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Rogers Historical Museum  


Photo of the Month

Rogers City Jail

In 1957 the Everly Brothers sang, “I’m not in your town to stay and I’ll soon be on my way, I’m just here to get my baby out of jail.” In Rogers during those years, the town’s “lock-up” that some people were probably eager to get out of was located in City Hall on West Elm Street and managed by the Police Department. From 1930 until 1979, the cells served the community at this location by temporarily holding individuals on various charges, which often ranged from public intoxication to disturbing the peace. The photograph at right illustrates the cells being removed from City Hall as part of the 1979 Police Department renovation.

These cells have a much longer history of use by the city though, which extends back to the early years of the town. The Rogers City Council minutes of February 7, 1894 recorded a proposal for building an addition to the original City Hall building on North First Street for a calaboose. A calaboose is usually identified as a small, local jail in the Southern and Western regions of the country. However, this proposal was rejected. A motion was made, though, to refer the possibility of purchasing two cells to be placed in City Hall to the Committee on Public Buildings.

The Committee appeared to have quickly reached a decision in their search for an appropriate jail. On March 7, 1894 the Council instructed the Recorder to draw a warrant to pay the freight on two calaboose cells in the amount of $19.20. The following week, the bills read and allowed in the Council minutes included line items for the Pauly Jail Building and Manufacturing Company in the amount of $210.80 and for W.D. Baker for work done on the cells in the amount of $8.75.

For thirty-six years, then, these cells stood in the original Rogers City Hall. But their service to the city did not come to an end even as the new A.O. Clarke designed City Hall on West Elm Street was completed in 1930. The physical evidence of the cells indicates that they were cut apart in three sections, moved to the new building, and welded back together.

The jail is approximately 6 feet 7 inches across, 6 feet 7 inches high, and 9 feet long. The two cells are divided by a boiler plate wall with a boiler plate ceiling. Each of the cells has a meal tray and slot in the end wall, two bunk beds, and a heavy door with a boiler plate barrier behind the latch. The latches consist of heavy rods that bolt down to a fastener and require a pad lock. The meal trays and boiler plate attachments to the doors were modifications made to the cells over the years. This must have been a very confining experience!

During the renovation of the Police Department, museum commissioner Jerry Hiett saved the cells and stored them on behalf of the museum until 2010. In June 2010, they were brought back to the museum for restoration and use in the Benton County Crime Stories exhibit, which is scheduled to open in October 2011. The cells are an important aspect of the history of Rogers and one of the most interesting, if not largest objects in the collection of the Rogers Historical Museum.
 

More Photos of the Month

People:
Rogers Academy Class of 1896
Applegate Family
Bingham, George H.
John Black and Hugh “Tater” Black
Blackburn, J.A.C.
Blaylock, Sarah
Carter, C. Jimmie
Clarke, A.O.
Curry, Dr. William Jasper
Decker, Charles
Felker, William R.
Ford, Edsel
Funk, Erwin
Harvey, Coin
Hawkins, Harold and Frank Jr.
Hill, Fred
Jacobs, Thomas
Keck, Jack
Key, Vera
Kirksey, Birch
Lingle, Greer
Lockhart, Tracy
McNeil, Tom
Means, Joe
Morgan, Tom
Morsani, Al
Myler, John
The Sagers
Sikes, J. Wade

J.L. Shinpaugh, Rogers City Marshal
Steele, John Bell and Mary Van Winkle
Thaden, Louise
Rice, Dr. Rufus S.
Rogers, Betty Blake
Rogers, C.W.
Rogers Dough Boys
Rogers, Will

Tribble, Letsie
Truman Boling, Master Builder

Vick Will

Places:
Beaver Dam
Beaver Lake
Butterfield Trail
Camp Joyzelle
Confederate Monument
Coin Harvey’s Spring Lake and Falls
Lake Atalanta
Monte Ne
Old Highway 12 Bridge
Park Springs Park
War Eagle
The Amphitheater at Monte Ne
Silica Mining
Frisco Tunnel at Winslow
Wonderland Cave in Bella Vista
The Ozark Bluff Dwellers
Fisherman's Camp
Kruse's Gold Mine
Highway 71
Hanging Tree

Businesses:

The Apple Industry
Callahan's Station
Cattle Ranching
Coca-Cola Bottling Company
Daisy Manufacturing
Decker Motor Co.
Dyke Lumber Co.
Hailey Motor Co.
House of Webster
McNeil Chevrolet
Munsingwear
Poultry Industry
Pressing Sorghum Cane
Rogers Champion
Rogers Hardware Co.
Rogers Transfer & Storage
Suzie-Q Malt Shop
Wal-Mart

Wendt-Sonis

Schools:
Rogers Academy
Rogers High School
Sunnyside Elementary School

Buildings:
The Applegate house
112 South First Street
Bank Of Rogers Building
Benton County Jail
B.F. Sikes Log Cabin
Central Methodist Episcopal Church
J.B. Steele House, 303 South First Street
Juhre Building (1894)
Golden Rule Building (circa 1894)
Lane Hotel
Love's Sanitarium
Mutual Aid Union Building
Palace of the Ozarks
Rogers City Hall
Rogers City Jail
Rogers Milling Company
Rogers Opera House
Rogers Post Office
Rogers Wholesale Grocery Company
The Key Wing
The Stroud Building (1899)
The Victory Theater
James and Sally McDaniel Home

The Stroud Home
The Tribble House
The Rocky Branch School

Organizations:
206th C.A. A.A
Home Demonstration Club
Rogers First Elks Lodge
Rogers Garden Club
Women's Study Club/Mas Luz Club
Benton County Possum Hunters
Rogers High School Football Team 1921
Rogers High School Marching Band 1942
936th Field Artillery Battalion in the Korean War
1960's Rogers High School Spirit
Arkansas State Guard in WWII

Events:

Apple Blossom Festivals
Benton County Fair
Bolin Murder Inquest 
Ozark Golden Jubilee
Rogers Centennial Posse
Rogers Diamond Jubilee (1956)
Santa's Rocket Sleigh
Sledriding
The Arrival of Santa Claus (1945)
The Brightwater Train Wreck (1907)
The Great Car Skate on Lake Atalanta (1940)
Thanksgiving (1904)
The Last Reunion of Pea Ridge Veterans

Other:

Baseball
Cars
Chemical Engine
Christmas Memories
Frisco Railroad
Halloween
Mining in Northwest Arkansas
Natural Resources
Rogers' Congregational Church
Rogers Fire Department
Rogers Police Cars
St. Mary's Hospital
Tobacco and Benton County
Still Busting near Bentonville
Roadwork
John Boat
Quilts
Tall Tree Tales

Civil Defense in the 1960's
Early Cars
Rogers Yuletide
Brick Streets
Rural Road Work

 


 

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