top of page

1859 Jail, Marshal's Home & Museum, Visit 3

Location Information

Date:4th April, 2014     Type:Business

Location Title:1859 Jail, Marshal's Home & Museum, Visit 3     City/State:Independence, MO

Investigation Times:08:00 PM - 11:00 PM     Status:Analysis


Weather Information

Sunrise:06:57 AM   Sunset:07:44 PM

High Temperature:45 °F   Low Temperature:31 °F

Sky Condition:Overcast   Wind:NW at 18 mph

Humidity:79%   Precipitation:%

Lunar Phase:Waxing Crescent   % disk visible:25%

Solar X-Rays:Active   Geomagnetic Field:Unsettled

Pressure:30.04 mmHg  


Investigators Present

Sevren Jacobs

Jenny Kerr

Becky Ray

Jennifer Sprague

Location History

"In 1859, construction was completed on the new Jackson County Jail and Marshal’s Home. As the twelve new limestone jail cells were opened hostilities between free state and pro-slavery forces were reaching a boiling point in the area. 
In 1854, Congress had passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which opened the Kansas Territory to settlement. The act provided for popular sovereignty in determining the issue of slavery. The result of this act was violent guerilla fighting which terrorized local populations on both sides of the Missouri and Kansas lines as abolitionists poured into the Kansas Territory.
In Jackson County, the Battles of Independence and Lone Jack in 1862 ended in Confederate victories. The state of Missouri was held in the union by military force even though the elected Governor and legislators had voted to secede from the Union. In Jackson County old grudges erupted between families and neighbor turned against neighbor. Women and children were arrested and placed in the 1859 Jail now under the command of the Union Provost Marshals nicknamed the “Little Gods” for the power they had over the population. When the Jail overflowed with the residents of Jackson County, other buildings were used as jails. One of those buildings collapsed and several young girls were killed. Historians believe that this action resulted in the raid on Lawrence, Kansas in 1863.
The raid resulted in the infamous Order No. 11 being issued which depopulated Jackson County as well as other counties along the Kansas-Missouri border. The enforcement of this order resulted in terrible hardships for the residents, many women and children had to walk to Texas or Kentucky. Many were killed in the act of obeying the order, Union and Southern families alike. Many families never returned to Jackson County after the war. 
Independence artist George Caleb Bingham captured their misery on canvas (and another copy was painted on a tablecloth). He later produced an engraving of the painting and sold signed, numbered copies of “Martial Law.” One of his signed proofs is on display at the 1859 Jail, Marshal’s Home and Museum. Reproductions are available for sale.
Decades after the war ended in Missouri, the citizens of Jackson county felt the lingering bitterness and uncertainty of that great conflict. Out of these tumultuous times rode Missouri’s most notorious outlaws. Outlaws like the James boys and Youngers used the remaining animosities from the outrages of the war to stay a step ahead of the law for nearly twenty years.
In the spring of 1882, Jesse James was murdered. His older brother, Frank, began negotiations with the Missouri governor to surrender because he feared assassination. Frank James spent almost six months in the Jackson County limestone jail.
In 1901, a brick jail was added to the back of the limestone jail to house chain gangs. Chain gangs were used to build roads, sewers and other tasks assigned them. They left six days a week at sunrise and returned at sunset. One inmate spent a year on the chain gang for stealing a cow.
You can see the Marshal’s home from Main Street, but the two-story limestone jail and the 1901 chain gang jail joins the rear of the home. Take a self-guided tour of the jail and museum for a first hand look at frontier justice. Tour the beautifully decorated home where the wife and children of the marshal lived. Guided tours are available upon request in advance." 

Visitors have reported feelings of nausea and extreme cold. Guards sometimes hear phantom footsteps, growling noises and the sound of a man gasping for air. In addition, a spectral man in a blue uniform has also been seen in the center south cell. 
It has been thought that the man in the blue uniform may be Henry Bugler who was the Jackson County sheriff. He was killed at the jail in 1866 and was the first law officer in Jackson County to be murdered.

Investigators Notes

Jennifer Sprague:I'd like to thank Steve Noll from the Jackson County Historical Society for allowing us to come out and investigate. I'd also like to thank Jimmie from Dusk to Dawn Paranormal for his tour and kindness. And a big thank you to John Winterbaur, a fellow friend from American Hauntings who also joined us on our investigation. 
This was the group's third trip there and my second. We focused mainly on the bottom row of cells starting with our green light grid experiment and evp session. 
It was during this time that Becky and I saw a shadow down in the right had corner of the cell. This cell was the same cell we had activity in during past visits. Also, all this was during the same time that John was stating out loud some disconcerting facts having to do with the time period relating to the Jail and its history. It was during this time that I received an evp. I received another evp after being in a cell by myself while the other group reenacted some things relative to that time period. We did spend some time upstairs, but found it difficult to do a lot of evp sessions due to the outside noise contamination. 
For us the most activity happened down in the bottom row of cells. Overall, it was a quiet night. Due to computer issues. EVPS are not able to be uploaded at this time.

Previous Investigations at this Location

1859 Jail, Marshal's Home & Museum - Visit 2, 7th October, 2006

1859 Jail, Marshal's Home & Museum - Visit 1, 10th June, 2006

No EVPS for this Investigation at this time
No PHOTOS for this Investigation at this time
No VIDEOS for this Investigation at this time
bottom of page