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Manchester Jail

Location Class:
Built: N/A | Abandoned: N/A
Status: Abandoned
Photojournalist: City of Manchester

In 1920 improvements to the City of Manchester were underway with the addition of a ‘new’ city jail to replace the one that sat just northeast of the current cells. An editor of the Grant County Journal while on a trip to Hutchinson, Kansas worked out a deal with the City of Hutchinson on behalf of the City of Manchester for the old Reno County jail cells. The two fused cells were discarded after the county built a new jail. They were purchased for $75 and arrived within the second week of March 1920. The steel cells were fused together creating a 5×7 mini jail compound. This gave Manchester a jail “equal to the average county jail in Oklahoma.”

By the summer a building for the jail cells was under construction. R.E. McCune is described as doing the carpenter work on the new jail building for the double steel cells. Its first use was on August 16, 1920, when Marshal Jas. Clary had come across a couple of intoxicated gentlemen who were put into the cells sober up.

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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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