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York County Commissioners Outraged by Jail Vandalism

1850s York County Prison
Here we were with a nice new jail that resembled a castle and someone had the nerve to deface the tablet over the entrance. When you look at the photo above you wonder how in the world anyone could get to it unnoticed. The arched entrance is quite high and very visible from the street and from the railroad track. The tablet must be the light colored rectangle above the arch.
The commissioners certainly took offense, offering a substantial reward and threatening to throw the book at the perpetrators, as reported in the Democratic Press of September 5, 1854.


Whereas, some malicious, evil disposed person has defaced the marble Tablet placed over the entrance of the New County Prison for York County. The above reward will be paid for the detection and conviction of the said person, and any one who may be caught defacing or otherwise injuring any part of the said building, will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Commissioners of York County.”
For sake of comparison: Barnum’s Museum and Menagerie, the premier circus of the day, was appearing in York. Admission was 25 cents, so if you turned in the vandals, you would have enough cash to treat 200 of your dearest friends to “the largest Traveling Exhibition in the world.”
Click the links below for more on York County prisons.
Escape from earlier jail.
A still earlier escape.
And from the one above.
Fire at the next prison.
Jail expenses in the 1820s.