Another historical scanned photo found on an office computer at the Journal Record shows the Marion County Jail in Hamilton during the 1940s. Notice the barbed wire surrounding a portion of the jail.
In April 1912, the state jail inspector ordered the Marion County jail closed, and county commissioners decided to construct a new jail building. The commissioners court accepted bids on Aug. 13, 1912, and a contract was let to the Pauly Building Company on that date to construct the new jail. It was to be made of brick, two and a half stories high and contain nine rooms besides the hallways and jailer’s office. The cost of the jail was $13,845 and was to be completed by Jan. 15, 1913.
However, the jail was not completed by this time. Rock cutters arrived in October, with Tom Mitchell, of Birmingham, formerly of Hamilton, contracted to do the rock work. The rock came from the same quarry as the one used in construction of the courthouse 12 years prior. Work progressed through the fall, winter, spring and summer. The rock work was completed by May 14, and the commissioners met and accepted the jail on June 23, 1913.
“Our county jail, recently completed, is an ornament to our county, sanitary and modern in its equipment and all its inmates are well cared for,” the Marion County News reported in September 1913.
This jail was located on the spot occupied currently by Watha’s service station, southeast of the intersection at First Street Southeast and First Avenue Southeast.
The current jail, constructed at a cost of $995,000, held its open house on March 2, 1980, and the old jail was torn down shortly thereafter.
See complete story in the Journal Record.