Baird’s Callahan County Jail: A Living Piece Of Texas History
Baird, Texas is a pretty unassuming place. The population hovers around 1,500 people. It's the county city of Callahan County. While it may not seem like much at first glance, it is home to an impressive piece of Texas history. It's where the oldest functioning jail for long-term inmates in the Lone Star State is.
Baird, Texas: Small Town Texas Living
Baird, Texas has a lot in common with many of the small towns across Texas. You could say that Baird owes its existence to the railroad. It was a "division point" on the railroad and eventually became the Callahan County seat. Things were good for Baird.
The town even found a way to overcome a fire and a tornado in the 1880s and 1890s. Nothing could stop Baird.
The Oldest Functioning Jail (Long-Term) In Texas
The Callahan County Jail is the oldest functioning jail for long-term inmates in the state of Texas. It was built in 1898 and is still in operation.
The jail has gone through a few upgrades over the years. Most of those upgrades have to do with safety inside the jail. The outside of the jail still has the same bricks from when it was first built.
Only one legal execution took place in Baird. In 1907, Alberto Vargas was hanged for the murder of Emma Blakely.
It's impressive that the jail, built so long ago, is not only still standing today, but is also being used for its original purpose. It hasn't been turned into a museum, or left to be an abandoned historical sight. It's still very much open for business.
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