Our First Jail
Our Second Jail
Prior to its destruction, it housed the only locally executed person, a Rumley man, Alfred Artis, who was convicted of killing his 12 year-old daughter, Emma. Artis was incarcerated in February, 1854, and held throughout his trail. He kept Emma cruelly chained in a shed beginning in November, 1853, during the winter months until she died due to the deprivation of food, water, and clothing. Local witnesses testified as to Emma’s abuse with her father placing an iron collar around her neck and beating her with a pole. The severe cold caused Emma’s hands and feet to freeze as well.
It would take two juries and a little over a year for the authorities to convict Artis. A deputy sheriff constructed a special set of chains to hold the man known throughout the area for his unusual strength. On the day of his execution, Artis refused to climb the stairway of the scaffolding, so he had to be beaten and dragged up to the gallows. A large crowd gathered and watched this history-making public execution.
The Victorian Italante Jail
Our Third Jail
Next to the jail, to the east, is a two-story Romanesque Revival steam plant that still supplies power for the Jail and Courthouse. It was originally built apart from the Courthouse to eliminate the danger of explosion and/or soot discoloration to the newly-built facility. When the ‘Great Flood’ hit in 1913, an emergency hospital was established in the upper portion, giving this building the distinction of housing Sidney’s first hospital. The jail facility was closed in 1994 when a new building was completed on Gearhart Road.