Police Departments

 


  In 1803, a year after Cincinnati was incorporated into a village, a night watch of volunteers was established. In 1834 police were paid, and in 1842 two men began working in the daytime. Up until 1886 policemen were chosen, and were members of, the party in power and had some impact on the way votes were cast. In 1886 a non-partisan police department was established. After that reorganization, only 12 members of the original force remained, and a whole new Police Division came into operation.
   The cards in the next two row shows the Police during various inspections, training maneuvers, and ceremonies. The annual parade, inspection, and review day, was commonly refered to as Inspection Day. This was considered a very important event by both the city and its police department. All policemen were required to buy their own dress uniforms that were only worn on this one day. All men, except those needed on the job, were required to attend. The parades and inspections were held in front of City Hall, inside the baseball park, near Eden Park, and in Government Square. In 1918 the police went on strike protesting low pay and the requirement they purchase the dress uniform they only wore one day each year. Inspection day was ended after that.

Police inspection 1.jpg (100348 bytes)    Police inspection 2.jpg (103620 bytes)    Police mounted 1.jpg (112092 bytes)    Police mounted 2.jpg (108471 bytes)    Troop A inspection.jpg (239558 bytes)
 Police Inspections                                                                                  Mounted Police  on maneuvers                 

Police inspection-Crosley.jpg (313910 bytes)            Police Inspection 5.jpg (147371 bytes)*          Police Inspection-park.jpg (509024 bytes)                police inspection 1903.jpg (412342 bytes)
Police Inspection at  Redland Field                                                                                Not a postcard                                        1903 Inspection            

 

Police Inspection-Bravery.jpg (107326 bytes)                     Interior Cincinnati Police Gymnasium.jpg (56387 bytes)*
Awarding Medals                              Interior Police Gymnasium

   The last card above show police officers inside the police gymnasium that was located on the 3rd floor of City Hall. The gym moved to City Hall in 1900 from the Hammond Street station where the first gym opened in 1886. Police now work out where old Spinney Field used to be (Bengals training field.) This is where the police academy is located (Gest and Evans Streets).

 

6th District Police station.jpg (93837 bytes)         Hamilton County Jail.jpg (91883 bytes)        Ham County Jail.jpg (306134 bytes)
Sixth District Police Station                                     Hamilton County Jail                                 

   Built in 1899 at 3855 Eastern Avenue District 6 was here until 1948 and was then moved to the old Patrol 6 house at Columbia & Delta Aves. In late 1950 District 6 opened and Patrol 6 was closed at 3295 Erie Avenue. In 1975 District 6 was renamed District 2. In 1975 a new district numbering system went into effect. Because of consolidations, there are only 5 districts. District's 6 and 7 no longer exist by their old designations.

Cincinnati Mounted Policeman.jpg (94122 bytes)                                        Officer Don Creek 1.jpg (235217 bytes)  *  Officer Don Creek.jpg (276679 bytes)
Cincinnati Mounted                                                             Officer Donald Creek                
Policeman                                                                                                                    

   The last two postcards above were sent to me by Ron Grothaus. Donald Creek was both a Cincinnati Private Policeman (1st card) and a deputy sheriff (location unknown). What is known is that officer Creek's life ended very tragically. He and his wife lived at 549 Armory Ave. On Oct. 29, 1942 he shot and killed his wife at her parents home in Sayler Park, he then shot and killed himself.

 

WORKHOUSE

These are not postcards
BEV Workhouse.jpg (332484 bytes)    Workhouse.jpg (413340 bytes)    WorkHouse.jpg (185077 bytes)    Workhouse 1.jpg (183540 bytes)

Workhouse Cells.JPG (111436 bytes)
View of Cells

 

Workhouse-a.jpg (125777 bytes)        Workhouse-b.jpg (120424 bytes)        Workhouse-c.jpg (111919 bytes)        Workhouse.jpg (76134 bytes)
Cincinnati Workhouse located at 3208 Colerain Ave. Erected in 1867-69 on 6 acres.

