Thursday, February 14, 2013

Dumpster Diving Pays Off

Shortly after my husband first took office (as sheriff) he was walking past one of the courthouse dumpsters and saw these books. He dove in and got them.
They're prisoner log in books for the county jail. The oldest one dates as early as 1913. The new one has entries from as recently as 1990.
They're beautiful books. 
The canvas cover protects the leather binding. 
Even the label is gorgeous. 
But what's really fascinating is what's written inside. People could be arrested for adultery. And murder, of course. 
(But let's be fair~he was acquitted. Although, there are more entries for murder than I would have guessed. This wasn't always the sleepy little town it is now, apparently.)
There are lots of entries for "sickness". I'd like to know if that means extremely inebriated, or if those people were homeless and sick and just needed to sleep indoors. 
And here we have a booking for a group of sheep thieves. And someone was arrested for "Family Trouble." 
I'm guessing domestic violence. 
This is from the newer book. Someone was happy to see the end of 1989!
We also have the old keys from the jail. My husband's grandfather kept them. He was the sheriff here, too. 
Jailhouse chic, no?
My husband keeps these in his office, but when he's through with that job, they're coming home. 
He who dives for them, keeps them. 
Seems fair to me.

Thanks for reading!

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Feral Turtle said...

What a cool "find". Amazing how the records were kept until so recent.

NanaDiana said...

How cool is that!?! Amazing find- xo Diana

KSF said...

These books have value to all of us researching our family history. I would highly recommend you contact your local genealogy society (there are usually groups in every city or county) and tell them that you have these books. If the info inside hasn’t already been indexed they may be very interested in volunteering to digitize the books for their records. You have genealogy gold there.

Jess said...

I think that they are wonderful! You should definitely keep them. You are preserving history, maybe some that some people would like to forget, but still interesting. Love the handwriting!

pbrenner said...

I'm so glad he saved those books - they are historical treasures! And I was also wondering if the entries for 'insanity' and 'demented' might also have been alcohol related. And I shouldn't laugh, but couldn't help but chuckle at the alliteration in Ernest Bugbee - Beating Board Bill.


belmonili said...

Wow, what a find! Those are gorgeous...such a neat piece of history. Dumpster diving saves the day!

Gail Wilson said...

that is fascinating Suzanne! I never read books, but I believe I'd read those cover to cover!
so many demented!!
thanks for sharing!

Bliss said...

High five to the boss man for doing a dive because the stuff written in there would be dinner time fodder at this house. Arrested for being demented? I'm worried now, hope that law is off the books!


Rehan Ahmed said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dagmar said...

Oh my goodness, what treasures, you for having a dumpster diving husband and those great finds..Jail house Chic is an apt description..interesting reading I am sure!
Sure am missing seeing lots of your treasures, but understand! How is your sweet Caire?

Korrie@RedHenHome said...

Those are so cool! And what a great story as to how you got them ;-)

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

Oh wow, such great finds! And so great to have them for his office. But even better when they get to have a permanent home with you!

Little Vintage Cottage said...

I agree with the commenter who talked about the genealogy value of these books. I can't believe someone would just throw them away! What is wrong with people! Someone doing genealogy research on a family member may have a large gap in the history of that person and would be so grateful to find where he or she was during that period... although maybe not so grateful to learn why he or she was there! :o)


jeanne@juNxtaposition said...

I love them !! 'sheep thieves' favorite !

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Most laws on still on the books and have never been repealed. The politico idiots just keep making new laws with total disregard that the new laws do NOT cancel out the old ones. There is a Serious lack of attention being paid these days.
In VA, adultery is still against the law as are a lot of others some might call "outdated".
Great find!

Kathy's Fistfull of Daisies said...

These are too awesome! I am glad he found them before they were forever lost. Thanks for sharing! I also think it is wonderful for your own family legacy considering the public service of your family. We appreciate the fact that your family is willing to serve!

Amy Kinser said...

I am dying a little here! I love those books. I can't believe he found them in the dumpster. I totally love history like that. My father was sheriff many many years ago when I was a little girl. I remember being in the back of the sheriff's car one night when dad had to "chase after" one of the town drunks. All I remember is my dad telling me to duck down as low as I could on the floor board and hang on. I'm thinking I should have had my seat belt on but we didn't use those back then I don't think.:) I love seeing the list of crimes that were committed. What a jewel you have in that.

Thanks to your husband for serving his community. God bless you all.

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