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1859 Jail, Marshal's Home & Museum, Visit 4

Location Information

Date: 13 April 2024     Type: Museum

Location Title:1859 Jail, Marshal's Home & Museum, Visit 4     

City/State: Independence, MO

Investigation Times: 8:00 PM - 12:00 AM     Status: Analysis


Weather Information

Sunrise: 6:42 AM   Sunset: 7:53 PM

High Temperature: 84°F   Low Temperature: 62°F

Sky Condition: Clear   Wind: South at 15 mph

Humidity: 52%   Precipitation: 0%

Lunar Phase: Waxing Crescent   % disk visible: 27%

Solar X-Rays: Normal   Geomagnetic Field: Quiet

Pressure: 29.84 mmHg  


Investigators Present

Becky Ray

Christina Quentin

Edward Quentin

Julie Burch

Sarah Crowe


Location History

Built in 1859, this was the location of the third Jackson County jail. Established in 1959, the Jackson County Historical Society continues to preserve the 1859 Jail Museum located in Independence, Missouri. To truly unlock the history of the jailers and their families who lived in the residence and the criminals who occupied the jail cells, we recommend a walk through the old lockdown and a stroll through the front house. You can see the cell where Frank James lived for six months, the home where jailers and county deputy marshals lived, the office of the Jackson County marshal, and touch the mighty limestone and tremendous iron doors guarding each cell.

In 1958, a used building materials dealer nearly got permission to demolish the brick home, limestone jail, and brick cell block addition. The dealer would get the right to claim the salvaged stone, brick, and timber as the price for his work.

The abandoned buildings were given a new lease on life when a group of civic-minded citizens at the Jackson County Historical Society stepped in.  They realized that there was yet another historical role for the two-story house and the jail hidden from street view at the corner of Main Street and what is now Truman Road.

The jail was constructed in 1859 using a design by Asa Beebe Cross, a notable early architect in Kansas City, Missouri. The third Jackson County jail constructed consisted of a home for the jailer, an office for the county marshal and his staff, and twelve limestone jail cells. A brick structure was added to the rear of the original jail in 1907 to house chain gangs who worked on roads, sewers, and other public projects.

Jackson County built the jail and home for $11,844.20 in 1859--the 2013 equivalent of $325,893.07.

A 2019 Historic Building Assessment and Structural Study by Strata Architecture and Preservation includes details about the current condition of the 1859 Jail Museum.

Investigators Notes

Previous Investigations at this Location

1859 Jail, Marshal's Home & Museum - Visit 3, 4th April 2014
1859 Jail, Marshal's Home & Museum - Visit 2, 7th October 2006

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

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