Next to old Edgerton jail cell, located at city lake, is a plaque commemorating it’s dedication. The “cage” was purchased and donated to Edgerton by Ray Braun, former mayor and council member. Photo courtesy Edgerton Historical Society
The structure on a bluff at the southern end of the city lake is the old Edgerton city jail cell, manufactured in 1902.
It was actually used to house prisoners in the early 1900’s. The City of Edgerton purchased it from the Pauly Jail Company in June of 1902 for $92.15.
The dimensions of the cell is 5 feet x 6.5 feet x 6.5 feet. It has two metal bunk beds on one side, and those can be lowered or raised.
At the front of the cage, at the bottom of the cell door, is about an eight inch opening that was used to slide the prisoner’s food to them inside the cell. It is officially known as a “lattice steel cage.”
When the jail cell was actually being used in Edgerton, it was not located at the lake, but instead was located in the downtown area. The jail cell had gotten lost at some point in later years, but in June of 1993, Ray Braun located the jail in Fort Scott, Kan., and bought it for $300, transported it back to Edgerton, and donated it to Edgerton.
Braun, was a longtime Edgerton business owner and community leader . He opened his first service station on U.S. 56 in March 1946 on the site currently occupied by Dee’s Mini Mart. He moved to his most recent location on the corner of 4th Street and U.S. 56 Highway two years later and spent more than 60 years pumping gas, repairing tires, and serving his community.
Among Braun’s accomplishments as a mayor and city council member were helping to extend water and sewer service to Edgerton. He was also a champion for the construction of Hillsdale Lake.
Braun’s name is inscribed on a small plaque on the front of the jail honoring his gift to the community, along with some historical information about the jail.
The jail cell was placed on a cement slab at Edgerton Lake shortly after Braun donated it to the city. When it was actually utilized as a jail many years ago, it was not painted silver as it appears today, but was originally rust colored.
Braun passed away in 2012 at the age of 90.