The Big House

The Big House

February 11, 1966

Written by Charles Collett

Submitted by: Robert Kingrey

The news this week about Lucasville to be the site of a new $18 million state penitentiary recalls the fact that Ironton has been in the prison news many times.

An Irontonian, Col. T.H.B. Jones, named warden of the “Pen” in 1905 by democrat Governor Harmon, inaugurated the first prison honor system in the nation and received publicity all over the country. Thirty years plus later, another man, widely known as a member of the famous Ironton Tanks football team, Ralph (Red) Alvis became warden of the big institution. Thus Ironton has figured prominently in the prison news. Not many years ago, this writer was informed that I could be a witness at the death chamber when a Lawrence County condemned man was to take his last walk, but I chickened out.