Indiana State Prison
Among the creation of prisons nationally, Jeffersonville opened the first state prison in 1821 at the corner of Ohio Avenue and Market Street. In 1847, the prison moved to this location in Clarksville, IN. Originally housing both men and woman, the prison became a reformatory for men only in 1873. After a fire in 1921, the building as sold to Colgate-Palmolive in 1921. The official state prison is now housed in Michigan City, IN. (See below for details). Digital Photo Book: https://archive.org/details/SouvenirIndianaStatePrisonSouth Preserving the Indiana Penitentiary (South) https://www.indystar.com/story/news/2013/08/25/indianas-first-state-prison-uncovered/2697209/
Backstory and Context
Colgate Palmolive Company document - Jeffersonville Public Library.
Gilkey, J. L., (2003). The Evening News. "Falls of the Ohio Interpretive Center unlocks mysteries of old 'Prison South' with exhibit." February, 6, 2003.
Kramer, C. E. (2007). This place we call home: A History of Clark County, Indiana. Indiana University Press: Bloomington, IN.
Rothman, D.J. (1995). Perfecting the prison: United States, 1789-1865. In The Oxford history of the prison: The Practice of punishment in Western society, Oxford University Press: Oxford.
Rothman, E. (1995). The Failure of reform: United States: 1865-1965. In The Oxford history of the prison: The Practice of punishment in Western society, Oxford University Press: Oxford.
Tumulty, C. J. (1931). The History of the Indiana State Prison - Old Prison South and the Indiana Reformatory at Jeffersonville. The Pulse, Vol III, March 1931). (Tumulty acted as the Assistant Superintendent of the Plant).
Whittaker, W. H. & Barnard, M. M. Indiana Reformatory, Jeffersonville. Jeffersonville Public Library Documents. (These men were the superintendent and assistant superintendent respectively of the reformatory.)
Sources on Historical Marker:
1. Laws of Indiana, 1820-1821, pp. 24-29.
2. Alan January, State Archivist, to Historical Bureau, e-mail, October 28, 2004.
3. "First Warden Tells of His Election, " Jeffersonville Evening News, December 23, 1901. Prisoners were often confined to hard labor. Laws of Indiana, 1820-1821, p. 26."Report of the Visiter to the State Prison, October 30th, 1840, " Report of the State Prison, 1845-1856, p. 136.
4. Second Annual Report of the Warden of the Indiana State Prison, to the General Assembly, December, 1847 (Indianapolis, 1847), p. 39.
5.The law establishing the new prison specified that it was to be outside the town limits of Jeffersonville. Laws of Indiana, 1845-1846, p. 36. A 1781 act of the Virginia General Assembly provided a 150, 000 acre land grant to Colonel George Rogers Clark and his men on the northwest side of the Ohio River. A 1783 act established the process for locating and surveying that land "after laying out one thousand acres at the most convenient place therein for a town." William Henry English, Conquest of the Country Northwest of the River Ohio, 1778-1783 and Life of Gen. George Rogers Clark (Indianapolis and Kansas, 1896), 826-27. The town was platted in 1784 at the southwest corner of the 1, 000-acre grant and named Clarksville. The Indiana State Archives has the minute book of the Board of Trustees of the Town of Clarksville, in which is included the 1784 plan of the town. That plan is included on the Indiana Historical Bureau Web site as part of the George Rogers Clark Exhibit. See also, John D. Barnhart and Dorothy L. Riker, Indiana to 1816: The Colonial Period(Indianapolis, 1971), 254.
6. Laws of Indiana, 1845-1846, p. 36.
7. Laws of Indiana, 1846, p. 36. Sanborn Insurance Map, Jeffersonville, 1886.
8"History of the Penal System, " Indiana Reformatory: Pendleton, Indiana (Pendleton, 1960), p. 3. Laws of Indiana, 1869, pp. 61-72.
9. Laws of Indiana, 1897, pp. 69-77, "General Superintendent's Report, " November 1, 1898, " First Biennial Report of the Board of Managers of the Indiana Reformatory, 1896-1898, p. 13.
10. Laws of Indiana, 1859, p. 135, Laws of Indiana, 1897, pp. 69-77, Jeffersonville Evening News, April 12, 1897.
11. Jeffersonville Evening News, February 6, 1918.
12. Jeffersonville Evening News, April 20, 1921.
13. "Colgate-Palmolive Historic District, " Clark County Interim Report (Indianapolis, 1988), 93.