New York State prison officials decided to build a new prison in Westchester County in 1825. They chose Ossining as the site for the new prison because it was close to stone quarries where the prisoners could work and to the Hudson River, which facilitated the transport of quarried stone and other prisoner-made products to market. The prison was completed in 1828. Although it has had several names throughout its history, and, currently, its official name is the Ossining Correctional Facility, it is known to almost everyone as Sing Sing.
Records of electrocutions at Sing Sing Prison from April 1893 through 1907 were kept in a small volume by the head guard or “Principal Keeper,” James Connaughton. The records indicate the date of the electrocution, the names of those electrocuted and their date of birth, as well as the witnesses. Fifty-eight prisoners were put to death in the electric chair during that period, the first prisoners at Sing Sing to die by this method.
In 1910 Dr. Amos Squire, an Ossining physician, was named chief physician at Sing Sing Prison. He continued in that position until 1925 when he was named Westchester Medical Examiner. He wrote many articles and pamphlets and lectured widely on the subject of criminology. The manuscript for one of his pamphlets, Sing Sing Prison, outlines his thoughts on several prisoners that he knew at the prison and their cases.