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Texas County Jails

"The Big House" may be in Huntsville,
but "The Small House" is everywhere.

Texas Jail List
Jailbreaks & related stories
Jails were some of the first public buildings erected in Texas - occasionally built with the same bond issue money as county courthouses. After construction however, they received minimal funds for modernization . Stories have been told of sympathetic sheriffs who would release prisoners because of leaking roofs.

Texas' landscape is dotted with these brick fortresses and grim crenelated castles - many of them still in use after more than 100 years. Medieval and primitive they may appear, but many housed the sheriff and his family as well as local miscreants and villains.

Here are some of Texas' more picturesque 19th and 20th century county jails.


Blanco Co jail
  • Another Slow Night at the Blanco County Jail by Michael Barr
  • Gillespie County jail
  • In and Out of the Old Gillespie County Jail
    by Michael Barr
    Gillespie County jailbreaks
  • Martin Co
  • Martin County Jail
  • Fayettte County jail
  • Fayette County Old Jail in La Grange
  • Lavaca County Jail
  • The Old Lavaca County Jail
  • Arp
  • Arp Calaboose

  • Borden
  • Former Austin County Jail
  • Borden County Jail
  • prison house
  • Prison House
    "In the late 1800's and 1900's my house served as a prison house..."
  • 'Tumbleweeds' took outlaws to prison by Delbert Trew
  • Best
  • Best Jail - Reagan County
  • Frio County 1872 Old Jail
  • Briscoe County Jail
  • Caldwell County Jail
  • Sabine County
  • Mills County Jail
  • Sabine County Jail
  • Hartley
  • Hartley County Jail
  • Young County Jail
  • Glasscock County
  • San Jacinto County Jail
  • Bastrop County Old Jail
  • Sterling County Jail
  • Glasscock County Old Jail
  • El Paso County Old Jail
  • Coke County
  • Coke County Jail
  • Somervell County Jail
  • Burnet County Jail
  • Wise County Jail
  • Edwards County Jail
  • Jails
  • Blanco County Jail
  • Clairemont Jail
  • Eight County Jails in Texas
  • Poor Farm
  • The Anderson County Poor Farm Jail by Dana Goolsby

