John S. “Sol” Jones met his demise at the hands of a disgruntled Pontiac Reformatory inmate June 15, 1922. Officer Jones was in charge of the yard gang at the prison, which housed youthful offenders at the time. He was waiting for Byron Corbridge to change from his uniform to work clothes after the mid-day meal. Corbridge bludgeoned Jones several times to the head, face and neck with a piece of two-inch gas pipe two feet long shortly after 1 PM in the basement of a building where the yard gang made its headquarters. Asked why he killed the officer, Corbridge reportedly stated that Jones had “done him a dirty deal.”
Jones was 38 at the time of his death and had worked at the reformatory for two years. His wife and baby, who resided in Chenoa, survived him. Corbridge, 21, from Jacksonville, had been transferred to the reformatory from the Southern Illinois Penitentiary (Menard) four years before the incident and had previously served stints at St. Charles.