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: 145
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IStOI'R Y OP T'EXAS.
lorce for which lie may have been appointed.
This sergeant, under the direction of said
officers, has the appointing and control of the
guards necessary to control such force. The
contractor has nothing whatever to do with
tlhe discipline of the convicts. He is only
entitled to a reasonable amount of labor
within hours, etc., prescribed by contract and
provided for in the penitentiary rules and
regulations. On the contract farms the contractors
feed the convicts as prescribed by the
rules. At all other places the State feeds,
clothes and furnishes bedding and all medicines
and medical attendance, and pays all
sergeants and guards. The law provides that
no contract shall be made by which the control
of the convicts, except as to a reasonable
amount of labor, shall pass from the State or
its officers, and the management of convicts
shall, in all cases and under all circumstances,
remain under control of the State and its
At the Huntsville penitentiary there is the
wagon department, in which are built wagons,
drays, cane and log wagons, buggies, hacks,
etc. In the cabinet department are made
chairs and furniture, mostly of a cheap class.
In the machine rooms are made engines,
boilers, hydrants, etc.; in the foundry various
kinds of castings. There is a factory in
which is manufactured mostly the stripes for
all the clothing for the convicts. In the shoe
and tailor shops are made convict shoes and
clothes, and there is also done on order some
The State owns and works on State account
with convicts a farm about two miles from
the Huntsville penitentiary, on which is raised
cotton for the factory, corn for farm and prison
consumption, and vegetables for the prison.
At the Rusk penitentiary the principal industries
are the making of pig iron, manuifacture
of castings of various kinds, and
making of cast-iron water and gas pipe. A
large number of convicts are engaged iln
making charcoal and digging iron ore for the
In connection with the Rusk penitentiary
some of the land belonging to the State is
used for raising fruit and vegetables for the
convicts, and other lands have been rented
contiguous to the prison, on which has been
raised corn, peas, etc., for prison use.
Another farm belonging to the State, in
Fort Bend county, on Oyster creek, and
known as Harlem, is worked on State account,
and raises cotton, corn and sugar for the general
market. All of these farms are operated
with second and third class convict laborconvicts
not fit for much other kind of labor.
There are two farms worked on the share
system, by which the State furnishes the
labor and the owners of the farms the land
and teams, and crop divided. One of these
belongs to the estate of J. G. Johnson, about
seven miles from Huntsville, and employs
about forty convicts, and the other belongs
to Colonel John D. Rogers, in Brazos county,
on which are employed about 160 convicts.
There is the same class of convicts on these
share farms as on the State farms.
The officers of the penitentiaries appointed.
by the governor are: three commissioners,
constituting the penitentiary board, one superintendent
of penitentiaries, one financial
agent of penitentiaries, two assistant superintendents
of penitentiaries, two inspectors of
The officers appointed by the penitentiary
board are: two penitentiary physicians, two
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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/m1/150/: accessed May 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .