Used as Sabine County’s jail until 1983, the old jail house located on the square of Hemphill offers much history. The building is now known as the Sabine County Jail Museum and Virgie Speights Memorial Library. The facility has been under the direction of the Sabine County Historical Commission since 1987.
Built in 1903 at a cost of $8,800 the jail not only housed Sabine County prisoners, but the facility also held prisoners from other counties that either didn’t have a jail or had a full house.
There were two hangings at the jail – the first in 1909. The first hanging was a public event and was held outside the jail even though the jail is outfitted with a hangman’s noose and trapdoor inside. The museum houses a piece of rope used in the first hanging.