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West Virginia Penitentiary in 1866

October 26, 2013
Times Leader

THE CONSTRUCTION of the West Virginia Penitentiary began in 1866, and was built in part using convict labor. The primary building was gray sandstone which was shipped from Grafton, and Wheeling, W. Va. and Steubenville, Ohio. The structure was described in 1879 as " of the finest and most imposing structure in the state. In 1899 West Virginia received unpleasant criticism because of public hanging, a law was passed against public executions. The last hanging at the penitentiary was in 1949 and the last execution was by electrocution in 1959. Submitted by Joanie Appenzeller

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