|City/Town: • Chickasha
|Location Class: • Jail
|Built: • 1895 | Abandoned: • ~1960s
|Status: • Abandoned
|Photojournalist: • Billy Wade
Chickasha’s old territorial jail was not always a jail, in fact it innocently started out as a storage room for construction workers working on the courthouse. In 1895 it was then converted into a three-cell jail standing on North 4th Street and W. Choctaw Avenue. The one-story rectangular structure presents a gabled, wood-shingled roof. Two small steel barred windows on the west with three on the east side. A large door opening on the west side has been infilled with wood 2×4’s leaving a single pedestrian door. It was used as a jail until 1914 when a new two-story jail was built. It was then moved from its original location to the zoo at Shannon Springs Park where it was used as a craft area for girl scouts and later a storage facility. It sat here until 1995 when it was moved again to where it presently sits near the Santa Fe Depot Museum. Kids have long made it a “playhouse” since it became unused in the 1960s, it has now been tagged in graffiti and is deteriorating. Some newspaper stories are included below:
The Chickasha Record Sept. 26, 1895 – The Record will give six months free to the first man who is sentenced to do time in the Chickasha jail. Now friends, we don’t want any disrespectful scramble to secure the prize.
The Minco Minstrel Jan. 11, 1900 – Bill Evans was arrested here Monday and landed in the Chickasha jail Monday night.
The Chickasha Daily Express April 4, 1903 – Luther Smith has been appointed United States Federal Jailor for the Chickasha jail by Judge Hosea Townsend, the appointment to date from April 1, 1903. This appointment was made in place of Mr. Gibson who resigned some time ago. Mr. Smith has already been sworn and has taken his position.
Mountain View Progress Aug. 6, 1903 – Tom Boswell, a notorious horse thief well known in the Chickasaw Nation, who has been captured at Lawton, was caged at the Chickasha jail.
Rush Springs Gazette April 25, 1908 – Bill of Fare at Chickasha jail: For breakfast, oatmeal or hominy flakes, hog or beef liver and sausage, syrup, hot biscuit and coffee with sugar; for dinner they have Irisu stew, tomatoes, hot cornbread and coffee, and on alternate days beans and bacon.
The Chickasha Daily Express Nov. 6, 1914 – Rush Springs has become the owner in foe simple of one of the cages of the old Chickasha city jail and has transported it and caused it to be erected in the corporate limits of the first-named city. Now, whenever a Rush Springsite wishes to indulge in frollick-making liquors of the white mule brands, he will not be compelled to journey all the way to the “Chix” in order that he may be locked up, but may retire to his couch in his own jailhouse and there quietly sleep it off.
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