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Mound Valley Jail

Mound Valley Jail

Location Class:
Built: ~1905 | Abandoned: N/A
Status: Abandoned
Photojournalist: Vearl Butch Crawford

The Mound Valley City Jail is in remarkable shape, you can tell someone has put love into keeping this building in great shape for visitors. In order to truly appreciate this piece of frontier history, you need to understand just how long this building has withstood the testament of time.

On October 6, 1905, the Chetopa Advance reported “The Mound Valley jail is being equipped with new steel cells. No town in the county needs them as bad as Mound Valley.” Perhaps Mound Valley was a hotspot for outlaws? One of those inmates was Geo Welch. On May 27, 1909, the Cherryvale Republican told of a man named Geo Welch being arrested on charges of making indecent proposals to Mrs. Mary L. Gregory. Marshal Watson arrested the man after he went to her home and insulted her. When her husband came home from work he was informed of the situation. Welch was taken from the jail in Cherryvale to the city jail at Mound Valley.

By the 1930s crime in most towns had come to a minimum, cities no longer needed these tiny jails and most sent their prisoners to the county jails instead. These became used merely as holding cells or drunk tanks well into the fifties.




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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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