Kosciusko County Jail (NRIS 78000036)
Main and Indiana Sts.,
Indiana. County/parish: Kosciusko.
1 contributing building.
Added to the National Register of Historic Places
December 08, 1978.
- Kosciusko County Jail
- The first jail was built in 1837 of 14 inches (36 cm) square logs. It was two stories tall with a trap door from the second story floor to access the ground floor. The next jail was made of brick. Like the first jail, it was located on Courthouse Square. By 1869 this second structure was in serious need of repair. Frequent jail breaks from the second jail, led the county to hire George Garnsey of Chicago to design a new jail. The most notable jailbreak resulted when prisoners pushed bricks out of the wall.The "Castellated Gothic" design represents the late 1800s American jail design standards. The massive, rough stone blocks suggest a feeling of strength and permanence. Narrow windows and second story main entrance imply the restrictive function of the structure. To stop future jailbreaks, iron dowel rods pierced the stone blocks. This would prevent the stones from being pushed out. The jail was completed in 1870, one block east of the courthouse square. The cost was $48,000, and the builder was Richard Epperson.The second story contained the sheriff's residence. Thus the sheriff was always on duty and acted as a live-in warden. The most notable prisoners held were several Culver bank robbers who were defended in Warsaw by Clarence Darrow. Later they would be involved in the John Dillinger escape in Lake County, Indiana. (read more...)
National Park Service documentation: https://npgallery.nps.gov/AssetDetail/NRIS/78000036