|| Oakville, seat of Live Oak County from 1856-1919, first called “on the sulphur,” was near a Nueces River crossing called Puente de la Piedra (Rock Crossing). Joseph Bartlett built a stone courthouse and attached log jail in 1857 as a center of authority. The county became part of the growing cattle industry following the Civil War. Oakville served as a commerce hub for freight wagons and a place for ranchers to buy supplies. The jail, with sheriff headquarters, made the town seem safer. J.S. Campbell oversaw the rebuilding of the courthouse with the jail placed inside during the 1870s. By 1887, Oakville constructed a free-standing two-story stone Italianate-style jail. The jail held frontier criminals ranging from bar fighters to horse thieves. In 1919, after losing a railway bid, a county election selected the town of George West as the new County Seat. The old jail became one of the few standing structures in Oakville.
The Oakville Jail is made of sandstone from a nearby quarry. It is corniced with heavy sandstone as well. The stone facades and corners are covered in white stucco. Windowsills remain, showing period ventilation. The first floor had a reception room, office and living quarters. The second floor housed jail cells, three for general holding and a fourth for women and juveniles. There are two corbelled chimneys, and a metal cistern at the rear of the building. The design is from the Diebold Lock and Safe Company of Canton, Ohio. The Oakville Jail and its twin in Mills County with their unique Diebold architecture are both listed in the National Register of Historic Places.