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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

Lawrence County Courthouse

Built in 1900 of native limestone, this is the third courthouse on this site. A statue of Justice graces the top of this historic landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The first courthouse was built of wood in 1846

Mt. Vernon, MO Historic Courthouses

The 2nd "Old Jail"

The county's first log jail burned in 1854, and a brick structure was built on Walter Street a block west of the square. It is presently undergoing reconstruction for historical preservation. It was used until 1868, and had an original cost of $3,500.

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

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


Things to do Pioneer Life near Mt. Vernon, MO