Iowa Consecutive Registers of Convicts, 1867 - 1970

Appanoose County Convictions

Transcribed records are for inmates noted in the Registers as from the county of Appanoose.   Information is for three facilities: the Iowa State Penitentiary at Fort Madison, the Anamosa State Penitentiary in Anamosa, and the Iowa State Reformatory for Women in Rockwell City.   These records were transcribed and combined from two sets of records, the Governor's records and the Board of Control's records.   The full set of original records for all inmates are available at the Iowa State Historical Society, Des Moines, Iowa.    Governor's Consecutive Registers of Convicts, 1867-1960 (Books 1 through 7) and the Board of Control Consecutive Registers of Convicts, 1872-1970 (Books 8 through 12).

History of Iowa's Industrial Schools and Penitentiaries, from Iowa and the Nation, George Chandler, Revised edition 1901, A. Flanagan Co., Publishers, New York & Chicago.   Page 174-175.

Industrial Schools

The first school of this kind in Iowa was established in Lee county, in March 1868, and in October of the same year, the first inmate was received.   In 1873, the school was removed to Eldora, Hardin county, and some time after, 1880, a law was passed removing the girls to a separate school at Mitchellville, Polk county.

Purpose  -  These schools are intended for the reformation of such boys and girls under eighteen years of age as may be committed to them.    Any person under sixteen years of age, who is to be guilty of any crime except murder, may be sent to these schools upon the order of the judge of the court in which he was convicted.

Management  -   Instruction is given in ethics and in such of the common school branches as the board of control prescribe.    Each pupil is required to perform a certain amount of labor, which is varied according to his age, strength, and special ability.   With the consent of the parents or guardians pupils may be bound out to service until the time of their majority.


In addition to the institutions already mentioned, the state has been obliged to make provisions for restraining criminals, and especially those guilty of felony.    Public offenses are of two kinds, felonies and misdemeanors.    A felony is a crime which is punishable by imprisonment in the penitentiary.   All other crimes are misdemeanors.   The first steps toward establishing a penitentiary were taken by the territorial legislature, in 1839.   Directors were appointed to superintend the construction of the building, which was to be located at Ft. Madison, Lee county.   An additional penitentiary was established at Anamosa, Jones county, by the Fourteenth General Assembly.   In May 1873, twenty convicts were transferred from the penitentiary at Ft. Madison to the new one at Anamosa.  The building at the latter place is of stone, and much of work of quarrying, as well as building, was done by the convicts themselves.   The discipline is rigid, but humane.    The convicts learn various trades, the work being done within the penitentiary with machines and tools belonging to the state.    The labor of convicts at Ft. Madison is sold to contractors.    The penitentiary at Anamosa is used by the United States as a government prison.   All female convicts in the state are sentenced to Anamosa penitentiary.    This penitentiary also has a ward for insane convicts, and all convicts adjudged insane are sent there.   Each prison has an excellent library, and careful attention is given to the selection of books.

The State Reformatory for Women opened in Rockwell City in 1917.    Women initially were held at both Anamosa and Fort Madison.

Anamosa Reformatory

Fort Madison Penitentiary

Rockwell City - Women's Reformatory