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Shidler Jail

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Location Class:
Built: 1922 | Abandoned: ~1965
Status: Abandoned
Photojournalist: Randy Dorse Megan Golay

The Shidler jail now sits as a shell, a reminder of our past and the history that sits forgotten all around us. In 1922 Deputy Sheriff John H. Penland announced Shidler was on track to construct a new jail. He was taking donations from local businesses, amongst those were $100 from the Phillips Petroleum Oil Company, $100 from Prairie Gas & Oil Company, $100 from H.V. Foster Oil Company.  was built in 1922 and served all the surrounding communities. After all was said and done $2,000 was donated by the local oilmen for the erection of the jail. This was one of the largest jails around, having 2 cells instead of one.

In 1953 the thirty-one-year-old Shidler jail underwent repairs, the condition of the jail previously made it unable to house prisoners. During that time they were taken to other local jails such as Fairfax and Pawhuska. But it was ten years later that a report was done on jails in the county, all found to be in good condition except for Shidler jail. The report says it was in deplorable condition and not fit for the confinement of prisoners. It can only then be assumed that the jail closed soon thereafter, around 1965.

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Bibliography

https://www.newspapers.com/image/584246971/?terms=shidler%20jail&match=1

https://www.newspapers.com/image/585969036/?terms=shidler%20jail&match=1

https://www.newspapers.com/image/603383977/?terms=shidler%20jail&match=1

https://www.newspapers.com/image/700381776/?terms=shidler%20jail&match=1

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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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