: This photograph from the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus is of 43-year-old Lester Nichols. His formal attire suggests that the photograph was taken during his trial or sentencing. Nichols was convicted of murdering his father-in-law, Rev. Lewis Whitaker, and wounding others in a home invasion. The caption at the bottom reads: “No. 266 Lester Nichols of Allen County, Legally Electrocuted March 4, 1949 for the Murder of Lewis Whitaker.”
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.
: AL08318 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; Ohio History--State and Local Government--Corrections; Death row Places
: Columbus (Ohio); Franklin County (Ohio); Allen County (Ohio)