The Chariton County Jail and Sheriff’s Residence was constructed in 1906 and was in continuous use for over ninety years. Its original architect specified that all materials for its construction be obtained from local lumberyards and other sources. The Chariton County Courthouse was destroyed by fire in 1973, leaving the jail and sheriff’s office the oldest governmental building in the county.
Engineers in January 2010 concluded the building is generally sound for its age, but the west and south walls which contain the old sheriff’s office and cells is in danger of collapse due to several factors, including water infiltration.
The Chariton County Jail and Sheriff’s Residence is a good remaining example of type of jail built in Missouri at the turn of the twentieth century. The complex is leased by the non-profit Chariton County Heritage Tours., Inc., and has been used for educational tours. It would also present a great heritage tourism opportunity as a museum.