Endangered: Jackson County Jail, Andrew

Preservation Iowa’s Most Endangered 2018: Jackson County Jail, Andrew (Jackson County)

Endangered: Jackson County Jail

The Andrew Jail was constructed in 1871 of locally quarried Niagara limestone and is the only structural reminder that Andrew once served as the Jackson County seat (1841-1851 and 1861-1873). Even after the county seat moved to Maquoketa in 1873, the jail at Andrew continued to be used until 1896. Subsequently, the structure was used as a residence and also served as the city’s jail on and off. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

Other than a frame addition, the interior and exterior of the structure has changed little and still includes the original Sheriff’s office, prisoner quarters with cells, outdoor exercise yard surrounded by stone walls, and upper floors used as quarters for the sheriff and female prisoners. Prisoners’ drawings can still be seen on the plaster walls in the female prisoners’ quarters.

After repairs were made to the building in 1993, it was used as a public museum and hosted haunted house tours. Currently, however, the building’s deteriorating condition has made it publicly unusable. The City of Andrew currently owns the structure and is working with the Jackson County Historic Preservation Commission to find resources to address preservation needs but if it becomes too great a financial burden for the City, it may be destroyed.

Preservation Iowa’s Most Endangered Property program was started in 1995 and implemented to educate Iowans about the special buildings and historic sites that are slowly and gradually slipping away from us.  In the past 20 years, Preservation Iowa has designated over 140 archaeological sites, churches, landscapes and a variety of other buildings.

The full list of Preservation Iowa’s 2018 Most Endangered Properties includes: