“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Grapevine in Tarrant County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Grapevine Calaboose

Grapevine Calaboose Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Thomas Smith, March 6, 2022
1. Grapevine Calaboose Marker

In June, 1909 the Grapevine Town Council voted unanimously to build the community's first "calaboose" - town jail. Grapevine had previously relied on the Tarrant County Sheriff to provide official law enforcement. But now the Council gave Town Marshall W. T. Bigbee authorization to construct the 8 foot by 10 by 8 foot concrete jail on land one block west of this site, near the present water tower. In the same meeting, Marshall Bigbee was also given $4.50 for the purchase of a pair of handcuffs. It is supposed the Marshall may have had his own gun at the time.

In 1911, the Marshall was offered a $25 a month salary, perhaps in recognition of his quick response to a robbery in February ay the J.T. Yancry & Son store on Main Street. Seven watches were stolen from Mr. Houk, the jeweler, whose stock was displayed at the rear of Yancy's. But the perpetrator were apprehended soon after, making their gate away towards Dallas on bicycles.

James S. Daniel was elected Marshall in 1924 and remained in office until 1941. This was during a particularly exciting period in Grapevine's law enforcement history. The Grapevine Home Bank (402
Grapevine Calaboose image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Thomas Smith, March 6, 2022
2. Grapevine Calaboose
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So. Main) was robbed at gunpoint in 1931 by two men. Joe Stewart and Odell Chambless. The latter escaped, taking refuge with the Shumaker family south of town on the Praire and persuading Bill Shumaker to give him a ride to West Dallas. Years later, Home Bank cashier H. C. Yancey, sitting in a barber's chair in Forth Worth, was recognized by the man shaving him: "Do you remember me / I robbed you in Grapevine a few years back ?" asked Odell Chambless.

A more tragic moment occurred in 1934. when two Texas motor cycle patrolmen, E. B. Wheeler and H. D. Murphy, were shot and killed on Easter Sunday by Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker on old Highway 114, just west of Grapevine in present Southlake. The patrolmen's bodies were brought to the Lucas Funeral Home on main Street, where nearly the entire town turned out to pay tribute to the fallen lawmen. Speculation was rampant as to the whereabouts of the notorious gangsters.

By 1953, when the city bought the first patrol car and began requiring Marshall A. B. Allen and night watchman to wear uniforms (only cap and badge were provide), the calaboose wasn't used much to hold prisoners. The single iron cot and the tarp thrown over the openings to keep out the chilly wind were no longer adequate to contain even the occasional inebriated citizen, so the jail fell into ruin.
In 1976, the Grapevine Historical society move
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the calaboose to Heritage park. In 1994, it was moved to this site within the original township to highlight its importance to Grapevine's early law enforcement history.
Erected by Grapevine Heritage Foundation and the Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Law EnforcementSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1909.
Location. 32° 56.184′ N, 97° 4.708′ W. Marker is in Grapevine, Texas, in Tarrant County. Marker is at the intersection of South Main Street and West Franklin Street, on the right when traveling south on South Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Grapevine TX 76051, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Grape Vine Prairie (here, next to this marker); Willhoite's Restaurant (a few steps from this marker); Willhoite Tire and Home Store (within shouting distance of this marker); J.E. Foust & Son (within shouting distance of this marker); Austin Drug / Grapevine Post Office (within shouting distance of this marker); Farmers Cooperative Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Tate Hardware Company Building (within shouting distance of this marker); E. J. Lipscomb Dry Goods Co. (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Grapevine.
Credits. This page was last revised on March 28, 2022. It was originally submitted on March 28, 2022, by Thomas Smith of Waterloo, Ill. This page has been viewed 150 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 28, 2022, by Thomas Smith of Waterloo, Ill. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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Mar. 22, 2023