Wood County Jail

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Wood County Jail

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The first jail in Wood County was built in 1820 in Maumee, Ohio. David Hull was the first sheriff. "The first court held in what is now Wood County was held in May 1823, in a store building or Indian trading establishment owned by one of the Hollisters, which stood on the flat opposite Maumee, in what has since been known as the Spafford Orchard.  About this time, the old log jail was built, and is yet standing a relic of the past.  There was only one road cut through the thick brush to the jail and this was cut in order to get the logs in for the building."

The original jail building was moved from Maumee to Perrysburg in 1823 and its reconstruction completed March 19, 1823 (total cost of moving and rebuilding - $48.00 - paid to Daniel Hubbell and $25.00 for repairs of any damages that might occur during the move.) It was made of foot-square oak logs secured by wooden pegs. The floor was of the same solid square timbers. The windows were little more than long cracks where the halves of two logs had been taken out and perpendicular iron bolts passed through for security. To enlarge the structure, $486 was raised by the sale of Perrysburg lots at $12 each ( located on Front Street, just west of Louisiana Avenue, Perrysburg.) It was used until June 1828 when Elisha Martindale, the contractor for a new building, offered it to the Commissioners. It was eventually torn down and apparently was sold for firewood.

In 1832, a stockade was constructed. In February 1835, the question of erecting a building around the jail of 1828 was considered, but the building of a new court house was substituted and adopted. The jail question was revived in 1846; in June, Inlot  No. 210 was purchased as a site; on July 7, the building contract was awarded to John W. Woodbury, S. N. Beach, Henry Thornton, Daniel Lindsay and O.H. Carpenter; but the house was not completed until the close of 1848.

The new jail built in Perrysburg (1847-1848) cost $2,150 and was located one block from the court house. Cost of the masonry work was $800, with $150 to be spent for heavy doors and the rest for general construction. Located at 240 W. Indiana Avenue at the corner of Findlay Street. Since then the structure has been converted into modern apartments. That building may be said to have been used down to 1870, when the seat of justice was removed to Bowling Green. This former Wood County Jail was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The walls are two feet thick, each of the three floors has 2,000 square feet, and exterior stones are reported in "good shape" for their age.

In March 1867, before the county seat was moved to Bowling Green, county commissioners awarded a $9,000 contract to Solon L. Boughton and A.A. Thurstin to build a county jail in Bowling Green (located on N. Summit Street, northeast of the Court House.)

In December 1900, the voters in Wood County approved a jail proposition for a new jail, the previous one having been condemned by every grand jury for years. The jail was to cost not more than $50,000. Ground was broken for the new jail on May 21, 1901 and Sheriff Kingsbury and his family moved into the county jail in September 1902. Architects were Becker & Hitchcock, Toledo; General Contractor: Fronizer & Andrews, Fremont. James H. LaFaree was elected superintendent of construction.  The jail building is divided into two parts, the Sheriff's residence and the jail and the cells where the prisoners were confined. The cells were arranged in two stories, each having ten cells with a central prisoners' corridor between. This jail was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.This structure was in use until 1989 when the Wood County Justice Center was built and became the residence for Wood County prisoners.

In November 2001, a $2.4 million contract was award to Rudolph-Libbe, Inc. to renovate the historic jail of 1902. The interior of the jail was removed and renovated to hold the Wood County Law Library and the new Wood County Records Center. The renovated jail was opened in November 2002.