Athens Review, Athens, Texas

October 17, 2013

History remembered

State marker for county jail set near building

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — When the old 1925 Henderson County Jail was built, Calvin Coolidge was president, Babe Ruth was swatting homers for the Yankees and no one had ever seen a talkie movie.

On Thursday, a state historical marker was set in front of the building that is still used by Henderson County to store archives.

The ceremony was mostly attended by law officers who remember when the 80-feet by 43-feet jail was the county’s center for law enforcement.

Justice of the Peace Milton Adams, told the audience that he was administrator of the jail in the early 1980s at a time when jail book-in reports were written in longhand and some were less than legible.

“Not every officer could type,” Adams said. “In the 80s, I was the guy who put a typewriter on the book-in desk for everybody and required them to type the book-in reports.”

Adams recalled that the evening meal was always beans, corn bread and tea.

“To this day, it’s one of my favorite evening meals,” Adams said.

Many stories could be told about the things that happened inside the walls of the old jail, Adams said.

“Whatever your circumstances were, attached to this building you have a story to tell, whether you worked here, lived here, played here or were incarcerated here,” Adams said. “Your story, if given in truth, whatever your point of view, is a piece of the puzzle that is Henderson County history.”

Many hours were spent gathering the paperwork and documentation required to get the Texas Historical Commission to award the marker. Adams thanked the members of the Henderson County Historical Commission for their tireless efforts in gathering and preserving the stories and artifacts that helped obtain the marker.

Henderson County Peace Officers Association President and Henderson County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Bryan Tower was moderator for the ceremony. He and Sheriff Ray Nutt removed the cover, revealing the bronze marker to the crowd.

Sheriff’s Office operations were moved from the Larkin Street to the Murchison Street location in 1991.