Peoria County, Illinois  Genealogy Trails



Peoria County Jail Report, 1911



The Peoria county jail is a brick and stone building of two stories. The sheriff resides at the jail; a jailer stays in the jail-office, day and night. 
The jail is an ill-ventilated, insanitary place of confinement. 
The windows and seven and one-half feet from the floor; the first floor cells, therefore, get very little light and air, especially as the windows are 
covered with heavy, perforated sheets. The present sheriff does not use the lowest cells, unless the jail is crowded. The corridors are artificially lighted 
throughout the day. As the cells are of stone, they are very dark; they are ventilated only by means of bar doors. The corridors are supplied with 
openings, through which the foul air is withdrawn by means of an electric fan. 
As the county allows nothing for washing, the men are required to clean their own towels, bedding and clothes. 
The dampness of the jail renders It almost impossible to dry woolen blankets, so the bedding is aired daily, and replaced when it becomes very dirty. 
The mattresses are taken out of doors and disinfected about every three weeks. Although there are bugs in the walls, the men do not complain of 
being unable to keep them out of their beds. 
The men do most of their own disciplining by means of the "Kangaroo court." They have two, dark rooms for punishment cells, but the usual 
method of dealing with a man, who has violated one of their laws, is to sentence him to hard labor. 
Two minors occupied the main jail, at the time of inspection. 
The juvenile department is on the second floor; it is not well-lighted or ventilated. 
Women are placed in a large room on the second floor. The room is a part of the sheriff's residence fitted up as a jail-room; there is enough wood 
in the construction to make it a dangerous place of confinement in case of fire. 
A dark cell, used for men condemned to death, is occasionally used for violent insane. This cell, an adjoining one, the room for women, and the 
juvenile department, are all on the second floor and accessible only by means of wooden stairs. There is no fire escape. 
The present sheriff deserves praise for the general cleanliness which prevails despite the faulty sanitary condition of the jail.

Source: Reports of Inspections of County Jails, Visited During 1911, SECOND ANNUAL REPORT OF THE State Charities Commission, By Illinois State Charities Commission, December 31, 1911
Transcribed by Candi H. -2011

House of Corrections, 1911 Report


House of Correction 1911 Report


Jos. BRODMAN, Superintendent. 
The House of Correction, located in Peoria, is owned and maintained by the city. The county of Peoria pays seventeen and one-half cents per day 
for the board of each county prisoner who is sent to the House of Correction. 
The cell-house, a two story brick building, has long narrow windows on either side, which afford fair light and ventilation for the corridors. 
The lower tier of cells is of stone; the upper tier, of iron. The stone cells are ventilated by means of bar doors and small openings into airshafts. The 
iron cells have iron, bar fronts and openings into the same air shafts. During the winter, two or four men sleep in each cell and several are placed 
on the floor. Under such conditions of over crowding, the cell-ventilation is inadequate. 
At the time of inspection, there were one hundred men; there are thirty- four cells for men, and ninety-four beds. 
Women are placed in a detached wing, on the second floor. The partitions and floors of this department are of wood. Superintendent Brodman never locks the cell doors and he has provided a fire escape, which can be used, at the end of the corridor opposite the main stairway. Still it is undesirable to restrain persons in a place which is not fire proof. 
Men are employed in brick-making, broom-making, hospital work, ship yard work, kitchen work, white washing, breaking rock, painting, hauling, 
and as janitors. At the time of Inspection, most of the employed men were in the broom factory. As about fifty men can be worked to advantage 
in this factory, many men were necessarily idle. The factory Is entirely equipped with hand machinery. Women are employed in cooking, laundry-work, etc. There were three women at the time of Inspection.

The institution is in excellent sanitary condition, but It is over-crowded. The cells are clean and free from vermin. 
Minors are confined with older men and women, as no provision is made for their segregation. 
Careful office records are kept and a complete annual report is made. 
The officers in charge of the institution deserve commendation for their excellent management.

Probation Officers
Mrs. Minnie Fritz, Address Peoria, Salary $75.00 a month 
Assistant Stratmore, Address Peoria, Salary $50.00 a month


Source: Reports of Inspections of County Jails, Visited During 1911, SECOND ANNUAL REPORT OF THE State Charities Commission, By Illinois State Charities Commission, December 31, 1911
Transcribed by Candi H. -2011


County Farm Report, 1911 Report


DAVIS, Superintendent, Hanna City. 
The Peoria county farm is located at Maxwell station, which is reached from Peoria via the Iowa Central railroad. 
The mens' building is a large two-story brick, which extends east and west. The superintendent lives near the western end of the building. 
Immediately east of the keeper's quarters, the women live. Their sitting room is barely furnished, but is light and well ventilated. 
Their rooms are located on either side of a hall, which extends east and west. The north rooms are dark. Many of the women are provided with rockers. 
The wood work is badly in need of paint. Each floor is provided with hose. There is a bath room on every floor, and a common wash room. 
The women's quarters are clean, the beds are dressed in white and are free from vermin. 
Doors lead from the women's quarters to a wing used for men; they are always locked. The men's rooms are arranged on the east and west sides 
of a dark hall. Some of the rooms are large enough for four beds. Colored spreads are used for men. There are no bugs on the beds, although there 
are many walls which are constantly treated for vermin in this wing. No light is furnished for the rooms. Coal oil lamps are used in the halls. 
In the basement, of the eastern wing, many men have rooms. A sitting room is placed in the basement, where men spend much of their time in smoking. 
The dining rooms, kitchen, store rooms, and bakery are in the basement. The floors are of cement and are in need of repair. Many walls need repainting. 
Meats, lard, milk are kept in the basement. West of the superintendent's rooms are rooms for men. The clothes' room, barber shop, shoe shop are placed here.  The laundry is in a detached building; all the machinery is run by steam. The heating plant is in a separate building. The water tanks are in the attic. 
The hospital is a two-story brick, east of the main building. Miss Carrie Stephenson, a trained nurse, is matron. Three practical nurses assist her. 
The plastering is broken off in many places; some of the floors are rough. 
There are no single rooms; this is not only undesirable from the standpoint of patients, who have noisy room-mates, but in case of contagious 
disease, there is no adequate place for segregation. Men occupy the first floor and the basement. Chronic cases are confined in the basement. 
The dining room and kitchen are in the basement. On the second floor, are a maternity room, several bed rooms, and wards for women. 
One boy of three and one-half years occupied a room with many sick women. There is an operating room which is rarely used. 
Tubercular patients are confined in a frame covered tent. There are thirty-nine patients in the hospital, which is usually crowded. 
A diet of eggs, milk, etc., is furnished for the sick. A doctor or his assistant visits the hospital twice a week and oftener, if called. 
Services are held each Sunday in a chapel, located on the farm. The farm is well managed and the house well ordered. 
If more room were provided, electric light installed, and the interior wood work, floors and walls repaired, the Peoria farm would be in very good condition.

Source: Reports of Inspections of the County Infirmaries of Illinois in 1911 SECOND ANNUAL REPORT OF THE State Charities Commission, By Illinois State Charities Commission, December 31, 1911
Transcribed by Candi H. -2009






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