WILL HONOR CEDAR COUNTY SHERIFFS AT JAIL DEDICATION CEREMONY IN JUNE 2004
dedication ceremony, recognizing the old Cedar County Jail and Sheriff's Residence and past and present Cedar County Sheriffs, will be held June 26, beginning at 10 a.m. at the old jail, located at the corner of 4th and lynn Streets in Tipton.
he Cedar County Friends of Historic Preservation, who own the old jail and residence, are restoring the home and plan to turn the jail into a museum to exhibit criminal justice artifacts along with other items of historic interest from the county.
n addition to the dedication, an open house will also be held at the sheriff's residence and jail, to be followed by a noon meal in the basement of the U.S. Bank, located at 4th and Cedar Streets in Tipton.
s part of the dedication a mini-film festival will be held at the Hardacre Theatre featuring 3 movies that were partially filmed at the jail. Other activities are being planned.
he old Cedar county jail, built in 1892, is one of a number of jails that were constructed during the last 160 years history here to house Cedar County's prisoners.
he first Sheriff, James W. Tallman, served when the county seat was in Rochester. He was followed by Elisha E. Edwards, who served in 1839 until October of that year. George McCoy then served from October 1839 until October 1844. It was during his term as Sheriff that the County Seat was moved to the geographic center of Cedar County, and a new town, called Tipton, was created.
he first jail was a log cabin in Rochester, and the first jail in Tipton was also of log construction. This jail sat near the existing courthouse square in the center of the town. Eventually this jail was replaced by a jail of brick construction built on South Locust Street. This building still stands and is currently used as a private home.
n 1855 a brick two-story house was built on a corner lot one block west of the courthouse square. This building had an addition attached at a later date which was used as a dining room and kitchen. This continued to serve as a private dwelling until 1892 when a new jail was built immediately west of the dwelling. This was a stand-alone building of brick construction.
he 2 buildings were joined at the southeast corner of the jail and the west center of the residence. A covered walkway was added in 1923 that attached the 2 buildings. the house became the sheriff's residence where he lived with his wife, who did the cooking. This is where the term "mom and pop jail" comes from.
he first sheriff to operate this new jail in 1892 was Frank Nachbar, who served from 1890 to 1893. Nachbar was also one of the contractors who helped construct the facility. Seventeen other men served as sheriff while this facility was operational. Of these seventeen, four of the last five are still alive. They are the current sheriff Daniel L. Hannes, who took office January 21, 2000; Keith L. Whitlatch, who served from January 1, 1977 until december 31, 1999; E. R. (Dick) Barden, who served from July 1, 1963 to October 8, 1972 and Jack Leverenz, who served from January 1, 1959 until June 30, 1963. The late Eugene R. (Dick) Hancock served from October 8, 1972 until December 31, 1976.
he "new" jail opened in 1892 and continued to serve as the county jail until 2001. When the jail was first opened it contained 8 bunks in 3 separate cells. In later years modifications were made so that the number of bunks were increased to 12., though legal restrictions limited the jail to an official capacity of 9. During the later years of the jails's use the number of prisoners would grow overnight - sometimes to 15 or 16 prisoners.
n 1999 the Cedar County Board of Supervisors voted to build a new jail and law enforcement center. This was built on land at the southeast corner of Tipton on the Old Muscatine Road. In the spring of 2001 the prisoners were moved into the new jail and the old jail west of the court square was shut down. this ended the reign of one of the last "mom and pop jails" in Iowa, possibly the entire country.
he Cedar County Friends of Historic Preservation was formed to help preserve the old jail. In February 2003 the Board of Supervisors sold the old jail to the Friends of Historic Preservation for $25, payable at the rate of one dollar per year for twenty-five years. The old jail has since been added to the National Registry of Historic Places.
nyone interested in supporting or becoming a member of the Cedar county Friends of Historical Preservation should contact retired sheriff Keith Whitlatch.
he Friends of Historic Preservation decided to hold an open house and to dedicate the jail in order to recognize former Cedar County sheriffs and law enforcement personnel. In addition, the dedication is also a way to let the public know that materials related to law enforcement history in the county are being sought for the jail museum.
nyone with information on or who has artifacts pertaining to law enforcement in Cedar county is encouraged to contact members of the Friends of Historic Preservation.
nyone wishing to make reservations for the noon meal following the dedication should contact Keith Whitlatch, 707 King Avenue, Stanwood, IA 52337, at 563-942-6670 or Richard Ward, at 563-886-6263. The cost is $10.
special effort is being made to locate individuals who served in the Cedar county criminal justice system during the period that Jack Leverenz, who now lives in Ankeny, and Dick Barden, who lives in Aurora, colorado, served. These 2 men served as Cedar county sheriffs during the period from January 1959 to October 1972.