The old jail is the oldest building in Ellsworth. Earlier jails were temporary structures like cages. At other times, prisoners were housed in private homes.
This jail was authorized on April 2 1872, with the lower floor designated as the jail and the upper floor to be used as court rooms. (
One of only a few bartizan style structures remaining in Kansas, the old Signature Insurance Building with its signature oriel window stands as an architectural landmark of the early drover history of Ellsworth, Kansas.