Prison Visitor

The Bryn Mawr archives contain an article from This Week, a Sunday newspaper supplement, dated February 28, 1954. The article, by Rowland T. Moriarty, is entitled, "Alger Hiss in Prison. The following excerpt describes the prison visits by Priscilla Hiss.

The best, and yet most heart-rending, hours of prison life are the visting periods. The Lewisburg regulations permit visits only by members of a prisoner's immediate family and by his lawyer. Men are allowed two hours' visiting a month, with a minimum visiting time fo 30 minutes. As with the mail the rules are elastic, if they are not abused.

Mrs. Hiss, who works in a mid-town New York bookstore and lives in a modestly priced Greenwich Village apartment, has been a faithful visitor. She usually comes to the prison once every two weeks and occasionally stays overnight at the Lewisburg Inn so as to visit her husband on consecutive days. The trip from New York is a long and tiresome one. She must come by train to Scranton, Pa., take another train to West Milton and then a bus to Lewisburg. She is usually driven to and from the prison by Clarence M. Beachel, the town's veteran cabbie, who charges a 90-cent fare for each trip. .

Fall colors at Bryn Mawr College: Merion Green. Photo by Kimberly Blessing.

In town, Mrs. Hiss generally eats at Steininger's Restaurant on Market Street, the town's main thoroughfare. This was one place I ran into the far-reaching Federal censorship on Hiss: Mrs. Eberhart, wife of the restaurant owner, mentioned that she usually serves Mrs. Hiss, but Mr. Eberhart interrupted and told me frankly that they had been requested not to discuss her with anyone.

Mrs. Hiss herself has the reputation in town of a pleasant, friendly woman --- and a modest tipper. She has never disclosed her identity to anyone, but sharp-eyed townspeople spotted her long ago, and the news got around.

Priscilla Hiss
The Lantern
Alumnae Registry
Prison Visitor
Letter to Editor