READY TO ROLL

READY TO ROLL

Saturday, October 13, 2012

OHIO PEN - 1930

 
 

On April 21, 1930, a fire at the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus claimed 320 lives. 
 
The blaze - which was apparently started to cover an escape attempt - erupted in the top tier of a cell block along Neil Avenue and spread into other blocks.

The warden braced for a riot.

Instead, "heroism cropped out in unexpected places," according to a Zanesville newspaper.

"Liberated convicts gasped fresh air into their lungs, armed themselves with sledge hammers and crowbars and rushed back into the burning tiers."

Surviving inmates won pardons for their acts of heroism, which also led to creation of the Ohio Parole Board in 1931, according to the Ohio Historical Society.

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Some of the dead were listed as from Springfield and Clark County:

ROBERT BRANNICK
ARCHIE JENKINS
ARCHIE MYERS
CHARLES SHERRICK
THOMAS SHERRICK
ROLLAND J. TAYLOR
FRANK TIMBLIN
EARL YOUNG

Brannick was doing time for possession of liquor. Myers was a burglar. The Sherricks were locked up for robbery. Taylor passed bad checks. Timblin was convicted of larceny. Young stole an auto.