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The Tragic Life of Arthur Glattke | Warden of Mansfield Reformatory

From Civil War Camp to Haunted Prison

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Ohio Governor Marty Davey appointed Arthur Lewis Glattke (glaa-k). Making him Warden of Mansfield Reformatory.  This for helping get Davey elected in 1935.

Taking charge, Arthur brought in many new ideas.  Like playing calm classical music in the cell blocks.

Mansfield Reformatory Ohio State - close-up
Administration Building of Mansfield Reformatory

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I wonder if Stephen King knew this little piece of history. When writing The Shawshank Redemption. 

A movie filmed inside Mansfield. Including a scene where Andy Dufrane (played by Tim Robbins) locks himself in the Warden’s office.  His goal… play opera over the intercom.

Mansfield Reformatory Ohio State - Andy Dufrane in Warden's Office
Mansfield Reformatory Ohio State – Andy Dufrane in Warden’s Office

They punished Andy in the movie. However, in Glattke’s prison he’d be rewarded. 

That scene filmed in Arthur’s actual office.

Disaster strikes

All was great for Glattke.  Respected by both guards and inmates.  Operating a calm prison praised by the community.

It all changed in 1950.  On a Sunday morning while inside the Warden’s apartments.  His family getting ready for church. Glattke’s wife Helen reached into the closet for her jewelry box.

Feeling a steel box. She pushed it aside to reach higher. The box fell to the floor. 

It was a case for Arthur’s loaded gun. Which hit the floor and fired up into Helen.

He rushed her to the Mansfield Hospital. Helen held on for only 3 days.  Cause of death, “pneumonia brought on by a wound”.

Fake News

People talked.  Said Arthur grabbed the gun. Shot his wife.  Then made it look like an accident. 

Craziness reported in “ghost stories” from some groups today.

I’m calling this out.  Doesn’t take a genius.  Definitely anyone who knew the man, or even for me, a simple storyteller living in Hamilton, Ontario Canada.

Just read a tiny little bit about this man and you’d agree, he loved his wife.

Losing her brought on his own end. Only 9 years later in 1959, Arthur was working in his office.  The guards heard a noise and found their Warden on the floor. 

Rushed him to Mansfield Hospital.  He died soon after.

Arthur Glattke was a dedicated steward to the end.


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