Warden's Daughter Calmly Handles His Office as Father Directs Guards at Blazing Prison

1930 article related to the Ohio Pen fire

hopemoore Member Photo

Clipped by hopemoore

Warden's Daughter Calmly Handles His Office as Father Directs Guards at Blazing Prison - Warden's Daughter Calmly Handles His Office As...
Warden's Daughter Calmly Handles His Office As Father Directs Guards At Blazing Prison COLUMBUS, O.. April 21 ITPj — With Warden Thomas inside of the prison walls during tonight's death dealing fire in Ohio Penitentiary, the situation in tho prison outer qf- flce was handled by Miss Amanda Thomas, ids daughter. This young woman ordered guards to their posts, issued machine guns and ammunitions, called doctors and nurses and summoned troops and performed many other duties. She was calm and collected until the fire threatened her home In the penitentiary main building. Then she turned her attention to the house, ordering htr valuables removed At the height p.t the fire, someone sooutfd that the flames were spread- lug toward other cell blocks In which 500 men, including condemned, prisoners, were housed.' Then it wuu discovered that the key to these cells had been misplaced. The chief deputy warden took command of the situation, and ordered guards In with axt-s and sledge bam net's to open the cells If the fire spread further. J;; -;; >;: Includes all the bad men, mostly long termers-men who refuse to be. disciplined. A luilf doxen of these got loose during tho excitement, and until they were cornered, fires broke out In the cotton mills and fire liose.-i were cut. To them was attributed the trouble among the thousand convicts loose in the yards. , One hard boiled Columbus fire captain does not fear convicts. He had to pass through a'cell block of loose ptlsouers In order to get lines of hose on th eroof. Warned by prison guards that the convicts might be "nasty'' he shrugged his s.'ioul- ders and went In. AVlthin a short time he had fire lines on the roofs. "Big Jim" Morton, notorious Cleveland bank robber, was a hero of the fife. Big Jlm,„ loose in the yard When the fire started, rescued a score of men from K block. Ht< continued working at top speed until he was overcome by 3mok,e. HJ was unconscious for a time, but was revived a'id suffered little ill effects. (• Among the Ejuvlcts who were suffocated wan Horen Hill, a tormvi' prison guard. Hill was sentenced to serve three years' to life* for aiding John AVhltefield to escape. Whitefield was a notorious convict, and later was shot to death. Tho Salvation Army set up a canteen in front of the prison after night fall, and passed out coffe.u and eats to soldiers, firemen and others on duty there. Death claimed Garland Runyan, of Lawrence-co, a few hours after he entered the prison. Runyan was admitted to the penitentiary today to serve a term for abandoning liU children In Ironton. He waw assigned to the ill-fated K cell block, and was numbered among the dead. The cell tier In which tonight's fire started, was the scene of an attempted escape by three prisoners Saturday night. The men had sawed their way out of their cells, and wero making for the door when guards apprehended them. Ohio penltetillai'y has "entertained" many prominent convicts, including O'llenry, the author, who started, his career of writing while cpnfined here. He was sentenced v * * for embezzlement. Among other "notables" was Professor James II. Snook of Ohio State University, who was electrocuted re^ntly. Flood Uglits were turned Into the prison yards late tonight. Under the blazing lights, soldiers and national guardsmen aided prison guards In driving the loose convicts into their cells. The work was arduous, for most of the prisoners were tnllling'"about and paying little attention to orders. The Coliseum, at the Ohio State fair grounds, scene pf many a gala fete, was to be u house of death tomorrow. To this large hall tho victims of the tragedy wero to be moved in the morning. Here the undertakers were to go ft work and pre pure the bodies for burial. A major part of the dead remained unidentified at a late hour tonight. Prison officials were paying little attention to Identification work until the situation in the prison yurd was brought under con ; trol und every convict was locked in a cell. The Ohio National Guard v-Vas (Continued on X'uge 10. Column :i

Clipped from
  1. The Sandusky Register,
  2. 22 Apr 1930, Tue,
  3. Page 1

hopemoore Member Photo
  • Warden's Daughter Calmly Handles His Office as Father Directs Guards at Blazing Prison — 1930 article related to the Ohio Pen fire

    hopemoore – 15 Mar 2013

Want to comment on this Clipping? Sign up for a free account, or sign in