The first jail in Wood County was built in 1820 in Maumee, Ohio. David
Hull was the first sheriff. "The first court held in what is now Wood
County was held in May 1823, in a store building or Indian trading
establishment owned by one of the Hollisters, which stood on the flat
opposite Maumee, in what has since been known as the Spafford Orchard.
About this time, the old log jail was built, and is yet standing a relic of
the past. There was only one road cut through the thick brush to the
jail and this was cut in order to get the logs in for the building."
original jail building was moved from Maumee to Perrysburg in 1823 and its
reconstruction completed March 19, 1823 (total cost of moving and rebuilding
- $48.00 - paid to Daniel Hubbell and $25.00 for repairs of any damages that
might occur during the move.) It was made of foot-square oak logs secured by
wooden pegs. The floor was of the same solid square timbers. The windows
were little more than long cracks where the halves of two logs had been
taken out and perpendicular iron bolts passed through for security. To
enlarge the structure, $486 was raised by the sale of Perrysburg lots at $12
each ( located on Front Street, just west of Louisiana Avenue, Perrysburg.)
It was used until June 1828 when Elisha Martindale, the contractor for a new
building, offered it to the Commissioners. It was eventually torn down and
apparently was sold for firewood.
In 1832, a stockade was constructed. In February 1835, the question of
erecting a building around the jail of 1828 was considered, but the building
of a new court house was substituted and adopted. The jail question was
revived in 1846; in June, Inlot No. 210 was purchased as a site; on
July 7, the building contract was awarded to John W. Woodbury, S. N. Beach,
Henry Thornton, Daniel Lindsay and O.H. Carpenter; but the house was not
completed until the close of 1848.
The new jail built in Perrysburg
(1847-1848) cost $2,150 and was located one block from the court house. Cost
of the masonry work was $800, with $150 to be spent for heavy doors and the
rest for general construction. Located at 240 W. Indiana Avenue at the
corner of Findlay Street. Since then the structure has been converted into
modern apartments. That building may be said to have been used down to 1870,
when the seat of justice was removed to Bowling Green. This former Wood
County Jail was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The
walls are two feet thick, each of the three floors has 2,000 square feet, and
exterior stones are reported in "good shape" for their age.
In March 1867,
before the county seat was moved to Bowling Green, county commissioners
awarded a $9,000 contract to Solon L. Boughton and A.A. Thurstin to build a
county jail in Bowling Green (located on N. Summit Street, northeast of the
In December 1900, the voters in Wood County approved a jail
proposition for a new jail, the previous one having been condemned by every
grand jury for years. The jail was to cost not more than $50,000. Ground was
broken for the new jail on May 21, 1901 and Sheriff Kingsbury and his family
moved into the county jail in September 1902. Architects were Becker &
Hitchcock, Toledo; General Contractor: Fronizer & Andrews, Fremont. James H.
LaFaree was elected superintendent of construction. The jail building
is divided into two parts, the Sheriff's residence and the jail and the
cells where the prisoners were confined. The cells were arranged in two
stories, each having ten cells with a central prisoners' corridor between.
This jail was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.This structure was in use until 1989 when the Wood County Justice Center was
built and became the residence for Wood County prisoners.
2001, a $2.4 million contract was award to Rudolph-Libbe, Inc. to renovate
the historic jail of 1902. The interior of the jail was removed and
renovated to hold the Wood County Law Library and the new Wood County
Records Center. The renovated jail was opened in November 2002.