Cecil Township Historical Society
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Cecil Township Jail
A letter to the editor in favor of building a Cecil Township lockup, a solicitation of bids from builders, accounts of its construction and questions of whether it was ever needed upon being built can be found in various century-old issues of The Daily Notes as shown below.  While not related directly to the jail, the first newspaper piece reminds us that partisan politics or the appearance of political impropriety is not limited to the twenty-first century.





The Daily Notes (Canonsburg, PA), Friday, January 17, 1902

Is the Cecil Constable Off?

To the Editor of The Notes:  Please inform us what the constable of Cecil township has to do with the Republican primaries of said township.  We are aware that it is his duty to notify the voters of the time of the township election, but that the constable should issue a call for the Republican primaries is something we cannot fathom.
IGNORAMUS






The Daily Notes (Canonsburg, PA), Friday, February 16, 1906


CECIL NEEDS A LOCKUP
Constable Is Compelled to Lodge Prisoners in His Home

To the Editor of The Notes:

     We of Cecil are noticed to vote on the feasibility of a township lockup.  We have had this matter twice before, once it carried, but through some irregularity was declared null and void.  The second time it failed for lack of votes; again the abettors of the project appealed to the supervisors for authority to order a vote to be had at the election Tuesday next.  Now it seems strange that in a township where no Hotel-de-Booze exists and where so many temperance people dwell as in evidence at license court that a bastile is needed.  Yet the abettors inform us that the need is pressing.  That for the lack there of some disorderly ones are allowed to go unpunished, others take advantage of its non existence and definitely proceed to create disturbances much to the annoyance of the law abiding.  They tell us the constable is often obliged to take drunks and disorderlies into his home, among his family and keep them over night, setting up to guard them lest they escape, while his wife and children are erstwhile in hearing of the bachanalous blasphemy and obscene conversation.  Now if these arguments be true, they seem plausible, they present to the minds of the voters in Cecil a serious question.  One which ought to earnestly interest the lawfully disposed and cause them to consider the devising of some means whereby law and order may be maintained.  Its executive officer incited and aided in his duty and a place secured where these lawless and drunks may spend the night out of sight and hearing of ladies and children.  Booze hotels on the borders furnish the ammunition that fires the passion of otherwise civil men and when they are amply loaded they make their way into neutral territory and vent their spleen and develish actions in, on and about the domiciles of the innocent.  Honest voters, think this matter over; consider whether the foregoing asserted conditions exist at all; whether they are local or general; if local and the cause local, whether or not, the locality or the generality ought to bear the burden of providing hotel accommodations for those who spend the sinews of war in an adjoining district.  Home or local government invites as much interest from the voter as affairs of country, state or nation.
UNCLE BANKS






The Daily Notes (Canonsburg, PA), Thursday, August 16, 1906

CECIL TOWNSHIP IS SOON TO HAVE LOCKUP
Bids Being Asked for Bastile Which It Is Proposed to Build

     The authorities of Cecil township are advertising for bids for the erection of a township lockup, which it is proposed to have completed before cold weather.  The structure, is to be of brick, fifteen feet square, and with twelve inch walls.  It will have two cages for the confinement of prisoners.
     The question of the erection of a lockup has agitated Cecil township for some years past, and the matter has been voted on two or three times.  Once or twice the preposition was defeated, but at the election last February a majority voted in favor of the lockup.  Since the Millers Run valley has become largely a mining community, the need of a lockup has been felt, as there are frequent outbreaks among the miners, especially the foreign element.  Frequently parties who have been arrested have had to be kept in the constables' home until such time as they could be transported to the county jail.








The Daily Notes (Canonsburg, PA), Saturday, August 25, 1906

Notice to Contractors

Cecil, Pa., August 14, 1906.
     Wanted--Bids for building lockup for Cecil township.  To be built of brick, stone foundation, 15 feet square, 12 inch wall, 1 sheet iron door, 2 windows, with arched brick and cement roof.  Two cages 3 1/2 feet wide and 6 feet long and 7 feet high, (to the square;) one-half inch iron bars with closed partition.  Want bids with or without cages.  The board reserves the right to reject any or all bids.  All bids to e in by August 31, 1906.

Address,
T. POPE, Secretary
Box 34
Cecil, Pa.
Aug 16-23-25-29








The Daily Notes (Canonsburg, PA), Saturday, September 22, 1906

CECIL TOWNSHIP ITEMS

     Cecil.  Sept. 22.--Work has been begun on the new township lockup at this village.
     The township supervisors have about completed stoning the road from Cecil to Bishop.
     The public schools have all opened with a good attendance and there is much interest in the school work.
     A son has been born to Mr. and Mrs. Edward Tope.
     An entertainment to be followed by a lunch will be given at the Cecil school on Friday evening, September 28.  The proceeds will be used in purchasing a bell for the school building.






The Daily Notes (Canonsburg, PA), Saturday, November 3, 1906

The McDonald Records says:  The Cecil township lockup is progressing slowly but surely.  The cages and doors have arrived.






The Daily Notes (Canonsubrg, PA), Wednesday, April 10, 1907

One Prisoner in a Year

About a year ago the authorities of Cecil township erected a lockup in which to safely keep offenders arrested by the constables.  Up to the present time, however, only one person has been confined in the township jail, and some of the taxpayers are wondering if they really got a run for their money.



The Cecil Township Historical Society would like to thank Cathy Pigford for supplying these delightful glimpses into our Township's past.