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clyde jail

Clyde Jail

Location Class:
Built: 1885 | Abandoned: N/A
Status: Abandoned
Photojournalist: Clyde Chamber of Commerce

The beautiful stone jail that sits in Clyde Kansas dates back to December 1885 when it was completed. But the jail seemed to be vacant in most of its early days, it was reported in October 1886 that the Clyde jail had been without an inmate for three months. The jail was cozied up next to what was city hall through the 1890s and later housed the fire department. At some point this building was removed and no longer exists but the jail still stands. It is made of stone with a rather peculiar window situation. At the front of the jail is one entrance made of strap iron and a rather large window beside it, there are two more of these large strap iron windows on the side of the building and another on the opposite side for 4 total large windows. On the back of the building are three much smaller and typical symmetric barred windows.

Below are some stories depicting the jail and its patrons:

Clyde Herald September 6, 1901 – During the Feast of Melons in Clyde “One deluded pick-pocket from the city was chased half a mile by an ever-increasing crowd yesterday morning, and in fear that he would be run over in the stampede he dodged behind a tree and yelled, “I give up.” Then everybody took him to the little stone jail where he spent the day while the bands played outside.”

Clyde Jail
Clyde Herald September 6, 1901


Concordia Blade-Empire May 10, 1905 – A man who gave his name as Harrison McKim and his home at Simpson is in jail at Clyde in default of the coin with which to liquidate a fine of $20 and trimmings assessed for playing a bad man.

Concordia Blade-Empire June 5, 1909 – Clyde had an exciting time with a bunch of [homeless people] yesterday afternoon. Thirteen of the gentry who wanted a ride boarded a Rock Island train and were put off by the conductor and his crew and then they began to stone the train. Word was sent up town to the marshal, who deputized another man to help him and they marched the entire group to the city jail.

Clyde Voice-Republican September 9, 1920 – Saturday night about 11 o’clock Chief of Police Carl Moore and Sheriff J.F. Swafford were called to Clyde to take charge of a man who was apprehended in the act of entering the ticket office of the Rock Island Depot there. The jail at Clyde was not considered safe enough for his reception and after a preliminary trial, he was brought to this city [Concordia] and lodged in the county jail.










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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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Sharon “Balderston” Saulnier
Sharon “Balderston” Saulnier
8 months ago

Great article, Emily. I grew up 3 blocks south of the jail. I also had Eloise Cowan as my 4th grade teacher as well as music teacher. I see your articles often and wonder if she’s any relation?? 😊

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