  • Texas County Jail List

  • Frontier Jails by Bob Bowman
  • strap-iron
  • Strap-Iron Jails & Cages in Texas
  • Albany, former Shackelford County Jail Feature
  • Alice - Jim Wells County Jail
  • Alpine, former Brewster County Jail
  • Andrews - former Andrews County Jail
  • Archer City, former Archer County Jail
  • Arp - Calaboose
  • Athens, former Henderson County Jail
  • Baird, Callahan County, old and new jails
  • Ballinger, former Runnels County jail
  • Bandera, Bandera County former jail
  • Bastrop - Bastrop County Old Jail
  • Baytown, Chambers/Harris Counties, former Goose Creek Jail
  • Beaumont - Former Jefferon County jail
  • Bellville - Former Austin County Jail
  • Belton - Former Bell County Jail
  • Benjamin, Knox County, former jail
  • Best Jail - Reagan County Feature
  • Blanco - 1877 Old Blanco County Jail
  • Boerne, Kendall County Jail
  • Brackettville, Kinney County Jail
  • Brady, McCulloch County Jail Feature
  • Brownfield - Terry County's First Jail Feature
  • Brownsville - Cameron County Jails
  • Brownwood - Brown County Jail Museum
  • Burnet - Former Burnet County Jail Feature
  • Cameron, Milam County Jailhouse and the Jailhouse Ghost
  • Canadian, Hemphill County old jail
  • Carbon Old Jail
  • Carrizo Springs - Dimmit County Jail
  • Carthage, Former Panola County jail
  • Center, Shelby County, former jail
  • Chillicothe, Former City Jail
  • Clairemont, Kent County old jail
  • Clairemont Jail
  • Clarksville, Red River County Jail
  • Claude, Armstrong County Jail
  • Coldspring, Old San Jacinto County Jail
  • Coleman, Coleman County Jail Feature
  • Columbus - Colorado County Jail
  • Comanche, Comanche County jail
  • Corpus Christi, Nueces County old jail
  • Corsicana City Jail
  • Dallas County Jail Feature
  • Decatur, Wise County Jail - Old Stone Prison Feature
  • Del Rio, Val Verde County Jail Feature
  • Dell City, Hudspeth county
  • Desdemona, Eastland County old jail
  • Dickens, Dickens County Jail
  • Eagle Pass, Maverick County Jail
  • East Bernard - Old Holding Cell
  • Eastland - former Eastland County Jail
  • Edna - Jackson County Jail
  • Eldorado - former Schleicher County Jail
  • Fairfield - Freestone County former jail
  • Farwell - Parmer County Jail
  • Floresville - Wilson County Jail, Floresville Jail Museum
  • Floydada - Floyd County Jail
  • Fort Davis - Jeff Davis County Jail
  • Fort Griffin
  • Fort Stockton, Pecos County, Pecos County Jail
  • Franklin - Robertson County Jail
  • Fredericksburg, Gillespie County jail
  • Frio Town - The 1872 Frio County Old Jail Rare photos
  • Gail - Former Borden County Jail Feature
  • Gainesville - Cooke County Jail
  • Garden City, former Glasscock County jail
  • Georgetown, Williamson County old jail
  • Glen Rose - Somervell County Jail
  • Goldsmith, former city jail
  • Goldthwaite - Mills County jail
  • Gonzales - Gonzales County jail Feature
  • Graham - Young County Jail Feature
  • Granbury, Hood County old jail
  • Groveton, Trinity County jail
  • Guthrie - King County jail
  • Hallettsville - The Old Lavaca County Jail Feature
  • Hamilton, Hamilton County jail Feature
  • Hartley - First Hartley County Jail
  • Hebbronville - Jim Hogg County Jail
  • Helena - Strap Iron Jail
  • Hemphill - Former Sabine County Jail Feature
  • Henderson, Rusk County jail
  • Henrietta, former Clay county jail
  • Hidalgo County Jail, Edinburg Texas
  • Hidalgo - Former Hidalgo County Jail
  • Hillsboro, Former Hill County jail Feature
  • Holliday
  • Hondo, Medina County Jail
  • Johnson City, Blanco County Jail Feature
  • Jourdanton - Atascosa County Jail
  • Junction - Kimble County Jail
  • Kemp - Once held Bonnie Parker
  • Kirbyville - Former Jail
  • Kyle City Jail - old jail and sign
  • La Grange - Former Fayetter County JailFeature
  • Centerville - Leon County Jail
  • Llano, Llano County jail
  • Lockhart - Former Caldwell County Jail Feature
  • Lubbock, Lubbock County Jail
  • Marathon, former Brewster County jail
  • Marfa, Presidio County, jail and water tower
  • Mason, Mason County jail
  • Matador - Motley County Jail
  • McKinney, Collin County Prison
  • Menard - Menard County Jail Feature
  • Mobeetie, Wheeler County Jail
  • Montague, Montague County Jail
  • Montgomery - Old Montgomery County Iron Cage Jail
  • Mount Vernon, Franklin County jail
  • Navasota, Grime County, former jail
  • New Boston, Bowie County old jail
  • Oakville - Former Live Oak County Jail
  • Paducah - Former Cottle County Jail
  • Palestine, Anderson County Jail
  • Palo Pinto County Jail
  • Pearsall, Frio County Jail Feature
  • Port Lavaca, Former Calhoun County jail, razed
  • Quanah, former Hardeman County jail
  • Richmond, former Fort Bend County jail
  • Robert Lee - Former Coke County jail Feature
  • Roby, Fisher County Jail
  • Rockport - Aransas County Jail
  • Rocksprings - Edwards County Jail
  • Rockwall - Rockwall County Jail
  • Rusk Prison House
  • San Augustine County Jail
  • San Elizario - Former El Paso County Jail
  • San Jacinto County Jail
  • San Marcos - Former Hays County Jails
  • San Saba County Jail Feature
  • Schleicher County Jail
  • Seymour - Former Baylor County Jail
  • Silverton - Former Briscoe County Jail
  • Skellytown jail
  • Snyder, Scurry County Jail of 1912 Feature
  • Somerville City Jail
  • Sonora, Sutton County Jail
  • Sour Lake Iron Cage Jail
  • Spofford - Strap-iron Jail
  • Stanton, Martin County Jail Feature
  • Sterling City - Sterling County Jail
  • Stockdale City Jail
  • Sweetwater, Nolan County old jail
  • Throckmorton, former Throckmorton County jail
  • Tilden, McMullen County Jail
  • Van Horn - Former Culberson County Jail
  • Vernon Texas - Former Wilbarger County Jail
  • Waller County Jail
  • Wardville - Johnson County 1854 Jail
  • Waxahachie, Ellis County old jail Feature
  • Wheeler, Wheeler County old jail
  • Wichita Falls - 1890 Wichita County Jail
  • Woodville - Tyler County jail

