Details for 1925 Henderson County Jail (Atlas Number 5507016722)

Historical Marker — Atlas Number 5507016722

Data

Marker Number 16722
Atlas Number 5507016722
Marker Title 1925 Henderson County Jail
Index Entry Henderson County Jail, 1925
Address 201 E. Larkin
City Athens
County Henderson
UTM Zone
UTM Easting
UTM Northing
Subject Codes jails and prisons; counties
Marker Year 2011
Designations Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
Marker Location Athens, 201 E. Larkin
Marker Size 27" x 42"
Marker Text AS EARLY AS 1850, HENDERSON COUNTY OFFICIALS REALIZED THE NEED FOR A COUNTY JAIL. THE FIRST JAIL WAS COMPLETED IN 1856 OR 1857. IT BECAME KNOWN AS THE LOG CALABOOSE. A NEW JAIL WAS BUILT IN 1874 FACING NORTH COMMON STREET. ON NOVEMBER 1, 1897, A FIRE BROKE OUT IN THE MASONIC HALL AND SOON THE ENTIRE BLOCK WAS IN FLAMES, INCLUDING THE 1874 COUNTY JAIL. THE NEXT YEAR, THE HENDERSON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS COURT ORDERED A NEW JAIL AND SITE. THIS BUILDING WAS COMPLETED IN 1898 AND WAS IN USE UNTIL 1925. OVER THE YEARS, THE 1898 JAILHOUSE DETERIORATED AND BECAME UNSAFE FOR USE. IN 1924, SEVERAL COUNTY COMMISSIONERS REQUESTED THAT A NEW JAIL BE BUILT INSTEAD OF REPAIRING THE OLD JAIL. AFTER SOME DEBATE, CONSTRUCTION WAS APPROVED WITH H.A. OVERBECK OF DALLAS OVERSEEING THE DESIGN AND THE PAULY JAIL COMPANY PROVIDING THE IRON BARS AND DOOR LOCKS. THE JAIL WAS COMPLETED IN 1925 ON THE SAME LOT AS THE 1898 BUILDING. THE 1925 HENDERSON COUNTY JAIL IS A TWO-STORY BUILDING WITH A BASEMENT, APPROXIMATELY 80 FEET BY 43 FEET IN AMERICAN GOTHIC REVIVAL STYLE WITH SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF ITALIAN URBANISM. THE BUILDING WAS EXPANDED IN THE 1980s WITH A SIDE ADDITION TO COMPENSATE FOR THE INCREASE OF INMATE POPULATIONS. BY 1989, THE COUNTY NEEDED MORE SPACE SO DISCUSSIONS BEGAN TO BUILD A LARGER JAIL ON MURCHISON STREET. PRISONERS WERE MOVED TO THE NEW JAIL IN 1991. THE 1925 HENDERSON COUNTY JAIL HAS BEEN USED AS A STORAGE FACILITY FOR THE COUNTY CLERK AND COUNTY RECORDS AND THE HENDERSON COUNTY ARCHIVES BUILDING. IT NOW SERVES AS THE HOME FOR THE HENDERSON COUNTY HISTORICAL COMMISSION OFFICES.