Number of Cells

One Cell

Those calabooses with only room obviously belong in the category of a building with only one cell. They are usually the smallest and most common. I have documented 38 calabooses with only one room. In a few cases, there are examples that have a room behind bars that was obviously a cell. These calabooses also have a small open room that was probably used by law enforcement as a place for a small desk or just to be able to get out of the weather when dealing with prisoners.

Those calabooses with only one cell include Bedias, Best, Burlington, Carbon, Chillicothe, Deport, Desdemona, Florence, Fort Griffin, Gause, Glazier, Grapevine, Henrietta, Hermleigh, Hondo, Jewett, Kemp, La Grange, Lakeview, Leonard, Merle, Monahans, Moran, Odell, Pilot Point, Riesel, Ringgold, Rowena, Santa Anna, Skidmore, Snook, Stiles, Stockdale, Tioga, Trenton, Turkey, Weimar, and Weesatche.

Two Cells

Some calabooses have two cells. However, there are some examples with two rooms and it is not known if both rooms were used as cells. In Leonard, for example, there are two rooms. The room to the right is only guarded by the single door that allows entry into the building. To the left is a room behind a wall of bars that was obviously a cell. It is also possible that both rooms were used as cells but since this does not appear to be the case the calaboose in Leonard is classified for now as a one with a single cell. The calaboose in Turkey has a small room in the back that is behind a wall with bars. This is similar to the Leonard example except that in Turkey the rooms are in a straight line and the front room is much larger than the cell in the back. The large room could have been used as a holding tank for drunks and the cell could have served as a secure place for the more serious criminals that needed to be segregated from the main population or held for a longer period of time.

Those calabooses with two cells include Arp, Boling, Caldwell, Cameron, Clifton, Crawford, D’Hanis, Eagle Lake, East Bernard, Flatonia, Frisco, Goldsmith, Grapeland, Holland, Holliday, Hubbard City, La Coste, McGregor, Miles, Rosebud, Royse City, San Marcos, Somerville, Thorndale, Van Alystine, and Wortham.

Three Cells

Bartlett and Granger are the only towns with calabooses that have three cells.

5 thoughts on “Number of Cells

  1. Benny Poulson

    I read about your search for one room jails. Lorenzo, Tx. East of Lubbock in Crosby county has one. It is currently vacant at the school Ag farm. It was at the water tower when in use. It is in fairly good condition for it’s age. I took some pics today of it. Will forward ASAP.

    Reply
    1. Bill Post author

      Benny,

      Thanks for writing. My purpose for doing this project is to identify as many of these tiny jails as possible and hopefully call attention to them as important structures that need to be saved. This is the first one in Crosby County that I have been told about. I am most eager to see the pictures.

      Reply
  2. Cathey Brown

    I am a member of the Skidmore Historical Society. The Skidmore Calaboose is located on the grounds of our Skidmore Historical Museum. Do you have, or do you need a picture of it? There is also a small old wooden jail in Beeville, located of the grounds of the Bee County Sheriff’s Office. Thanks, Cathey

    Reply
    1. Bill Post author

      Cathey,

      Thanks for your comment. I have been to the one in Skidmore. If you go to my homepage and open the tab calabooses you will find what I have written if you scroll down to Bee County. I welcome any additional information such as who was the Night Watchman or stories about an exciting event such as an escape. Old photos of when the jail was being used are very special.

      I know about the one in Beeville but I have not been there and I don’t have any immediate plans to do so. If yo would like to help I would very much appreciate photos of it – all four sides and the interior if possible. Also, if you don’t mind I would like the dimensions because I am keeping a record of the size of the various calabooses. If you do that for me I will make sure you and anyone else who helps are acknowledged.

      Reply
      1. Bill Post author

        Cathey,

        If you send pictures please send them to my email address – bvracrm@gmail.com – and not my website.

        Carol Dubois was the person who helped me get information about the jail in Skidmore. Please give her my regards.

        Reply

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