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The 3rd "Old Jail"


category : Pioneer Life
The 3rd This imposing structure on the north side of the square was built at a cost of $16,000 in 1874 (two years before Custer's Last Stand). The front was used for county offices, with the massive limestone jail in the rear. Iron balls were inserted in recesses between layers of stone to prevent their movement. Old time sheriffs occupied the upper floor as living quarters.

A 12-foot scaffold was built in front of the jail for its first execution in 1877. A crowd of nearly 5,000 filled the square to see murderer, Sam Orr, "Jerked to Jerusalem" as the local paper reported! Two other men were later hanged on the east side of the building, Charlie Seaton in 1891, and Ed Bateman in 1906. With the invention of the electric chair, executions were moved to the state penitentiary in Jefferson City and Missouri sheriffs were no longer faced with this grisly task in their own counties.


Come visit us in Mt. Vernon, Missouri

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Jones Memorial Chapel and Museum

Built in 1961 as a "thank you" to the people of his home county, Lawrence K. Jones provided a beautiful stone building which houses a wedding chapel, a meeting hall, and the Lawrence County Historical Society Museum.

Mt. Vernon, MO Museums

Harold Bell Wright

Many know that Harold Bell Wright's, "Shepherd of the Hills" was the most widely read book of fiction in the history of publishing! Few know, however, that many of the places, events, and characters are based on actual models. There really was an "old shepherd of Mutton Hollow,&

Mt. Vernon, MO Famous People

Grave of the Old Shepherd

In his book, "Old Matt's View of It," J.K. Ross wrote about the death of the Old Shepherd from Mutton Hollow. He was gored to death by a bull. A Civil War tombstone marks the grave of James Marion Wood, who met this untimely fate in 1910

Mt. Vernon, MO Cemeteries

The 3rd "Old Jail"

This imposing structure on the north side of the square was built at a cost of $16,000 in 1874 (two years before Custer's Last Stand)

Mt. Vernon, MO Pioneer Life

Mt.Vernon Golf Course

Mt. Vernon's golf course features a nine-hole course, clubhouse, and golf cart rental and storage. There are a number of active leagues, including a senior men's league and Ladies' Golf Association.

Mt. Vernon, MO Recreation

Things to do Pioneer Life near Mt. Vernon, MO