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Minneapolis Jail

Minneapolis Jail

Location Class:
Built: 1912 | Abandoned: ~1990s
Status: Abandoned
Photojournalist: Scott Mortimer

The cage cell that sits next to the Delphos Museum in Delphos Kansas is actually not from Delphos but the nearby town of Minneapolis. While Delphos used to have its own small jail that was abandoned in the 1940s it was eventually removed. This piece of history while not original has become a cherished piece of history for the Delphos community.

Minneapolis Jail
Ca. ~1997

This cell was originally located in the Ottawa County Jail in Minneapolis which was built in 1912 and had been the oldest operating jail in Kansas. In December of 1996 discussion began to circulate about demolishing the jail due to many hazards including asbestos, faulty wiring, cracking timbers in the basement the building would not pass state inspections. Local preservationists countered this decision wanting to save and preserve this piece of history. The Ottawa County Museum even came forward wanting to annex the building. Officials stated the building was too far gone and going against local wishes, a decision to raze the building came in January of 1997 with the demolition estimated to be $30,000. By April the building was gone making way for a new $15 million county jail completed the same year.

The jail cell was sent to Borrell Auto Salvage in Delphos, the salvage yard thinking the cell was too cool to scrap donated it to the Delphos Museum where it has sat for over a decade. “I remember the Delphos Museum selling “arrest warrants” at a Delfest celebration as a fundraiser for the museum,” said Samantha Davis, who with her son Dakota Davis runs both the Delphos and Ottawa County Museums. She says that the Ottawa County Museum didn’t have an interest in the jail probably because they already have the Bennington jail cell there.





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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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