Corrections Department, Penitentiary, Convict Record, 1877-1888 - George Kenyon

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This database contains the prison register of more than 500 inmates housed in the Seatco Prison, near what is now the town of Bucoda. The privately-run prison operated from 1877 until 1888 when the new Territorial Penitentiary was opened in Walla Walla. The register shows name, alias, residence, place convicted, crime, sentence, physical condition, and date of discharge, parole or escape.

The Prison at Seatco was established by Pierce County Sheriff Jeremiah K. Smith, Thurston County Sheriff William Billings, and Territorial Governor Elisha P. Ferry, with private funds provided by businessman Oliver Shead. Prisoners were contracted out as laborers for seventy cents per day. The poor conditions at Seatco may have encouraged the government to build the Territorial Penitentiary in Walla Walla.

Although Seatco Prison was privately operated, the records from that facility were passed along to the appropriate government body. The responsibility for operating prisons has passed through various departments, starting in 1897 with the Board of Audit and Control. Since 1981, all adult correctional institutions have been run by the Department of Corrections.

There are 539 records in this database.

These records are open for research.

Original record located at Washington State Archives, Olympia, WA.

All records are in English.

To learn about related records, contact the State Archives at 360.586.1492, or email

Database: Seatco Prison at Bucoda. ONLINE. 2003. Washington Secretary of State. Transcribed by Roger Easton, Olympia, Washington. Available online:
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