April 21, 1898
NO LONGER A MYSTERY
Cavity in Ledge at Quarry Found to
Have Been Used by Convicts in
Making Escape Last Week
Clothes of King and Hammond Have
Been Recovered - Comment the
Report Has Called Forth.
Warden Hunter has exonerated the guards at the quarry from all blame connected with the escape of Convicts King and Hammond.
Cavity in the Rocks
It was discovered last week that a natural hiding place had been opened by the prisoners in the course of their work at the quarry. The formation is singular. It is not infrequently the case that cavities in the ledges of rock are brought to light but in almost every case the space is filled with clay - sediment deposited by the percolation of water - though seldom exceeding a cubic foot in area.
It appears that in this instance no water had seeped through and an aperature of sufficient dimensions to accommodate a half dozen men was brought to light. The convicts had made the discovery and in the course of their work had taken pains to cover up the opening and keep knowledge of the condition from the guards. It has been demonstrated beyond doubt that it was within this cavity the two escaped men were planted until the hours of darkness made it possible for them to make good their flight. The location of this opening is such that the nearest gun-guard is unable to see it owing to the intervention of rock piles.
Clothes Have Been Recovered
The clothes of the two missing men have been found. A farmer residing near the town of Springville picked them up just off the highway. It is safe to say the pair are arrayed in citizens garb and out of immediate danger of recapture.
Comment Which Escape Engended.
Cedar Rapids papers some three weeks ago gave the local sheets credit for falling over eachother - telescoping eachother, as it were - in their eagerness to give the retiring warden a chilly farewell, and install themselves into the good graces of the incoming administration. The first of the week in connection with a mention of the escapes it is stated from the same source that "Anamosa papers are already taking shots at the new warden for the escape of Convicts King and Hammond." The Journal "salutes" you, gentlemen, but suggests that one or the other imputation given the lie. When the new administration took charge, a half page cartoon was printed, representing Warden Hunter standing outside the wall with a stuffed club in the act of striking an escaping convict, with the words above: "Things have changed at Anamosa." Well, they have changed - the administration.
As a matter of fact the escape of the convicts in question is no reflection on Warden Hunter, That system of government for penal institutions does not exist which will completely obviate the possibility of some convict among the six hundred - men whose minds and energy are ever gravitating toward escape - working out a method by which the rules and watchfulness of the guards can be circumvented. Especially is this true in a prison where construction work is still in progress. There have been escapes from at the Anamosa penitentiary under every administration and Warden Hunter will achieve a signal success if the two that are gone complete the list during his tenure of office. As stated above it is no reflection on the warden that the men are gone, for the proposition that any form of discipline in an uncompleted prison can be made to do away with escapes is ridiculous. If Mr. Hunter succeeds in reducing the output of "tourists" which have marked former administrations, he will have done good service and merited the plaudits of the people.