Thomas B. Williams photograph   Save
Thomas B. Williams photograph
Description: In 1885, the Ohio Penitentiary became the site of all executions for prisoners on death row; formerly, executions had taken place in the county where the crime was committed. In 1896, the Ohio General Assembly mandated that electrocution replace hanging as the state’s only form of capital punishment. Altogether there were 315 people who were electrocuted at the Ohio Penitentiary, their deaths occurring between 1897 and 1963. This photograph shows 19-year-old Thomas B. Williams, the 206th prisoner in Ohio to be executed in this manner. Williams was a 19-year-old handyman from Jefferson County. His portrait was displayed in the east annex of the Ohio Penitentiary along with hundreds of other photographs of prisoners who were executed by the state of Ohio. These were housed in the same area of the penitentiary as death row and the execution chamber itself. The caption at the bottom of his photograph reads: “No. 207, Thomas B. Williams of Jefferson County, Electrocuted June 27th, 1938 for the Murder of Reuben Mirvis at Steubenville, Ohio.” Williams killed Mirvis, the 68-year-old caretaker of a local synagogue, during a robbery. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: AL08261
Subjects: Ohio History--State and Local Government--Law; Ohio History--State and Local Government--Corrections; Capital punishment--Ohio--History; Electrocution; Death row; Ohio Penitentiary (Columbus, Ohio)
Places: Jefferson County (Ohio); Steubenville (Ohio); Franklin County (Ohio); Columbus (Ohio)