This historic building was constructed about 1936 and was designed in stone to blend with the adjacent 1894 Cole County Courthouse, built in the Romanesque Revival style. The second floor originally served as the sheriff’s residence, but no longer used for this purpose. The complex was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.
It is widely assumed the Cole County Commission will move to demolish the Jail and Sheriff’s residence. Plans for what would replace the old Jail have not been made public, but the Commission has indicated that a “sally port” or safe entrance for the transfer of prisoners to the courthouse will be needed. It is believed that an elevator can be constructed to the rear of the jail for this purpose, or that criminal cases might be heard in either of the two jail buildings, eliminating the need for the transfer of prisoners to another site for court trials.