Grayson County TXGenWeb

From: Dorman Holub

Grayson County Jail
1887 - 1929

This jail was built in 1887 at a cost of $100,000.  The jail was designed to hold 100 prisoners. There was a 'dungeon' cell in the cellar designed to contain a difficult prisoners or terribly dangerous one.
The cells in this jail were in the multisided sections, all the cells
were arranged in a circle, there was a rotating cage in the middle with one door.
Officers had to rotate the door to the cell if they wanted to let a prisoner out or in. Then rotate it again to let themselves out of the cell block. 
It was escape proof.  But prisoners learned to block the cell from turning.
part of the rail of one of the turntable cell doors is now the arch over the gate at Loy Lake Park in Denison, the home of Frontier Village.
After having too much trouble with the turning cell system the cells were torn out and regular cell's with key openings put in. The mortar was very poor in quality and by the 1930's prisoners were escaping by removing bricks.
There was a room for executions by hangin. The room was in one of tower tops and had a trap door built in.
1st jailer in this building was M.O. Callahan


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