Details for Old Ellis County Jail (Atlas Number 5139007094)

Historical Marker — Atlas Number 5139007094


Marker Number 7094
Atlas Number 5139007094
Marker Title Old Ellis County Jail
Index Entry Ellis County Jail, Old
City Waxahachie
County Ellis
UTM Zone 14
UTM Easting 712018
UTM Northing 3576061
Subject Codes jails and prisons
Marker Year 1978
Designations Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
Marker Location At the corner of Rogers and Water St., Waxahachie
Marker Size 27" x 42"
Marker Text Due to overcrowding in the existing jail facility, this structure was completed in 1888. The Ellis County Commissioners Court awarded the contract to Pauly Jail Building and Manufacturing Company of St. Louis, Missouri. A round turret with conical roof dominates the design. Decorative brick corbeling runs below the cornice. The two-story brick and stone jail contained the Sheriff's family residence on the first floor. There were twenty 4' X 8' cells which accommodated two prisoners each. The solitary confinement and death cells were in the basement. A rotary system, one of the few in the United States, was installed to prevent escapes. A cylinder contained a group of ten cells. The outer walls were stationary jail bars with only one opening. The cylinder turned to provide access to the single door. The entire jail yard was enclosed by a fence of iron bars. Bloodhounds were kept in the yard in the early days. After a new county jail was constructed in 1929, this facility housed the relief work commission during the depression. Afterward a variety of commercial enterprises occupied the space.