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Folied Jail Break - 1870


Posted By: cheryl moonen (email)
Date: 9/11/2017 at 18:47:12

Thursday, May 5, 1870
Paper: Anamosa Eureka (Anamosa, Iowa)
Page: 3


Last Friday Sheriff Crane performed a coup d’ctat on the prisoners in the county jail which they little anticipated. For some time he has suspected they were in some mischief, but had seen no tools and based his suspicions entirely on the slightly changed and somewhat favorable deportment of the prisoners. On the day above mentioned Mr. Crane came downtown, in view of the prisoners who were in the jail hall, and soon after his family also left the premises. The prisoners now supposed they were alone, but in the meantime the Sheriff returned by a back way and at once began observations. The grating of a file first saluted his ears! On further investigation he became satisfied that the prisoners, Wm. Joy, Edward Champion, and someone else were at work. The result was: six drills and a strong brace into which to insert them, three-three cornered files-new, and two case files–one of them having sharp, well cut teeth on the edge and the back. This latter instrument would cut an iron bar with astonishing rapidity. Next the grate doors were lifted up and off their hinges. This can be done only when the doors are open. One of the hinges of the door by which Joy was confined was found to have been drilled a half inch or less; and doubtless before the next June term of the Court, everyone of these prisoners, had they not been defeated in their purpose by the vigilance of the Sheriff, would have escaped, and Justice been cheated of their dues.


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