: This photograph from the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus is of John Thomas, age 34. His formal attire suggests that the photograph was taken during his trial or sentencing. Thomas, who murdered two Ohio Penitentiary guards, was the 264th individual to be executed via the electric chair in Ohio. The caption at the bottom reads: “No. 264, John Thomas of Franklin County, Legally Electrocuted February 4, 1949 for the Murder of Walter Zimmer and Samuel Chesshir”
In 1885 the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus, Ohio, became the location for all executions, which previously took place in the various county seats. In 1896 the Ohio General Assembly mandated that electrocution replace hanging as the form of capital punishment. The Ohio Penitentiary regularly offered tours as well as souvenir photographs and postcards of the building and prisoners on death row.
A total of 315 prisoners, both men and women, were executed in the electric chair known as “Old Sparky” between 1897 and 1963.
View on Ohio Memory.
: AL08316 Subjects
: Ohio History--State and Local Government--Law; Capital punishment--Ohio--History; Death row; Electrocution; Ohio History--State and Local Government--Corrections; Ohio Penitentiary (Columbus, Ohio); Prisons--Ohio Places
: Columbus (Ohio); Franklin County (Ohio)