Yuma Territorial Prison historicals importanceAngel Balderrama Period 6 December 12th, 2017 The Yuma Territorial Prison historical importance was the building blocks figuratively and literally. It was the first penitentiary in the state of Arizona. On July 1,1876 the first sven prisoners entered and over 33 years it would house about 3,026 convicts. When the prisoners were there the prison itself was still under construction with labored provided by the prisoners themselves. When the prison ran out of room to continue building a new Facility was built in florence. On September 15, 1909 the last prisoners were transferred to florence. The prison for one it helped the local the yuma economy improve and grow. Increased the populations and demographics. The infrastructure of yuma was made with some of the parts of the prison. Population and demographics during the time the prison was in operation was gradually increasing over the years. Yuma began to experience the American westward surge when countless immigrants crossed by ferry from Yuma on their way to the California gold fields in 1849. In 1850, a military post was established at Yuma, and when rich placer gold strikes on the Colorado River precipitated a gold rush in 1858, Yuma experienced a boom. In 1871 Yuma incorporated and became the county seat of Yuma County. The population of yuma is around 95,000 people and growing. The average income is about 25,000 to about 30,000 dollars. “As of the census of 2010, there were 93,064 people. There were 38,626 housing units in Yuma city, 79.5% of which were occupied housing units. The diversity of the city 68.8% white, 3.2% black or african american, 1.8% Native American, 1.9% asian, 0.2% pacific islander, and 4.5% from two or more races. 54.8% of the population is hispanic or latino of any race,” this is stated in the website from https://www.wikizero.com/en/Yuma,_Arizona. There are about 26,649 houses and out of thoses 38.8% have children under the age of 18. 56.6% have married couples living together. 13% have women living alone and 26.4% are non-fanmiles. 21.7% of all the homes are made up of individuals and about 10% are alone who are over the age of 65″.High unemployment remains an issue in Yuma. Citing April 2014 data, the Bureau of ranked Yuma as having the highest unemployment rate in the United States at 23.8 percent, above the 21.6 percent in el centro. Yuma’s agricultural workforce, which adjusts to the picking season, is cited by the Arizona Department of Commerce as the reason for the apparent high unemployment.” Most of this information shows just how diverse yuma has become over the years and shows just how much it has grown.The infrastructure of Yuma over time was built from pieces of the prison and even at one time the prison was used as a high school. From the date of closure, the prison’s facilities have been occupied and used by various groups. After Yuma High School burned, the High School Board rented four structures and used them from 1910 until 1914. The school athletic teams became known as “The Criminals”. The County Hospital utilized the facilities from 1914 until 1923. In 1924, the Southern Pacific Railroad demolished the western one-third of Prison Hill to make way for the new tracks. The Veterans of Foreign Wars leased the guard’s quarters in 1931 and used it as their clubhouse until 1960. Hobos, riding the trains in the 1920’s and 1930’s, stayed in the cells, and homeless families during the Great Depression lived in the cells.The economy of yuma gradually increased when the prison was built. This mainly because of the utilities they had at the time. For example the prison had running water, ventilation, sewer system, and even electricity. This helped the economy because from the prison the town of yuma were able to have electricity after 9 p.m. which was a big deal for such a small town. This helped the economy because from the prison the town of yuma were able to have electricity after 9 p.m. which was a big deal for such a small town.Around 1885 a powerful generator provided the prison with electricity, as well as the town of Yuma. “Enhancing the prison grounds were trees, shrubs, grass, and flowers. Hollowed out on the north side of the hill, facing the Colorado River, just a few feet below, a windowless library served inmates, guards and the public as well. The long narrow library, the first of its kind in the Territory, had numerous shelves literally filled with volumes of books.” Found this qoute from https://casitacampers.blogspot.com/2015/02/yuma-territorial-prison-021215-yuma-az.html. In conclusion The yuma territorial prison made what yuma is today figuratively and literally.It greatly improved its economy because it brought in more jobs which in return brought in more money. The infrastructure at the time was very expensive because it many amenities which most towns didn’t have at the time. The population and demographics grew over time because the prison and the surrounding area had great amnedietes.BibliographyWilkerson, Andrea M., and Jeffrey J. Mccullough. “Trial Demonstration of Area Lighting Retrofit: Yuma Border Patrol, Yuma Arizona.” Jan. 2014, doi:10.2172/1170116.Foster, Gary S., and Michael D. Gillespie. “The Yuma Territorial Prison Cemetery: Cold Cases of Grave Importance.” Illness, Crisis & Loss, vol. 21, no. 1, 2013, pp. 29–48., doi:10.2190/il.21.1.d.Yuma Territorial Prison Cemetery – Yuma County, Arizona, www.interment.net/data/us/az/yuma/prison/prison.htm.
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