Thursday, January 18, 2018

Mingo Man is WV Penitentiary's First Prisoner of 1910

Photo from Find-a-Grave contributor,
Brenda Hatfield
Today marks the 108th anniversary of the day Tilden Browning was taken to the West Virginia State Penitentiary at Moundsville. Tilden Browning, a man from Mingo County, WV, has the distinction of being the first new prisoner brought to the penitentiary in 1910. Here is his story, as found in the January 19th, 1910 edition of the Point Pleasant Register, available on the Chronicling America website:

Tilden Browning, a one year man from Mingo county, arrived at the Moundsville penitentiary yesterday morning. Browning has the distinction of being the first convict to arrive at the prison in 1910. The sheriff of Mingo county accompanied the prisoner to the prison where he was at once placed in the hospital.

Browning was to have been brought to the pen during the latter part of 1909 but was given a respite by Gov. Glasscock. When his sentence was finally decided upon, he had contracted a serious illness, and as the penitentiary officials are not accustomed to send guards to such remote counties for one convict, Warden Matthews negotiated with the sheriff, resulting that latter accompanying the man to the prison. Mingo county officials have no accommodation for sick prisoners, and it was deemed necessary to save his life that he be brought to prison hospital. -Wheeling Telegraph.

Tilden Browning's life was indeed saved. After his release from the penitentiary, he went home to Verner, WV. He passed away on October 22, 1953 from what was believed to be gastric complications. He is buried in the Browning Cemetery. 

I will be returning to the West Virginia State Penitentiary at Moundsville later this year, and am busy compiling additional research on one of my favorite historic locations in the Mountain State! Some articles will be strictly historic, while others will definitely highlight the paranormal aspects of this super haunted prison! Keep an eye out for future blogs and a future page set aside solely for Moundsville research! 

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