St. Louis County Jail (1889)

The 1889 St. Louis County Jail. (Image: Duluth Public Library)

614 East 3rd Street | Architect: Oliver G. Traphagen | Built: 1889 | Lost: 1954

The first St. Louis County Jail served double duty with its sixteen jail cells housed in the rear and a home for the sheriff and his family in front. The red brick building had carved brownstone trim, several arched windows, Palladian windows in the gables, and iron cresting atop the roof. The doors, windows, and columns featured carvings. The sheriff and his wife lived in the building and she prepared meals for prisoners.

The jail once held Charles Henderson after his 1902 murder conviction until he was hanged at the courthouse next door on March 6, 1903; he was the last man legally hanged for murder in St Louis County. When the jail closed in 1923, it was remodeled as Hearding Hospital which served the county’s poor until 1947, when it became a rooming house. At one time sixty-seven tenants called the building home; only seven had to move when the condemned building was razed in 1954. The site now hosts St. Luke’s Hospital’s Hillside Center.