Because of the often soggy conditions that discouraged use as either residential or commercial property, the area of Headwaters Park became known as the Jail Flats. The first jail in Allen County was a two-story hewn-log structure that was enclosed by a board fence, located on the southwest corner of the courthouse square in downtown Fort Wayne. When it burned in 1849, it was promptly replaced. However, after several prisoners escaped, it was determined that a better jail was needed. In 1852, a jail was built east of Calhoun Street across from the present-day building giving this area the name "Jail Flats." A larger jail was constructed in 1872. When Benjamin Madden and George Keefer confessed to the murder of John Dunbar in April 1855, both were tried and sentenced to hang. They were brought from the jail, and two ropes were attached to cross beams overhead; both paid their debt to society with their lives. This was also the site of the public hanging of Sam McDonald in 1883, the last such execution in Fort Wayne. The condemned man had murdered his friend, Louis Laurent, and was hanged before a crowd of 250 curious observers. The present jail was built in 1981, continuing the tradition of a county jail in the "Jail Flats."