Sealy Area Historical Society

Sealy's First Jail

Sealy's first jail was built in 1884.  In 1887 the building partially burned.  The story goes that a "friend" was trying to help a man escape from the jail by setting fire to it.  The jail was reconstructed using some of the original boards.  Scorched boards are visible on the interior.

These very small early jails were known as calabooses.  Sealy's first jail was typically only used to house someone overnight or until they could be taken to the County Jail in Bellville.

The walls, floor, and ceiling are constructed of three layers of boards each two inches thick.  There are steel plates on the floor of the jail.  There are also rings in place on the floor and walls where prisoners could be shackled in place.

Notice the bent bars in one of the windows.  The story is that a circus was in town and the strong man drank too much and was placed in jail.  The bent bars are a result of his attempt to escape.

This tiny jail was used until 1928 when the larger County jail was built at East Main and Walker Streets.  The jail built in 1928 still stands in its original location.

Photos and historical information about Sealy's first jail were included in the book "TheTexas Calaboose and Other Forgotten Jails" written by William Moore and published by Texas A&M University Press.
Click photos to enlarge and scroll.