In 1972 the U.S. Department of the Interior National Park Service approved the nomination of the Cole County Jail-Sheriff’s House to the National Register of Historic Places. The areas of significance were identified as architecture, political and jurisprudence. The nomination form described the Jail-Sheriff’s house as compatible in style and stonework pattern with the courthouse. The square-plan building is three bays wide on each façade, with the front entrance centered on the northwest façade in a projected, gabled bay. The rectangular-plan, three-story jail is joined to the sheriff’s house along the southeast façade of the sheriff’s house. The jail is of rock-faced stone, laid in irregular courses with the exception of the northwest façade which is identical to the stonework on the sheriff’s house.
At the time of construction, it was common for the sheriff and his family to reside in the residential portion of the jail. The building has not been used as a residence for the sheriff since the 1970s. The building is currently  being used as the county jail.
The original locks still do the job, even though the patents were filed in the late 1800s.
Ever since voters approved building a new jail and sheriff’s office complex, the Cole County Commission has been considering ways the county could continue using the old jail and sheriff’s house space.
But commissioners say those buildings are too small for one of the county’s needs — a new, larger courtroom than the four currently being used — and commissioners say one of their options is to demolish the two older buildings and replace them with a new structure that provides more space. (3/16/14)
(PDF) http://www.jeffcitymo.org/pps/documents/301EastHigh.pdf (PDF) http://www.jeffcitymo.org/pps/documents/ColeCoSheriffsHouse.pdf Photo of 1936 plaque shown here: http://www.newstribune.com/news/2014/mar/16/debate-about-buildings-tied-past/
Project originally submitted by Elizabeth Winter on December 23, 2014.
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