   Located in camp Washington, on Colerain Ave., this jail was called the Cincinnati Workhouse because in the 1860s hard labor was considered as both a cure and a punishment for criminals. Its life span was from 1867 until 1988, and was demolished in 1990. Nicknamed the "Cincinnati Castle" because of its white Romanesque Gothic castle look, it sat on 26 acres of land that would later lay next to the I-75 Expressway. It was built to be seen and admired by the citizens of Cincinnati. It was surrounded by a landscaped park that also contained a lake. Up until around 1900 it was touted in all the guidebooks as one of the "must see" places to visit. Next door to the Workhouse was the children's House of Refuge which also resembled a castle fortress (see the Charities/Welfare section on the Religious page.)

Workhouse Park.jpg (135094 bytes)
Workhouse Park

   The 3 floors of 606 4x8 ft. cells were ill-lit and had no plumbing. The prisoners used slop buckets that were emptied daily into the sewer trough located in the towers at the corners of the building. The windows were located on the other side of the corridor connecting the cells. There was no way to cool the cells and the heating was very poor. The men were held in the south wing and the women were held in the north wing.
   By the turn-of-the-century the Workhouse held an average 2,500 to 3,000 prisoners. Most were short term, 3 months or less, for drunk and disorderly, vagrancy, prostitution. The violent criminals were held elsewhere. As the name implies the emphasis was on work/training so that the prisoners could find employment once they were released back into society and not return. Some of the contractors that used prison labor were: J. D. Hearne & Co., a shoemaker, Speckerman & Co. who ran the Cincinnati Family Laundry from the prison laundry facilities, Bromwell Brush & Wire Co. used prisoners to make brushes and Miles Greenwood & Co. hired prisoners for casting iron. Women prisoners made clothing, for prisoners and for contractors, they also did the cooking, there was a laundry, bakery. 
  In separate buildings were workrooms, bath houses and a hospital. Products made at the Workhouse carried the label "Made by Convict Labor" (see below.) The Workhouse became unprofitable for the city and it closed in 1920, after the Hamilton County Court House jail opened. This new facility soon became overcrowded and, in 1927, the Workhouse was reopened as the Community Correctional Institution. Between 1927 and 1988 renovations were made wherever possible.

 

Workhouse-bw.jpg (499847 bytes)        Workhouse-bw back.jpg (207873 bytes)

   Thanks to James Houchin, who is now working on a US Naval Base in Djibouti, Africa, I now know the story of the above card. An artist, Fred Burkhart, (burkhartstudios.com) who was living in Clifton at that time (1979) was sent to the workhouse for 30 days. While there he made a pen drawing of the building which he later made into a postcard. The "made by convict labor" was added as a joke. Apparently the Judge liked it so much he reduced his sentence to 17 days. You can actually see this drawing on his web site.  I understand Fred has terminal cancer and is now (2013) having his last exhibit in Chicago. James Houchin, by the way, was employed by the city of Cincinnati from 1979-1981 as a Cincinnati Correctional Officer.

 

Police Windshield.jpg (127115 bytes)
American ingenuity at work

 

Norwood Police Dept.jpg (49674 bytes)                Norwood (nat bank).jpg (89815 bytes)                  Norwood police-fire dept.jpg (82004 bytes)
        Norwood Police Dept.                   Norwood Police in a parade                 Norwood Police & Fire Dept.
front of the Norwood Bank   

 

Patrol House, Price Hill, Cincinnati.jpg (103985 bytes)    District 9 (now 3) 3201 Warsaw.jpg (96815 bytes)            Police-st Bernard.jpg (100871 bytes)
   Price  Hill District 9                                                                     St. Bernard Police Dept. 

   The Price Hill District 9 police station shown in the 1st card was built it 1907 at 3201 Warsaw Avenue. In 1927 when stations were being consolidated District 3, that was at 73 East McMicken Avenue, was moved to District 9 and District 9 was renamed District 3 which is its present designation. This building when built was designed to match the architecture of the library that can be seen to the right of the station in the 2nd, present day image.

Delta Ave. Patrol Station.jpg (385674 bytes)        The Precinct was The Delta Ave. Patrol Station.jpg (134881 bytes)
Delta Ave. Patrol Station  East End

   The Delta Avenue Patrol Station seen in the 1st postcard image is now known as the famous restaurant "The Precinct" as seen in the 2nd present day photograph.

 

 

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