Since 1877, four county jails have been constructed within the Deadwood city limits. The first jail was erected in May of 1877 in the Ingleside Townsite (today's Presidential Neighborhood) and consisted of a 30 x 50 foot log structure enclosed by a twelve foot high fence. Convicted murderer James Leighton Gilmore was executed at this location on December 15, 1882. Four years later, Lawrence County purchased the lots in front of you for a new jail.
In 1886, work began on a two-story brick jail at this location. Upon its completion in November, the jail was 29 x 44 feet. Hardware for the jail cells was manufactured by the Diebolt Safe & Lock Company of Canton, Ohio. A wood gallows was later erected beside the jail. On December 28, 1894, convicted murderer Cha Nopa Uhah, alias "Two Sticks" was publically executed at this location. Three years later, Isador Cavanaugh, alias "Charles Brown" was also publically executed at this location.
In 1904, convicted horse rustler Robert Burns escaped from the jail, compromising the safety and security of the building. Lawrence County Sheriff Harry Trathen publically deemed the old jail unsafe and petitioned for the construction of a new jail. In 1906, work began on the 34 x 50 foot, two-story brick and stone jail at this location. Over the next 68 years, the third jail held numerous
prisoners including George Sitts, convicted of murdering two law enforcement officers in 1946. He was later executed at the South Dakota State Prison in Sioux Falls.
In 1974, Lawrence County began work on the fourth detention center, also located in front of you. This facility serves as Lawrence County's current jail and contains an intake and booking room, the sheriff and administrative offices and the Lawrence County Emergency Management offices in the basement.