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belpre jail

Belpre Jail

Location Class:
Built: 1906 | Abandoned: N/A
Status: Abandoned
Photojournalist: Laurie Gales

The Belpre Jail cell sits alone at City Park, a remembrance of our history and how the times of incarceration have changed. It is a single cell made by E.T. Barnum, a popular jail cell manufacturer in the early 1900s. This cell was shipped to Belpre and placed within the city jail. The city jail opened for business in August of 1906 but seemed to remain quiet for most of its years. One interesting story that I could find regarding the jail is included below:

The Kinsley Graphic November 23, 1911 – A man from Lewis went to Belpre and secured from the depot a large amount of alleged whiskey, fifty pints and a three-gallon keg, presumably with the intent to return to his hometown and bootleg it contrary to the peace and dignity of the community and the laws of Kansas. But before he could leave Belpre the law intervened in the person of Deputy Sheriff Barnes, who arrested the man, also the whiskey. Not being able to show that a sale had been made by the prisoner he was turned loose but the liquor was (it was presumably dangerous) and was placed in the city bastile for safekeeping. Now some person or persons, knowing this state of affairs to exist – particularly as to the location of the booze – came in the nighttime and sawed the lock off and let the booze escape.

Now whose booze was it, and who should foot the bill? If the man who paid the freight owned the goods, he has a good action to recover against some person or corporation. Can he recover from the officer or the county or the city of Belpre – that is, provided he did not manipulate the saw?




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Emily Cowan

Emily is a two-time published author of "Abandoned Oklahoma: Vanishing History of the Sooner State" and "Abandoned Topeka: Psychiatric Capital of the World". With over two hundred published articles on our websites. Exploring since 2018 every aspect of this has become a passion for her. From educating, fighting to preserve, writing, and learning about history there is nothing she would rather do.

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