Lebo City Jail

Location Class:
Year Built: 1890 | Year Abandoned:
Status: Abandoned
Photojournalist: Emily Cowan

Native sandstone is a common material used in buildings throughout the midwest, especially in the late 1800s and early 1900s. This jail was built of the popular material in 1890 and was 10 ft by 10 ft originally with a dirt floor and two tiny barred slits for windows. It had one iron bed for any petty thieves, drunken and disorderly or small-time criminals. In May 1919 the tiny jail received some much-needed updates including a flue for ventilation and installation of a cement floor and roof, all installed by Bob McGregor. It was probably discontinued as an active jail in the ~1930-40s.

A few newspaper stories regarding the jail and its patrons are included below:

The Lebo Star Mar 12, 1915 – It was supposed that the inclement weather had kept the Carrier on Route 2 from making his daily rounds until the Lebo Star came to hand when it was learned that he has been locked up in the Lebo City Jail.

The Lebo Star Dec 24, 1920 – A tramp slept in the Lebo jail at his own request last Sunday night and while on the way to the jail he passed the Jones & Lewis store window which was decorated with two Christmas trees. The wanderer who said his home was in Philidelphia remarked as he passed this window, “That makes me think of home.” All men out of work are not heartless.


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