National Tribune, 11/30/1933

Written Accounts
Other Sites


From the National Tribune, 11/30/1933

Tough Timbers Of Libby Prison Are Still Being Used

Tough timbers went into old Libby Prison, itself no chamber of ease, according to stories of Union Civil War prisoners.

Today, more than 40 years after the demolition of the one-time ship chandlery at Richmond, Va., execrated thruout the North during the Civil War as a chamber of horrors, its timbers are still on active duty.

Carved with the initials of many a Northern war prisoners of the Confederacy, they form the beams and rafters of a peaceful Indiana barn.

On the farm of Frank Davis, near Hamlet, Ind., visitors yet go to view the stout lumber on which their ancestors may have whittled during their durance.

Few barns have so many beams and rafters as Davis’. When the then State Senator J. G. Danielson acquired the lumber from the famous prison after the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, he found he had more than he needed for his barn. But he ordered all the timbers used – and the beams are almost close enough together to constitute a floor.

Their last trip to this farming community resulted from the failure of the project of a group of “mauve decade” promoters. They purchased the prison at the time of the 1893 fair and rebuilt it at a reported cost of $10,000, at Sixth Street and Wabash Avenue, Chicago, as a fair exhibit.

Though it attracted widespread publicity, the project was a failure as a money maker and was auctioned.



Page last updated on 07/01/2008