Watch WSIL’s Coverage of the Historic Move in Hamilton County
On Tuesday, the historical society took the first step toward restoring the old county jail that dates back more than 140 years. The jail had spent the last 70 years on a Hamilton County farm. The first attempt to move the old jail failed, because the iron structure weighed too much. Finally yesterday morning, the team was finally able to load it onto a trailer and make the drive from Flannigan Township to McLeansboro.
Built in 1860s, he jail was and sat on the McLeansboro City Square until 1938 and is famous for housing Fred Behme, the only person ever hanged in Hamilton County. Historical society members began looking into the old structure, and the family that owned the jail offered to donate it. The hope is to one day turn the The 24 foot by 12 foot structure into a museum.
The historical society will be repairing the jail on its own, so it could be next year up the process. If you would like to help, contact Howard Ritchey at the Hamilton County Historical Society at (618) 231-2887.