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Clark County Indiana

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  In December, 1786, the General Assembly of Virginia passed an Act to deed a certain portion of land, containing 149,000 acres, North of the Falls of Ohio to General George Rogers Clark and fifteen of his soldiers. They were being rewarded for their exploration of the area and land further west in what would become the United States. This tract of land was named in honor of Clark and was know as his Grant until 1801.

Governor William H. Harrison issued a proclamation, February 3, 1801, dividing the County of Knox and erecting a separate county of Clark. First court sessions held at Springville, February 4, 1801. In 1801 Samuel Hay was appointed first Sheriff of Clark County.

On June 9, 1802 the Governor issued an Ordinance for the removal of the Seat of Justice to Jeffersonville. The courthouse of Clark County was built about 1836 and cost upward of $6,000. The jail was built in 1858 at the expense of $9,000.00 A Jailer's residence was attached to it. The jail at that time comprised of ten cells with a general hallway.

In 1878 a new courthouse was built in Jeffersonville. The new jail contained 28 beds.

In 1970 the old courthouse and jail were torn down and a new complex was constructed. The new jail had 52 beds with the Sheriff's residence attached.

A new jail was constructed and opened April 15, 1991. The new Clark County Correctional Facility was built with 144 beds, and since added 53 beds, compared to the 52 beds in the old jail. The new facility has an indoor and outdoor recreational area and state of the art security system. To operate the new facility, additional officers had to be hired.

In 2007 major renovations were made to the Correctional Facility bringing the total bed capacity to 446.

Politicians, police officers and city officials paid tribute to Michael L. Becher as the Clark County Jail was named after the former sheriff in July, 2008

His widow, Sara, thanked the crowd of more than 100 for their support and talked about her husband’s dedication to the county.

“He often told me how much he loved this job,” she said. “He said the best thing about this job was he was able to help people.”  


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