From The Prison Press (Inmate newspaper)

Warden Hunter's New Residence

Whatever may be the state and inclination of the weather hereabouts as a result of the proverbial ground-hog's reconnoiter next Monday, the atmosphere in the Warden's new residence from this time forth is pretty certain to be as pleasantly springlike as it is possible to find in an Iowa climate.

For the past several days, or since the receipt of the house furnishings, the work of laying carpets, arranging furniture, polishing mirrors and brasswork, cleaning windows, and otherwise preparing the spacious and beautiful mansion for the receptions of the Wardens family has been diligently pushed all day and far into the night. At this writing (Thursday A.M.) Mrs. Hunter may be seen with apron pockets bulging out like a schoolboy's with tacks, tape-line, chamois shin, and the innumerable odds and ends which go to make up the experienced housewife's "kit" of moving tools, superintending the enormous fob of getting the stately residence in order, while superintendent Fife and several of his men from the Carpenter-shop arrange things to suit.

Now that the rooms are furnished, the beauty, good taste, and artistic features of the interior embellishments look grander than ever. The furnishings of each room harmonize beautifully with the walls and ceiling. The carpets are the best Biglow make and instead of covering the whole floor are laid loose, leaving exposed to view about eighteen inches of the highly polished oak floor.

On the first floor above the office floor are four large airy rooms and the dining-room. A large hallway opens on to the portico in front and ends at the dining-room on the west end. The dinning-room is finished in mahogany and plate-glass. The sideboard extends nearly across the room, and to the ceiling in height. It is beautifully finished and with its fine plate-glass panels, high polish, and ornamental drawer-pulls presents a magnificent appearance. A large mahogany extension dining-table sets in the middle of the room. It, too, is a beautiful piece of work, being wholly the work of our local artisans. In fact all the mirror frames, panels, and the like, were made by inmates under Superintendent Fife's and Barrett's supervision. Upstairs is a similar set of rooms, the one directly above the dining-room being the ballroom. The floor is polished like a mirror, which, with the electric chandelier, and tastefully painted walls and ceiling, make a pretty place for the young folks to dance.

Still higher up are a suit of four bedrooms. The kitchen, breakfast-room, and laundry are in the basement. The kitchen is connected with the upstairs dining-room by a dumb-waiter. Just off the dining-room there is a neatly arranged place for washing and preparing dishes, together with convenient cupboards for the table service.

As a whole the Warden's new residence is a magnificent dwelling place. It puzzles us, however, to know how Mrs. Hunter shall keep from getting lonesome in so large a residence. At present the family numbers two. Miss Mary Hunter, Warden and Mrs. Hunter's only daughter, a pretty young lady of maybe eighteen, is in Massachusetts attending school. There is room in the house four a family of Germans.

Access to the upstairs rooms is gained by way of a stone stairway. The banisters and railing are skilfully hand wrought and highly polished. The hall floors and some of the window-sills are inlaid with marble, and polished like glass. All is beautiful!

After seeing the enormous expanse of living-room area - rooms halls, retreats, closets, bathroom, library, comfort corners, and so forth, all so cozy looking, too - The P.P. man is inclined to think that it would be a delightful place to "do time" in. The entire building from roof to cellar is the work of inmates. Excavation for the foundation was made about the time the World's Fair was opened in Chicago. Much of the stone molding that sets off the windows from the outside was hewn by the writer. We have therefore taken quite an active part in bringing the Warden's new residence to its present state of completed grandeur.