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mclouth jail

McLouth Jail

Location Class:
Built: ~1913-1921 | Abandoned: ~1930s
Status: Abandoned
Photojournalist: Annie Landis

According to government insurance maps and newspapers, the McLouth Jail was constructed sometime between 1913 and 1921. It is a barrel roof concrete structure with a cell on each end with a barred window and a stove in the middle and. But what sets the McLouth jail aside from any other jail I have documented thus far is the sort of step design at the top of each side, which I have not seen in another jail. While this jail was typically quiet and low maintenance it still needed to be taken care of especially being used mostly as a drunk tank for people who had gone past their limit. In 1921 end of year expenses Miles Edwin Rindom was paid $61.60 for ‘care of jail’. Former Mayor Glenn Wear remembered a bunch of young kids that stayed a night in the jail for throwing apples at the Methodist Church.

While the jail was abandoned in the late 1930s and used as storage by the city for years after interest in the jail hasn’t been abandoned. The jail has had a long list of people wishing to preserve this piece of frontier history even going back to the 1990s.

McLouth JailAt some point in its history, the plot of land that it sat on was sold to Leavenworth-Jefferson Rural Electric Association by the City of McLouth who then passed the jail on to the owners of the former bank building that has been JL Fabrics Inc. since 1993. Carol Brewer, owner of JL Fabrics, then donated the jail and a small border of grass back to the city just before the first of 1998. Around that time the city was trying to come up with plans of what to do with the building including hopes to get it put on the KRHP but without knowing the exact date of construction this isn’t possible. But hope hasn’t been lost that some kind of preservation will go into the jail with many people rallying in a local group to raise funds for the structure in recent years.





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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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Mary garcia
Mary garcia
1 year ago

I’m all for restoring it let me know if you need help with the project I would love to see it fixed. I hear it’s got a lot of old bicycles stored in it

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