• Menu
  • Menu
Phillips County Jail

Phillips County Jail

Location Class:
Built: 1900's | Abandoned: 1970's
Historic Designation: National Register of Historic Places
Status: AbandonedEndangered
Photojournalist: Brandon Phillips

The old Phillips County Jail (Penal Farm) was built by the WPA, and is on the list of historic places. Emmett Roscopf, was the warden, in the 50s and 60s. The Phillips County Penal Farm, and other penal farms in the state, were closed by the Federal Court in the 70s because the structures was falling apart.  Aside from its use as a jail this was considered a home for many years by the warden. There was a living quarters on top of this structure where Emmett Roscopf and his wife lived. Boxing matches on Saturday nights . The place was pretty much self sufficient. They raised hogs, sweet potatoes, chickens, peanuts, and had a big garden. Visiting day on Sundays when the men would ask Emmett how much time they had left on their sentences. They had a pair of mules. There was a barn in the back where they kept the mules, and boxes where the sweet potatoes would cure. Peanuts were dried on the tin roof. A white board fence ran along the road. Some of the inmates tried escaping every so often. The runners were put in leg irons or a ball/ chain.  They’d drag out an outhouse for the visitors on Sundays. The men drug a net through a slough down around Baytown to catch fish for Saturday supper. They’d throw the rough fish up on the bank and save the good fish. Anybody with more history please Contact Us, or comment below.  Any information is great!

Gallery Below


5 1 vote
Article Rating

If you wish to support our current and future work, please consider making a donation or purchasing one of our many books. Any and all donations are appreciated.

Donate to our cause Check out our books!

Michael Schwarz

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Tara M Hallett
Tara M Hallett
2 years ago

Is the jail in Phillips County abandoned? I want to create a film in that jail if the old one is available.

nonya dambizness
nonya dambizness
8 years ago

Y'all act like they weren't hang and treating black people bad back then half of them was kids fuck that place and the mufu's who ran it

Theodore Ulrichsen
Theodore Ulrichsen
Reply to  nonya dambizness
3 years ago

Typical ignorance…

Becky Ryder
Becky Ryder
10 years ago

I am age 69. As a teenager, my friend's uncle was the Foreman or whatever of the County Prison Farm. My friend's Aunt and Uncle had living quarters above the jail. There was a room on the ground floor that was used for guests. That is where my friend and I stayed when I visited her. Her uncle would lock us in so no one could get to us. My parents operated a country store, Gibson General Store and later my mother had a "juke joint" called Wilma's place. Both were located between Poplar Grove and Barton. I recall the… Read more »

Copyright © 2009- - Abandoned Atlas Foundation - board@AbandonedAtlas.com | Designed By Prairie Nation Creative, LLC - Disclaimer

Have history here? Would love hear your stories or your thoughts.x