Yuma Territorial Prison
|Yuma Territorial Prison|
Main Gate to the Yuma Territorial Prison.
|Location||Yuma, Arizona, United States|
The Yuma Territorial Prison was a prison located in Yuma, Arizona Territory, United States. It is one of the Yuma Crossing and Associated Sites on the National Register of Historic Places in the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area. The site is now operated as a historical museum by Arizona State Parks as Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park, a state park in southwestern Arizona.
The prison accepted its first inmate on July 1, 1875. For the next 33 years 3,069 prisoners, including 29 women, served sentences there for crimes ranging from murder to polygamy. The prison was under continuous construction with labor provided by the prisoners. In 1909, the last prisoner left the Territorial Prison for the newly constructed Arizona State Prison Complex located in Florence, Arizona.
From 1910 to 1914 the Yuma Union High School occupied the buildings. When the school's football team played a game against Phoenix, with Phoenix favored to win, the Phoenix team branded the Yuma team "criminals" when Yuma unexpectedly won; the school adopted the mascot with pride, sometimes shortened as the "Crims"; the school mascot image is the face of a hardened criminal, and the student merchandise shop is known as the Cell Block.
In popular culture
(Listed chronologically) The Yuma Territorial Prison has been featured in:
- "Three-Ten to Yuma", a 1953 western short story written by Elmore Leonard, and also in two film adaptations:
- 3:10 to Yuma, the 1957 original. (directed by Delmer Daves and starring Glenn Ford and Van Heflin), and the 2007 remake, also titled 3:10 to Yuma, directed by James Mangold and starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale.
- 26 Men, the 1957 episode "Incident at Yuma" of the syndicated western series of true stories of the Arizona Rangers, focuses on a prison break and the difficulty of gathering a posse faced by Captain Thomas H. Rynning, portrayed by Tristram Coffin.
- In the 1959 western, Rawhide (S1E2 broadcast 1 Jan 59), starring Clint Eastwood. In the episode "Incident at Alabaster Plain" Rowdy Yates tells how he and a fellow Confederate Corporal (Buzz Travis) escaped the Yuma Territorial Prison during the Civil War.
- The Main Gate of Yuma Prison is shown at the beginning of the Wanted: Dead or Alive episode, "Reunion For A Revenge."
- Mentioned in the 1961 Western novel, "Hombre," by Elmore Leonard, which was adapted into a screenplay for 1967 movie of the same name starring Paul Newman, Fredric March, Richard Boone, Martin Balsam, and Diane Cilento.
- In the 1961 western, The Comancheros, starring John Wayne, Yuma is also referenced.
- For a Few Extra Dollars (aka Fort Yuma's Gold) is a 1966 Italian spaghetti western war film.
- The first scene of the "Louis L'Amour" book Kid Rodelo (first published in 1966) takes place in Yuma Prison
- In Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), the bandit Cheyenne is put on a train to Yuma (from which he escapes).
- Yuma prison is referenced frequently in western radio and television programs such as Gunsmoke, The Rifleman and Bonanza, where ex-cons were frequently described as having done time.
- The 1968 Italian made film "Long Ride From Hell" is a tale of revenge that chronicles the saga of a rancher who along with his brother is unjustly sent to Yuma prison.
- In The Wild Bunch (1969), Pat Harrigan (Albert Dekker) threatens Deke Thornton (Robert Ryan): "You've got thirty days to get Pike, or thirty days back to Yuma."
- The novel Forty Lashes Less One (1972) by Elmore Leonard takes place almost entirely inside Yuma Prison in 1909, shortly before it was closed down.
The main guard tower at the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park.
Mugshot of the train robber Burt Alvord at the prison in 1904.
- http://azstateparks.com/Parks/YUTE/index.html . accessed 9/9/2010
- Yuma Territorial Prison Museum and Park - Historic Yuma AZ
- Arizona State Parks: Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park website
- AZ Department of Corrections: Early History, with Yuma Territorial Prison - Arizona Department of Corrections