History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families Page: 144
144 BISTOAR OP TEXAS.
'Coryell county, and the necessary buildings that portion of the law of 1881 authorizing
erected there during the summer of 1888. the lease of the penitentiaries, and conseUp
to date of the last report of the superin- quenltly the contract and State account systendent
$75.890 had been expended in the terns only are allowed.
pullchase of land, erection of buildings, and At this time all of the industries at both the
equipping the institution. prisons, Huntsville and Rusk, are operated
The institution has a capacity of about on the State account system. Between 800
100, and was opened January 3, 1889. Up and 900 convicts are worked on farms, and
to October 31, 1890, 111 persons had been about 463 on railroads, under the contract
received at the institution. system. Nearly 200 convicts are worked on
All persons under sixteen years of age farms on shares, and about 200 on farms
convicted of any. felony, the punishment for owned by the State, on State account.
which does not exceed flie years' confinement, The organization of the penitentiaries conare
sentenced to the Reformatorv. sists of a penitentiary board composed of
The trustees are required to "see that the three commissioners appointed by the govinmnates
are taught habits of industry and ernor, a superintendent of penitentiaries, a
sobriety, some useful trade, and to read and financial agent of penitentiaries, two assistant
write, and also supplied with suitable books." superintendents of penitentiaries, and two inThe
white and colored inmates of the insti- spectors of outside convict camps, all aptution
are required to be kept, worked and pointed by the governor. For each peniteneducated
separately. tiary a physician and a chaplain are appointed
The institution is conducted on the "cot- by the penitentiary board. The assistant
tage" or family plan. The buildings are superintendent of each penitentiary appoints,
heated by steam and lighted by electricity. with the approval of the superintendent, such
Since the institution was opened a farm of number of under officers as may be necessary
200 acres and a garden and orchard-about to preserve discipline and prevent escapes.
600 acres-have been put in cultivation. And the superintendent of penitentiaries,
There are six officers and three guards at when the penitentiaries are being operated
the institution. Expense of the institution on State account, may, under the direction of
from March 1 to November 30, 1891, $25,- the State board, employ such number of
295.48. skilled workmen or other employes as may
be deemed essential to the successful operaTHE
PENITENTIARY SYSTEM. tion of the penitentiaries.
The gangs or forces of convicts worked on
The law of 1881 for organizing the State farms and railroads, whether worked under
penitentiaries provided that the system of contract or on State account, are each under
labor in the State penitentiaries should be by the control of an officer designated as a serlease,
by contract, by the State, or partly by geant, who is appointed by the superintend.
one system and partly by the other, as shall ent of penitentiaries, and, under the direction
be in the discretion of the penitentiary board of the said superintendent and inspector of
deemed for the best interests of the State. outside forces, has charge and control of the
Trhe Eighteenth Legislature in 1883 repealed management and discipline of the convic
F~~~~~~~~~ ~mnagement an d i cplie f h cnv
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Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families, book, 1893; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/m1/149/ocr/: accessed April 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .