The Convicts of McNeil Island Penitentiary Part 2

This is part 2 of the very unusual McNeil Island mugshots from the 1890s-1906.

As you’ve seen, McNeil Island Penitentiary tended to photograph men in pairs, wearing their striped prisoner clothing, and with their name and prison number scribbled on the back.

But there were a few mugshots that did not fit this profile. Or they fit but there is something else that is unusual about them.


Of all the mugshots, only two were of women. Neither was photographed in stripes, and I wondered if they were really prisoners and not a spouse or an employee, but they had numbers so they must’ve been. And Maggie Snyder, featured here, does look like nothing but trouble:

Maggie Snyder #152-05


Florence Harley #182


Then, there are these two. Quite possibly the coolest looking but practically useless mugshots in the world.

Harry Allen 106-05

John Sedion #107-05


The only line-up photo

John Cole #1185 Wm Smith #1183 Nael Waterman #1132 Daniel While #1136 John Mamering #1134


These were definitely convicted men, but probably photographed before they were given clothing to wear. Ray Hon, on the right, has a truly frightened look on his face. The other man, on the left, should be trusted with nothing, ever.

John Slattery #140-05 Ray Hon #141-05


This was the only photo that listed the date on the back, and the prisoner did not have a number. Something about him makes him seem more like a patient than an inmate.

Joseph Breslin dated 10:25:06

The hat!

Name illegible #1427 Lee West #1243


Photographed alone, without stripes, but he did have a number.


Nee Ching #154-05

A cruel face…

These men were not identified by name or number.

Another cruel face, and a frightened one.

Richard Henn #1323 James Feney #1322


The last post mentioned the Legion to Indian term as well. I’m not sure what it means. By the way, the text beneath each picture is an exact transcription of what was written on the back of the photo. Stannestones was the other one-name-only prisoner, along with Mamick.

Stannestones (Indian) #1258 Legion to Indians; Daniel Dywood Also known as Disall #1257


The guy on the left is really good looking.

Walter Hoffman #1313 Paul Rodarek #1312


This fellow looks like he’s been in a fight or something

Walter Packwood #1601


If I’m able to look around some more, I would be interested to know what this guy did for a living. Hopefully he was a poet. He looks just like a character in a book.

Walter Stanley #160-05


This photo can only be described as creepy.

Wm Bigelow #1432 Charles Johnson #1583


I think William Moore might actually be wearing a pocket watch! I guess you can’t hide style.

William Moore #139-04 Will White #159-04