1875:  Historic McKean County Jail
Crossmire Matricide Execution 11/14/1893
See the Construction of this building.
See 2005

Constructed in 1875,  seven years after the Civil War, the Old McKean County Jail is the oldest public building in
McKean County and still stands proudly today after almost 130 years. Originally the jail served as the family residence for the McKean County Sheriff.  Through day and night the sheriff and his family would monitor the prisoner's behaviors.  A ruckus in the jail would disturb the entire family!  Although it is currently not being used, there are plans in the works for moving the McKean County Historical Society Museum from the basement of the Court House into the jail.


Charles Rolander Cuts His Throat in the County Jail. 


Insanity Prompts him to Commit the Rash Act. --Incarcerated for Assault With Intent to Kill. 

At about 8:30 o'clock Tuesday evening Turnckey Hibbard was passing some articles through the "chuck hole" that he had purchased for some of the prisoners, when one of them asked him to come inside, as Rolander was bleeding.  Hibbard immediately entered the corridor and went to the cell where Rolander was and, with the assistance of a lamp, saw him lying on the cot with his face toward the wall and blood all over his hand and on the bedding. 

Then Turnckey unlocked the cell and, in company with several of the prisoners that were in the corridor, went in and turned him over when they saw a deep, ugly gash in his neck and the wind-pipe completely severed.  Hibbard left him in charge of the boarders and started for Dr. Brown, the jail physician, but not finding him, summoned Dr. Clark, who came to relieve the sufferer, followed by Dr. Brown.  They inserted a tube in the wind-pipe and dressed the wound, but it was impossible to save his life.  He was taken to the poor house Wednesday morning, where he died at about 10:30 o'clock -- only a few minutes after arriving there. 

Rolander's wife and daughter arrived here on Wednesday and his son, Oscar, who lives at Instanter, came Thursday morning.  The remains were then taken to his home in Port Allegany by Thomas Ryan for burial. 

A few minutes before Rolander's rash act was discovered he asked one of the prisoners to give him a drink of water with a little salt in it as he was sick at stomach.  He gave it to him and after drinking it broke the earthen cup cut his throat with one of the pieces.  He was determined to finish the job for when found he was still cutting his neck with the cup.  And after it had been taken from him he tore the wound with his fingers.  It took three men to hold him until the doctors arrived and quieted him with opiates. 

The deceased was arrested and brought over here from Port Allegany, Tuesday, for assault. 

  2005: Historic McKean County Jail

photo credit: Kayla Lincoln

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