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Continuing our journey into Winnetoon, Gayle Neuhaus brings a great story about The Winnetoon Jail.  See more of Winnetoon here.  Enjoy!- AV

In the northwest corner of our Winnetoon Village Park is the City Jail.  It was built along the railroad tracks and rarely used.  Over the years the shingles blew off and neglect took hold.

My dad always talked about restoring the jail.  After he died, the Village Counsel agreed to this.  Then, I pressured them to allow me to put our tiny jail on the National Register of Historic Places.  At first, the preservation committee was hesitant because the jail wasn’t in the city offices.  When I explained our Village Counsel had no city offices, but met at the Bank, they thought it a good idea the jail was built elsewhere. So, in 1995, our Winnetoon City Jail was approved for National Register status.

History of the Winnetoon Jail…

3-6-1907 – To maintain peace and good order within the Village, construction of a jail discussed and was decided to build jail, one room, gabled roof, measuring 8 x 10, of cement, walls 8” thick, window on each side with horizontal iron bars.  The exterior door to be wooden with an interior strapped metal grill door.  This metal door to be made by our blacksmith, E. Scheer Jr.  (This door is inscribed, “Made by E. Scheer Jr. 8-4-07, Winnetoon, Neb.)   The interior to be cement and the ceiling iron sheeting.  Bid of P. C. Paulson of $45 rejected for labor on jail.

5-2-1907 – Clerk instructed to send for pair of hand cuffs for use of Marshal to be property of Village.

7-23-1907 – Bill of Paulson for $37 for labor on jail paid.  Glimsdal, materials for jail, $13.30 paid.

12-12-1907 – Marshal given permission to put cot in City Jail.

1932 – Paid Wm. Fricke $1 for lodging 2 bums.

1937 – Vern Teipel jailed for fighting…Village Counsel minutes


Wm. Mead – 1902         Ole Nelson – 1904         Howard Miller – 1909         Emil Bonge – 1910          Bert Clough – 1912         Wm. Fricke – 1918

E.C. Clare – 1921         J. Ladd – 1925         Joe Schwartz – 1932         Art Schroeder – 1934-53         Bill Neuhaus – 1954-82


My father, Bill Fricke, was Marshal in Winnetoon for awhile.  I remember Dad taking me with him to sweep the jail.  Dad had a billy club, gun and a star.  He said he never used the gun and hardly ever locked the door.  Tramps and anyone who drank too much were put to bed in the jail.” …Evelyn Fricke Noyer

“John Van Camp and Willis Kienow put a wagon on the roof of the City Jail as a Halloween prank.” …Henrietta Jones Van Camp

“Clark Smith and Erwin McDowell put a cow in the jail one Halloween.”…Gladys Degaillez Hansen

“During the Depression, the boys used the jail as their ‘Club House’.  One day they weren’t in school.  I looked out the high school windows and saw smoke coming from the jail chimney.  I paid the boys a surprise visit!” …E. J. Humann, principal

“The jail was a hangout for us.  We got caught smoking Bull Durham by our school principal.  Once Dad punished us by putting us in the jail.  I doubt it was locked.” …Truman Jones

Winnetoon, NE, constructed 1907, National Register of Historic Places

There was little need for a jail in Winnetoon.

Maybe it was meant to be a kids hangout, as they continued using the jail until it was restored, and then they were locked out in 1982.