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Devol Jail

Location Class:
Built: ~1920 | Abandoned: N/A
Status: Abandoned
Photojournalist: Jeff Hodge

The Devol jail cell was built after 1919 according to a government insurance map, but before or around 1920 when it showed up in local newspapers. On the bigger side of the calaboose scale, this jail has two cells. Constructed of concrete with steel bars, it has one door opening up to a hallway. On July 10th 1920 two boys who were awaiting trial in the Devol calaboose for theft of tools from the Signal Station had escaped. They had pried off a part of the roof and made a run for it in the dead of night.

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Emily Cowan

Emily was brought into the Abandoned OK Team in December of 2019. “I’m not gonna lie I fangirled a bit. My first published post I was ecstatic, I felt like I finally had the right audience for my work. The opportunities that came with it made me love the website even more. I remember my first interview with a couple at Waukomis Christian Church. They had bought and restored the 1897 church and insisted on keeping the original sanctuary despite being advised on moving it. We talked with them for at least a good 40 minutes about the church, the abandoned Waukomis Middle School beside it, and the towns other disappearing buildings. They even rang the bell for us that has sat in the bell-tower for the last 120 something years ago. We could tell they were just as passionate about preserving Oklahoma’s dwindling history as we were. When interviewing people and hearing the first-hand stories and recollections of a place and seeing how a person connects to a building, it forms a connection between not only you and that person but yourself and that building.”

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