3 May 2005
Source: Portrait & Biographical Album of Whiteside County, IL
Originally published 1885, Chapman Bros., Chicago, IL
Reproduced on CD purchased from OLD GLORY ACCENTS
Transcribed by Denise McLoughlin
Tampico Area Historical Society
During the January term of 1858, the Board of Supervisors passed an order for the construction of a jail. Bids were received by W. S. Barnes, H. C. Fellows and A. C. Jackson, Supervisors, who were appointed a committee on construction and contract. The contract was let to Charles Nelson, who was to complete the work for $10,100, in accordance with the plans and specifications adopted. The building was completed in the early part of 1859. the jail was inadequate to meet the increasing demands of later years and in 1876 the Board of Supervisors made an appropriation of $4,900 for enlarging and remodeling it. This work was completed the same year. Total cost of jail, including Sheriff;s residence, $15,000. These improvements were much needed, not only for the safety of the prisoners, but for their health.
The jail, with the Sheriff's residence, which is in front, is a two-story building, constructed of Joliet stone. There are eight cells, which are built after the P. J. Pauly patent, four below and four above. A corridor runs on three sides, leaving the north end of the cells against the outer wall. These cells area constructed with a combination of iron and steel, and would seem proof against the most experienced and skillful criminal. They are well ventilated and reasonably lighted. An iron stairway leads to the cells above. Water is conducted through the entire building rom the water works. The jail is situated in the Court-House Square block, just east of the Court-House.