Yuma Territorial Prison History

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Over a century ago in 1875 the construction began for what is now known as the Yuma Territorial Prison. Known to be one of many of Yuma’s historical artifacts the Territorial Prison was in operation for thirty three years, holding up to 3,069 prisoners and obtaining its first prisoner on July 1, 1876. Although the Yuma Territorial Prison was viewed as having a bad reputation, it actually treated the inmates fairly well. The prison maintained rules which were enforced and followed by the inmates. As follows in the next several paragraphs I will educate you on the historical significance of the prison as well as give descriptions of the prison and also inform you about the inmates, the way they lived within the prison and sadly the way some …show more content…

Surrounded of the prison was a eighteen feet tall, eight feet thick wall, and five feet thick at the top of the wall, so the guard were able to walk around and monitor the inmates (Murphy 1999 ). The cells within the prison were constructed by the inmates and were made out of a material called adobe bricks that were found at the bottom of the river, also they covered the roof in metal. In each one of the cells, six inmates belonged to a cell, they only had one bucket that was used as a bathroom. The prison did have many resources such as running water, electricity, bathtubs, showers, a library with over two thousand books, they even had a band within the prison, the name of the band was “ Yuma Prison Band …show more content…

One lady by the name of Elena Estrada went by the nickname as “ heartbreaker “. Elena had been sentenced to seven years, for stabbing her unfaithful lover and opening up his chest then cutting out his heart and through his heart at his face. A male inmate with the name of Frank Leslie went by the name “ fast gun “. He shot his girlfriend in a drunken rage and a man in a gang, then later on he became a model inside the Yuma prison. Another man named Barney K Riggs goes by the name of “ Hero of the Gates Riot “. He was sentenced for life for killing a man who was associated with his wife, then while serving his time he saved a supertient gates from a gate riot. A women named Pearl Hart but “ Bandit Queen “ was her nickname. Pearl and Joe Boot robbed the globe to florence stagecoach. Pearl had been sentenced to fives years but only had served two. Joe Boot was sentenced thirty years but had escaped and only had done two years and was never recaptured. Another inmate, William Jordan Flake , went by the nickname of “ Mormon Prisoner “. He had been arrested for unlawful marriage, many others fled to Mexico to avoid prosecution. But William did not, William only served six months, then lived out his life with his two wives and twenty children. Lastly Ricardo Flores Magon, his nickname was “ Mexican Revolutionary “ he went to prison

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