Old Oakville Jail, Talley Street, Oakville, Live Oak County, TX
2003 Charles E. Peterson Prize, First Place
Significance: The old jail building at Oakville, Texas is all that remains of a town that once served as the seat of Live Oak County. Because the site is above the flood plains it has been traversed by indigenous Americans, Spanish explorers, and a stage coach route. The town was born as a stage coach stop due to its proximity to Sulphur Creek, and was chosen as county seat in 1856. From 1887 to 1919, the jail on the edge of the county square acted as Live Oak's third and most sophisticated detention facility while concurrently, Oakville's population peaked to four hundred people. In 1919 a local rancher called for an election to change the county seat to his eponymous town. He was victorious, and with the critical loss of the commerce and status that had always attended a county seat, Oakville declined severely. The final event in the town's history occurred when state engineers recognized the value of the towns situation above the flood plains. Interstate Highway 37 was routed directly through the former town...
Unprocessed Field note material exists for this structure: N892
Survey number: HABS TX-3523
Building/structure dates: 1867 Initial Construction
Building/structure dates: after. 1940- before. 1950 Subsequent Work