Ellis County Jail, Waxahachie
This structure with the two story bay window, turret and brick dentil molding wasn't built for pleasure, but for serious business. It's the Old Ellis County Jail (1888).
This building held twenty 4x8 two prisoner cells. Solitary confinement and death cells were located in the basement. The sheriff's family residence was on the first floor.
According to historical references, "this jail held one of the few rotary systems in the entire United States". Escape was almost impossible! Before the rotary system blood hounds patrolled the yard as a deterrent to escape.
There are several cells still remaining made of hand hewn sandstone blocks. A dungeon area contains the remnants of hand and foot manacles. There's not doubt that incarceration was a grim situation in those days.
A new jail was built in 1929. This building is currently being used as attorney offices.