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Is Iowa's oldest jail doomed
to the wrecking ball?
[Fort Madison, IA]


January 12, 2001
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Is Iowa's oldest jail doomed
to the wrecking ball?
[Fort Madison, IA]

PoliceOne Staff Report
(FORT MADISON, Iowa) -- Time is running out in efforts to save what is believed to be the state's oldest jail.

The local Historical Society says that it has failed to raise the $25,000 needed to restore the ancient Lee County lockup and save it from the demolition ball.

The group wanted to create a museum in the jail that would include artifacts of law enforcement and firefighters and even a memorial for officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty, the Fort Madison Daily Democrat reported.

But the newspaper said that local historians have only raised $7,000 during a six month jail-saving campaign.

The county's Board of Supervisors, which wants to knock down the jail, had given the society until Dec. 31, 2000 to raise the $8,000 for the first phase of restoration, the newspaper reported.

Officials are hoping now that if the money for the restoration to keep the old jail isn't raised, the property will be purchased and utilized for another purpose.

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