  • Texas Jailbreaks and Jail Related Articles

  • A Jail Without Walls by Michael Barr

  • Another Slow Night at the Blanco County Jail by Michael Barr

  • In and Out of the Old Gillespie County Jail by Michael Barr
    Gillespie County jailbreaks

  • Bullet Riddled Buddies by Clay Coppedge
    The escape from the infamous “Death House” at Huntsville...

  • 'Tumbleweeds' took outlaws to prison by Delbert Trew
    Among the more famous conveyances adapted and used by man were the "tumbleweed wagons." Actually, they were only common canvas covered farm wagons put to use hauling captured prisoners being taken to the Fort Smith prison...

  • The Haunting of the Old Travis County Jail by Mike Cox
    Harvey, 34, had the distinction of being the last of nine men legally hanged in the castle-like stone jail, built for $100,000 in 1876 at the corner of 11th and Brazos streets — present location of the Dewitt C. Greer Building, headquarters of what is now the Texas Department of Transportation.

  • The Huntsville Humdinger and the Texas Prison Rodeo by Mike Cox
    When the Huntsville Humdinger hit the streets that Monday, the feisty four-column competitor of the long-established Huntsville Item carried on page one a humdinger of a local scoop: The prison system would be starting a rodeo that fall. On Sept. 4, 1931...

  • Bertillion Method early way to track criminals by Delbert Trew
    I take great pleasure in learning a new word, a little-known fact or hearing a story I have not heard before. In the book "Texas Gulag" by Gary Brown, the history of Texas prisons, jails and even the early-day chain gangs is presented from the years 1875 to 1925. The book outlined in detail how criminals were identified as they processed through the old systems.

  • Old-time improvisation in branding and jailing by Delbert Trew

  • Pearl by Mike Cox ("Texas Tales" column)
    He has the singular distinction of being the first and last man legally hanged in the county.

  • The Double Hanging at Bellville in 1896 by Norman Conquest

  • Sheriff Fenton of Coleman County and His Larger Than Life Wife by John Troesser

  • The Infamous East Texas Sewing Needle Jail Break by John Troesser

  • The not so great escapes by Clay Coppedge

  • Study on Prisoner Re-entry in Texas by Peary Perry

  • Houston 1984 History cartoon by Roger Todd Moore

  • "Once Upon A Line" - Light verse and poetry by d.knape

  • Prison Poem

  • Texas Jails Forum
  • Haunted Jails and Jail Museums in Texas
    "It was because of your website, Texas Escapes, that I first started going to jail museums and I am an absolute FANATIC about it!"


















































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