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Fort Davis in Jeff Davis County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Jeff Davis County Jail

 
 
Jeff Davis County Jail Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Kirchner, October 24, 2012
1. Jeff Davis County Jail Marker
Inscription.  The community of Fort Davis grew up around the military post of the same name, established by the U.S. Army in 1854 to protect travelers on the San Antonio–El Paso Road. Fort Davis was designated as the Presidio county seat when the county was organized in 1875, but the county seat was relocated to Marfa in 1885. When Jeff Davis County was organized in 1887, Fort Davis was again selected as a county seat.

This jail structure was built in 1910–1911 along with a new county courthouse; the two buildings replaced an adobe courthouse and jail structure built in 1880, when Fort Davis was the seat of Presidio County. Architect L.L. Thurman of Dallas designed both the new courthouse and jail, and Falls City Construction Company of Louisville, Kentucky, was contracted to construct both buildings.

The structure is a small–scale example of the fortress-style jails and prisons that were popular in the United States during the 19th century. The one-story jail building was constructed with pressed concrete block which was plastered and scored to resemble ashlar blocks. A crenellated parapet tops the four exterior walls.
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The interior is divided into four rooms, including a front entryway and office, a kitchen, a jailer's bedroom, and the cell block that included the entire rear portion of the building.

The jail retained its original function until 1978, when the building no longer complied with current jail standards, and it was decided that sending prisoners to Marfa would be more economically sound. Among other tenants, the county clerk's office occupied the building 2002-2009.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2010

 
Erected 2010 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 16485.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Buildings. In addition, it is included in the San Antonio-El Paso Road series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1854.
 
Location. 30° 35.277′ N, 103° 53.704′ W. Marker is in Fort Davis, Texas, in Jeff Davis County. Marker is at the intersection of Woodward Avenue and State Street (Texas Highway 17), on the left when traveling west on Woodward Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 100 W Woodward Ave, Fort Davis TX 79734, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Confederate President Jefferson Davis (within shouting distance of this marker); Jeff Davis County (within shouting
Jeff Davis County Jail Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Kirchner, October 24, 2012
2. Jeff Davis County Jail Marker
distance of this marker); Fort Davis United Methodist Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Jeff Davis County Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); T/SGT. Manuel S. Gonzales (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Old Fort Davis CSA (about 300 feet away); Hometown Heroes (about 400 feet away); Memorial Square (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Davis.
 
Jeff Davis County Jail Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Kirchner, October 24, 2012
3. Jeff Davis County Jail Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on November 18, 2012, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 610 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 18, 2012, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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May. 23, 2024