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lecompton jail

Lecompton Jail

Location Class:
Built: 1892 | Abandoned: 1920s
Status: Restored 2012
Photojournalist: Patrick Emerson
Lecompton Jail
Provided by Kansas State Historical Society Lecompton Jail ca. Unknown

The Lecompton jail as of 2022 is 130 years old, most buildings are destroyed in some fashion before even turning a hundred. The care that went into its construction allowed it to last through many many years of abandonment. In 1892 a gentleman by the name of William E. Stone started building the limestone jail at Lecompton. By October the jail was finally complete, it was a single cell jail made of limestone with a few iron-barred windows and a large oak door. The jail was used for drunks and petty criminals until around the 1920s when the jail became abandoned.

Lecompton Jail
Bryan Murray, lead carpenter with Rockhill and Associates works in a cloud of dust as he and Doug Callahan, onsite supervisor, back, work to remove stones from an old one-room jailhouse behind Constitution Hall in Lecompton on Friday, Sept. 21, 2012. The jail, which is composed of an estimated 1,200 pieces of limestone is being moved 144 feet to the east and closer to Constitution Hall. Nick Krug/Journal-World Photo

The jail was located across the alley just west of the Constitutional Hall on private property. In a bid to save and restore the historic over one-hundred-year-old building it was decided the jail would be moved 144 feet east near the Constitutional Hall site. Piece by piece the jail was deconstructed with each of the 515 limestones being numbered and mapped out. The bars from the windows and the original oak door were salvaged to use again. The wood flooring had since rotted away and needed to be replaced. The tedious work was done by Rockhill and Associates who did a fantastic job on keeping as much of the building historically accurate as possible. The Lecompton Historical Society received funding for the project through grants and private donations to secure the $69,000 needed for the project. The Douglas County Heritage Conservation Council provided $55,000 of the total amount.


Jail Break: Piece by piece, historic Lecompton structure being disassembled, moved




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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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