Skip to Main Content

Independence, Missouri: 1859 Jail Museum

In use until 1933. Its most famous prisoner was Jesse James' brother.

217 N. Main St., Independence, MO
Downtown, on the east side of Main St., just south of its intersection with E. Truman Rd. It doesn't look like a jail from the outside.
Tu-Sa 11am-4pm (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Save to My Sights

Visitor Tips and News About 1859 Jail Museum

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Jail corridor.

1859 Jail Museum

During the 19th century penitentiaries were used to reform prisoners, but the 1859 Jail was different. It was a county jail -- in use until 1933 -- and not made to reform prisoners, who were held for only a short time. Nevertheless, this jail housed Frank James for 112 days during 1882, at a cost to the taxpayers of $47.90. He received special treatment such as visitors, gifts, and donated food. His cell was furnished unlike all the others.

[Jon Morgan, 11/25/2019]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Jim Bridger Statue: Frontier Trails MuseumJim Bridger Statue: Frontier Trails Museum, Independence, MO - < 1 mi.
Swirly Rocket Ship TempleSwirly Rocket Ship Temple, Independence, MO - < 1 mi.
Truman Presidential LibraryTruman Presidential Library, Independence, MO - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Large Needle and Button, Kansas City, MO - 9 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Save Cool Vacation Destinations! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Missouri Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Bloodstained Tomb of Nina Craigmiles, Cleveland, Tennessee (Apr 8-14, 2024)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings