Buyer approved for Archer County Jail Museum

Local News

CLAY COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — An agreement has been made to sell the 110-year-old Archer County Jail Museum following a unanimous vote Monday afternoon.

Archer County residents Jerry Phillips and Dan Haile’s proposal was approved Monday.

Phillips said he is grateful and cannot wait to hit the ground running.

The Archer County Jail Museum has been closed for the last two and a half years but according to Archer County Judge Randy Jackson, it has been in need of renovation for quite some time.

“That jail and museum have been in decline for the last 35 years so anything that we do is going to be better than what was going on before we started this procedure,” Jackson said.

A procedure that has finally taken a new turn.

County commissioners took a unanimous vote after hearing from four individuals and groups in an executive session.

In the end, Jackson said Phillips’ presentation was very reassuring to the commissioner’s court.

“They addressed all those issues, they are going to keep all the artifacts intact and on display as soon as possible and they are going through with the construction in a timely and organized manner,” Jackson said.

And Phillips has big plans.

“Restore the building to what it was the day it was built and allow people to go in and view it that way and do the artifacts and other works of art in the other venue,” Phillips said. “The Archer County Museum and Art Center where we have a venue east of the jail.”

Phillips said a group of people will develop a non-profit which will take title to the property and since this is an ambitious project, Phillips said he hopes to have the community’s full support.

“We’re gonna work with the community members to establish an endowment, the endowment will fund a person who can be on the ground progress the development of the entire project,” Phillips said.

Phillips said the generosity of the community will be the deciding factor on how long the project takes but hopes the endowment can be built in 18 months to two years, after that the real work begins.

The jail museum was sold for $10,000, Jackson said the numbers don’t matter, ensuring history is preserved is most important.

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