Deputy Warden Joseph T. Clark

Deputy Warden Joseph T. Clark

Illinois Department of Corrections, Illinois

End of Watch Sunday, May 8, 1864

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Joseph T. Clark

Deputy Warden Joseph Clark succumbed to wounds he suffered days earlier after being assaulted by a prisoner at the Joliet State Prison.

Deputy Warden Clark and another guard were removing a prisoner, a convicted horse thief, from his cell when the prisoner struck Deputy Warden Clark on the side of his head with a rock obtained from the quarry. The prisoner seized Deputy Warden Clark's gun and fired several shots, but missed him. After regaining consciousness, Deputy Warden Clark gained control of his weapon and shot the prisoner in his arm. Assistance arrived and placed the prisoner into custody.

Deputy Warden Clark suffered a severe cut to his head, but continued his duties at the prison. A number of days later, he experienced intense pain in his head and died suddenly. An autopsy determined that he had suffered a severe skull fracture during the assault.

In January 1865, the prisoner was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. On July 27, 1866, he was executed by hanging at the Will County Jail becoming the first person to be executed in the county.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Assault
  • Incident Date Not available
  • Weapon Blunt object; Rock
  • Offender Executed in 1866

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Mark Mottola

May 8, 2020

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