Eastham Prison Farm - , Houston County, Texas
Directions: 16.5 miles southwest of Lovelady on FM 230
Marker #: 5225010987
Year Dedicated: 1996
Size, type: 27" x 42"
Last reported condition: No report
Eastham Prison Farm - The Eastham family purchased a 12, 790 acre plantation in 1891. Property was leased soon afterward to the Texas State Prison System for farming on a shared basis. The landowner supplied seed, machinery, tools and mules, while the state provided labor to plant, tend and harvest the crops. The state received 60 percent of the cotton and 50 percent of the sugar cane. The state bought the land in 1915 after the death of Mrs. Delha Eastham. Eastham Prison Farm was among the first to construct a maximum security building in 1919. The state ferry, erected in 1920 by convict labor, crossed the Trinity River into Madison County. Prisoners used picks and shovels to cut into the steep river banks to build a road wide enough for wagon travel. Unrest among the prisoners was curtailed when noted penologist O.B. Ellis, General Manager of the prison system including Eastham, ushered in more progressive treatment of the inmates. Advancements included improved living and working conditions, introduction of a library, gymnasium, craft shop and chapel, and an education program. Eastham continues to be a major part of the state's prison system. Community benefits include improved roads and a source of employment.
Decimal degrees:  N 30.968583   W -95.591789
Degrees, minutes: N 30 58.115   W 095 35.507
UTM: Zone 15, Easting 252451, Northing 3429002
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