New book details history of old Gonzales County jails


A new book, four years in the making, that provides an in-depth, multi-faceted view of the history of Gonzales County’s decommissioned jails is now available. The self-explanatorily titled “The History of the 1854 and 1885 Gonzales County Jails” is a compilation of historical accounts that outlines how the jails came to be, what life inside of them was like—for guards and inmates alike—and why they eventually closed. 

The book was primarily written by retired St. Edward’s University criminal justice professor Dr. David M. Horton and heavily features research done by the Gonzales County Historical Commission’s Jail Research Project. Among those acknowledged in the book for their role in the project are Sandra McGinty Wolff, Glenda Gordon, Lynn Gescheidle, Tim Gescheidle and Brent Baker. 

Tim Gescheidle, owner of TSG Architects, created architectural renderings of the original 1845 jail for the book. The design features historically-accurate images of the jail’s interior, exterior and gallows area. 

The book is now for sale at the Gonzales County Jail Museum gift shop, Tuesday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mail orders are also available via the Gonzales County Jail Museum’s Facebook page or via email at

The book is $25, and all proceeds go toward supporting the museum. To cover shipping and handling, the total for mail orders is $30. 

A copy of the book was donated to the Robert Lee Brothers Jr. Memorial Library for public viewing.