“Taking people on tours has been an excellent way to re-introduce the jail but, once all the entire building is cleaned-up and proper inspections are completed we hope to showcase a variety of events,” Janz said. “I always enjoy everyone's feedback and am inviting you to share what you would do with an old jail made of solid concrete and steel.”
According to historical information provided, the oldest structure known at the current jail site was a log cabin owned by a widow named Ann White whom took care of the widowed Dr. E.J. DeBard. The next home was owned by Jasper Starr, newspaper editor of “The Wonder.” Nearby was the Lonestar Saloon next door.
In the 1880s, a jail was built in the location with a clock tower donated by Palestine pioneer George Wright. In the 1930s, the current Art Deco jail was built.
The jail closed in 1988, but was used for another decade as a juvenile detention center and later for storage. The county sold the historic structure in 2012, with Janz purchasing the building in April of this year.
For more information about the jail tours, call 903-373-8158.