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Office Building (Ellis County Jail)

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1888. 200 N. Rogers St.

This old jail was constructed by the Pauly Jail Building Company of St. Louis as more architecturally elaborate than the typical crenellated jail block. The two-story red brick structure has a prominent corner tower with a conical roof, a corbeled brick cornice, and a large polygonal bay with a fluted chimney, creating a level of aesthetic sophistication that belied its basic function of incarceration. This was one of the few jails in the United States that incorporated Pauly’s patented rotary system for each of two groups of ten cells. The outer containment for each round “cylinder” of cells was stationary jail bars, with only one opening. The cylinder rotated to provide access from a single cell to the door. The jail, with its bloodhound-guarded yard, was used until 1929.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Office Building (Ellis County Jail)", [Waxahachie, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: East, North Central, Panhandle and South Plains, and West, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2019, 87-87.

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