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The Jail

The jail itself has seen many changes over the years. 

When it was originally built, there was only one floor in the mens' area. The cells were around the outside of the room, Common Area was in the middle of the room. There was a catwalk above the cells so the staff could look in the cells without having to go into the cells.

1883 Indoor plumbing was added in the jail and the home.

1898 Electricity and gas heat was added to the jail. 

1931 Original cells were removed and sold for scrap metal.

1941 Metal Stairway in the back was added to get to the women's cells and for future when they added the second floor of mens' cells.

1941 Men's cells were updated. Cells were moved to the middle of the room with hallways along the sides for the deputies. 

1977 The new jail on Cumberland Road was completed and they moved to the new facility. 

The Sheriff and his family never lived in the jail after this one closed. 

Main Jail Door _edited.jpg

 Main door to the jail area.

 When the jail was active, this door was usually closed and locked.

Cell Block A - First Floor and to the Left

Hall to Cell Block A 

 Cell A1

 Cellblock A - Common Room 

 Cell A2

Cell block B  First Floor and to the right.

 Exterior Hall to Cell Block B

First Floor Cell Block B  Break out .jpg

 Hall to the cells and common area

Cletus Knorr and Samuel Banta were successful in breaking out of the jail in September of 1940.. They took advantage of a broken cell and banged it against the concrete wall. After the first blow, the were confident that the staff was out of the building and they continued until they squeezed through the broken wall. and out the kitchen door. The pair were never caught. They were wanted in several states and the Sheriff received a letter from J Edgar Hoover about them and their crime spree.

 The locking mechanism made by The Fries and Son Steel Company of Covington Kentucky.  You could open the cells or the common rooms, or the exterior doors from this unit. 

 Common Room Cellblock B 

 Cell B2

 Visitation Window

Cell Block C - Second Floor

 Stairs leading up to the 

 Second Floor mezzanine and cells.


 Cell C1


Steps leading into the second floor juvenile cells and also for adult overflow.


 Cell C2


Cell Block C common area

Cell Block C Exterior Hall

Jail - 3rd Floor

The cells on the third floor have seen the least amount of change. These are the Victorian cells. These were used to house women. Occasionally, they would have housed those that needed to be away from the main jail population.  This would most likely have included D.C. Stephenson when he was in this jail during his trial and hearings. Juveniles may also have been housed up here before the second floor cells were added.  When the jail was built, you could only access this floor through the residence.  The back stairs were added in the 1930's and at that time, the entrance through the home was closed. 


Stairs that lead up to the 3rd floor Victorian cells.


Sun shining through the bars. This chair was in the courtroom during DC Stephenson trial.


There was a bathroom on the third floor.


What the cell may have looked like when he was in our jail.


Many books have been written on DC Stephenson, Madge Oberholzer, and the trial. These are two that our visitors have recommended. 

When he was 15 years old, Charles Manson was held in our jail as a runaway. He was here for several days until staff from the Plainfield Boys School came up pick him up and take him back to the reform school.

The third floor shows some graffiti as well. To preserve the graffiti, the walls have not been painted in these cells. 

These cells were bigger, but they did not have a common area to go to. 

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