
    Jackson County officials recognized that a capacity of 156 would not last forever. So the new jail was designed to allow construction of two more floors with a capacity of 130 more beds.
    The only trouble is, the county has run out of extra money from timber sales on Oregon and California Revested Railroad Lands. The Budget Committee now needs it all to finance county operations.
    For that reason, Fulton and Franklin feel the county ought to study a suggestion that the state of Oregon finance the jail expansion. The state would use extra space for a few years to house Class C felons, then turn the facility back to the county, which would reimburse the state.
    The theory behind such a proposal is economical as well as practical. If the state were to finance expansion before the county needed the space, the repayment cost would be considerably lower than the cost--after inflation--to finance construction at a later date.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 18, 1981, page D1

County's New Jail Fills Its Staff with a Feeling of Pride
of the Tidings

    MEDFORD--"It was ludicrous," Sgt. J. R. Miller of the Jackson County Sheriff's Department says, remembering conditions in the county's old jail.
    "We used to have wall-to-wall people in the bullpen." ("The bullpen" was the nickname used to describe the misdemeanor cell of the old jail.) "We used to average about two major riots a year."
    The 24-bed cell sometimes held 60-70 people, Miller recalls.
    But that was two years ago--before construction on the county's new $8 million jail facility was completed.
    It was also before a federal class action suit was filed against the county, charging the jail's substandard conditions violated prisoners' constitutional rights.
    "That was the straw that broke the camel's back," says Miller.
    Now, despite the sharpest budget cuts the Sheriff's Department has ever experienced, things are different at the jail. And the new facility is at least partially responsible for the brighter outlook, according to Jeff Maldonado, administrative sergeant for the department.
    "We did a lot of planning and we're pretty pleased with this facility," Maldonado says.
    The planning he refers to is evident in the new jail. The three-level, 170-person-capacity detention center, staffed by 34 sheriff's deputies, was built with the idea of expansion in mind. Maldonado says the structure is designed to have two more floors added, and the jail kitchen is already equipped to accommodate the extra mouths that would need feeding if the jail were enlarged.
    Currently, the jail has 16 single-man maximum-security cells, four four-man day rooms, 10 eight-man day rooms, 80 medium-security one-man cells and two dormitories, each one able to house 29 prisoners. There are also 16 single cells for women and juvenile and detoxification cells.
    The latest in modern design ideas are employed at the facility--special hard-to-break glass, for instance, separates the cells and allows prisoners the sunlight the Supreme Court has ruled they must have. It also allows jail workers to see into the cells, further protection against unexpected trouble.
    For some time, the county came under heavy fire for using the glass, rather than conventional steel bars. For now, though, Maldonado says the department has ruled out installing the bars because of the costs involved.
    The glass, he admits, can be broken, but sophisticated electronic surveillance equipment acts as a guard against such an occurrence.
    That equipment includes the futuristic-looking control room located on the main level, which makes the building seem like something from the set of a James Bond movie. The room is a humming center of flashing television screens that monitor the movements of people in any area of the jail, audio devices with the capability to sense sounds as loud as coughs in each of the facility's living areas and electronic locks that slide thick metal doors open and closed.
    But there's another side to the jail, too.
    A library--stocked with best-sellers, current periodicals, reference materials, even typewriters--is available for prisoner use. And complete medical care is provided, too, by one of the nation's few American Medical Association-accredited incarceration centers.
    The health-threatening sewer problems the jail had last spring are expected to be resolved soon. Bids for the project have already been let, and construction should start "any time," according to Maldonado.
    Maldonado, along with jail supervisor Lt. Gale Fulton and Sheriff C. W. Smith, believes many people still misunderstand the jail, however.
    Fulton complains too many people are aware only of the problems that have plagued the jail, while Smith believes most people think of the facility as being overstaffed.
    Maldonado says many of the jail's components are viewed by the public as "luxuries."
    What people don't understand, he says, is that most of these items--windows, reading material and the like--are mandated by federal or state laws, or they're used as control measures to reduce the potentially explosive tensions that can build up among inmates.
    Fulton cites the newly expanded volunteer programs that bring social programs into the jail as part of the new positive spirit afoot.
    Smith, on the other hand, points to the fact that about half of his department's 82 staff members are employed at the jail and notes that although the number seems high, the facility is still minimally staffed.
    Maldonado agrees.
    "We have a tremendous logistics problem and we're understaffed," he says.
    But that doesn't dampen the enthusiasm.
    "We're pretty proud of this place," Maldonado says.
Ashland Daily Tidings, November 18, 1983, page 8

Jackson County Jail, November 18, 1983 Ashland Tidings

Volunteers Give a Lot to Inmates
of the Tidings

    MEDFORD--Completion of the new Jackson County Jail more than two years ago has unarguably been one of the biggest factors contributing to the surprisingly high morale levels among jail workers. But there is another factor, and that, perhaps, is even more responsible for the jail's new look.
    The factor? People.
    People like the nearly 200 volunteers who help county jail inmates through social programs that include legal help, counseling, substance abuse programs, language problems, work release, community service assignments, library access and adult education.
    The services are administered through a program called "Project Misdemeanant."
    Program coordinator Liz Reed says the agency, which is administered through the Jackson County District Court, relies heavily on the efforts of its volunteers.
    "It's just great. I'm just real pleased," she said.
    Reed supervises about 35 community volunteers, plus an additional 30 religious counselors, who are involved with programs for inmates. Another 140 or so work under the auspices of Terry Michels, volunteer coordinator for the program, "on the outside"--mostly as probation counselors.
    Reed and Michels agree that volunteer staff members are not only cheaper than paid workers but, in this case, they're more effective.
    Prisoners are more responsive, it seems, to people who work with them voluntarily rather than because it's their job.
    "We have a whole lot more creativity," Michels said.
    Project Misdemeanant's efforts have not gone unnoticed by the jail. The program is praised by jail supervisor Lt. Gale Fulton and Sheriff C. W. Smith.
    Smith beams when he discusses the volunteer efforts in the jail, saying, "We have doubled the number of volunteers in this department."
    The department's gratitude is reciprocated by Reed, who stresses the good working relationship she has with jail administrators and the sheriff's office. Cooperation from the department, she says, has been excellent.
    More outreach programs are planned. Currently, for example, Reed is seeking volunteers interested in starting a recreation program for inmates that would include organized activities and physical fitness therapy.
    Reed's position, which she and other program workers designed, is funded through a two-year state grant. The state began funding her post July 1.
    She says she tends to get wrapped up in the work, and she demands commitment from her volunteers.
    "I like the programs to be the best," she said. "I'm not a perfectionist, but the best."
Ashland Daily Tidings, November 18, 1983, page 8

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