By using this site, you agree to its use of cookies as provided in our policy.

Linn County Jail and Sheriff's Residence - Linneus, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 39° 52.776 W 093° 11.346
15S E 483830 N 4414411
Quick Description: Read through Google books in link below how and why this jail was built.
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 3/8/2014 9:52:36 AM
Waymark Code: WMKA92
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
Views: 1

Long Description:

County of jail: Linn County
Location of jail: 102 N. Main St., Linneus

The "retired" prison:
"In 1834, Linneus was made the county seat. Within 10 years there were approximately 100 residents. The city of Linneus was incorporated on February 9, 1853. Early school classes were held in the Holland cabin and were taught by his daughter Sallie. In 1847, the first public schoolhouse was built near where the railroad eventually ran. The nearest true doctor was Keytesville. However, Judge James A. Clark did most of the regular doctoring for the settlement although he had never had any medical training. Quinine and calomel were his main medicines. It is the county seat of Linn County[6]. Originally Linnville, its name was changed to honor Carl Linnaeus in 1840. The former Linn County Jail is located in downtown Linneus on the corner of Highway 5 and Route B, just southeast of the Linn County Courthouse. The building is now a museum that is basically only open by appointment.

The building served as the Linn County Jail for about 100 years. The sheriff and his family were expected to reside in the jail building and take care of the prisoners. There were other staff members also available. The Linn County Court (now known as the Commissioners) agreed to building this building in 1869, right after the Civil War. The building was completed in 1871 and accepted as satisfactory by the county officials. The total cost was $9,000. I don't think $9,000 would build a jail today!

Many different sheriffs resided at and operated the jail over the century. I'm sure lots of improvements and changes were made during that period of time. One sheriff that has a connection to our school was Frank Hoskins. He is the great grandfather of several of the Hoskins family members in school, and grandfather of Rance Shifflett, husband of Linn County R-1 school nurse. Mrs. Hoskins had a reputation among the prisoners as being an excellent cook. Mr. Hoskins was later elected to other Linn County offices. He was a World War I veteran and I enjoyed listening to Mr. Hoskins and the grandfather discuss World War I.

The first sheriff was Dewey Chapman, great-grandfather of Linn County R-1 student Heather Brinkley. My Chapman was a big tall man (to me) and put me in the mind of Matt Dillon of "Gunsmoke" fame. The last sheriff to reside at the jail was Jess Taylor. I remember when Mr. Taylor was elected in 1964. He was known for letting the "trusty" prisoners out to mow the park, sweep sidewalks, etc. Mr. Taylor had a good reputation for treating prisoners well.

"I recall several escape stories, most of which were fairly harmless, although it definitely upset people for some time. Sheriff Taylor in the late 1960s insisted that the condition of the jail was unsafe for use. He wanted the officials to spend quite a bit of money to get the jail up to a reasonable level. As I recall, the outlook for repairing the jail didn't look promising, so Mr. Taylor announced the jail was closed. There was some discussion as to whether the sheriff could close the jail or not, but to the best of my memory it didn't reopen as a jail or a law enforcement office after Mr. Taylor's announcement."

- Wikipedia

Jail Interior:
"The jail basically consists of two large upstairs rooms, four downstairs rooms, a bath, kitchen, and cell area. The north room upstairs room was used as a cell. It was sparsely furnished with a toilet, basin, and single bed. The south upstairs room was used as part of the living quarters for the sheriff.

"Prisoners were also held in a more secure southeast room on the ground floor. A cell, cage-like enclosure sat the middle of the interior of the room, to the right of the entry door. Right now, the room is filled with miscellaneous boxes filled with old hospital supplies. I'm not sure how these supplies came to be there. It is definitely dark and dreary. Food was passed through a two-foot square passage from the kitchen hallway on one side to the cell room on the other side.

"The adjoining room to the west was probably used as a small bedroom. Today stores a loom, which had been owned by Ray and Anna Shouse. It had been made by Anna Shouse's great-grandfather, when he arrived in Missouri in the 1850s. Next to the loom is a 1984 copy of the Rural Missouri, which featured Mrs. Shouse as the cover story. In the same room is also a spinning wheel with a wheel that is at least three foot diameter.

"Another room on the north side was probably used as another bedroom. Today it contains a walnut wardrobe donated by Marjorie Drake. Undoubtedly, a wardrobe similar to this was used for clothing because there are no closets in the entire structure. There is also a full-sized bed and a mannequin dressed period clothing, donated by Joseph Street. The cape was worn by his mother.

"Two large rooms are in the front of the building. The north room today contains a large overstuffed "executive" chair, a foot-pump organ (donated by Allen Powell), Persian carpet, and mannequin dressed in clothing of the 1800s.

"The southwest room contains glass display cases containing papers and other artifacts of the time period, including photographs. One interesting item is a hand-drawn "wanted poster" for Bill Anderson, who was a notorious bushwhacker during the Civil War. He was responsible for the "Centralia Massacre," during which approximately 150 soldiers and civilians were killed in ambushes; businesses were robbed, a train was set on fire, etc. This occurred September 27, 1864. Anderson was killed later in the year near the present town of Richmond, Missouri. He was embittered with the Union army because his wife and some other women had been incarcerated by the Union army in an attempt to discourage bushwhacking. While in jail in Kansas City, the jail collapsed killing his wife and others."

- Wikipedia

National Register of Historic Places Application Form

Google book offer just why the jail was built.

102 N. Main St.
Linneus, MO USA

Open to the public: Yes

was closed for repairs when I was there, so fees and hours were not posted and I am not aware of them now.

Fees?: Not listed

Web link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
In order to add a new log to the waymark of this category, simply take another photo of the prison from a different angle than the other posts. Also add to the history of the jail when possible.
Search for... Google Map
Google Maps
Bing Maps Maps
Nearest Waymarks
Nearest Retired Prisons
Nearest Geocaches
Nearest Benchmarks
Nearest Hotels
Create a scavenger hunt using this waymark as the center point
Recent Visits/Logs:
There are no logs for this waymark yet.