Allen County, Indiana PlacesAllen County Jail

101 E Superior St, Fort Wayne, IN 46802, Phone: (260) 449-7376 

Website:, Mailing Address for Allen County Jail: 417 S. Calhoun St.

Allen County Sheriff website:

Street View photo from Google maps

The pictorial history of Fort Wayne, Indiana : a review of two centuries of occupation of the region about the head of the Maumee River by Griswold, B. J. (Bert Joseph), 1873-1927; Taylor, Samuel R., Mrs Publication date 1917 on Middle of page 279 says the log jail stood until 1847 when it was destroyed by fire.

In 1847, the first Allen County Jail, constructed out of logs, was destroyed by fire and no official action was taken to...

Posted by The History Center on Thursday, April 7, 2022

April 8, 2022 post by The History Center on Facebook:

In 1847, the first Allen County Jail, constructed out of logs, was destructed by fire and no official action was taken to replace it. On April 7, 1849, exactly 173 years ago today, city council ordered the mayor to procure a building to be used as a jail. Subsequently a committee had a jail constructed for $270 on the northeast corner of Harrison and Berry Streets, while plans for a more permanent structure were considered. The new jail and sheriff’s residence was finally completed in 1852 at the cost of $4,955.34 and was located on Calhoun Street across from the current jail. Though there were several escapes from this new jail, it served the people of Allen County for 20 years until its successor was completed in 1872. #sociallyhistory

See the Jailhouse Flats.

Built in the 1850s, the previous brick jail served from the 1850s until early 1981, when the first section of the current jail opened across the street. The building was razed soon thereafter, and its long history includes being the site of perhaps the county's most notorious public hanging.An estimated 15,000 people watched Samuel McDonald die in the jail's courtyard on Oct. 9, 1883, after being convicted of murdering Louis Laurent. Because the fall did not break his neck, it took McDonald 17 minutes to die of strangulation. The noose used to hang McDonald and the hatchet he used on Laurent are in the collection of the History Center, as is an iron door from one of the old jail's cells. Copied from Site of old county jail, infamous hanging could be used for downtown development by Kevin Leininger published February 10, 2017 in The News-Sentinel newspaperarchived on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.

  1. March 27, 1981 Jail Break
    A March 27, 1981 This jailbreak has sheriff's blessing article in the The Journal Gazette newspaper was posted on True Fort Wayne Indiana History on Facebook.
  2. Future of the Allen County Jail
  3. Allen County Jail: Chained to the past, ordered to improve This series from The Journal Gazette looks at issues surrounding the Allen County Jail as officials deal with a court order to improve conditions. Dozens of links to previous articles dated as early as April 2, 2022 on The Journal Gazette newspaper.
  4. January 5, 2023 video post by Elevatus Architecture on Facebook:

    Elevatus has been featured in Fort Wayne Magazine's annual Innovation issue regarding the Allen County Jail project. Justice Leader Tony Vie and President Cory Miller were highlighted in the feature. Find it starting on magazine page 42 of the Fort Wayne magazine January 2023.

    See more on Elevatus Architecture.

  5. February 10, 2023 post by Allen County INfo on Facebook:

    Revised site plans for the proposed Allen County Jail are available on the county website at under the “Update” section.

    After a meeting with residents from nearby neighborhoods in January, the Board of Commissioners asked Elevatus Architecture to revise site plans in response to neighbors’ concerns. Some of the most significant updates include the building shift of 75 feet to the west for even less visibility to nearby neighbors, the inmate drop off and release point moved to the south end of the building while staff parking moved to the north and fencing was added to create a continuous border from the woods to Meyer Road.

    The new plans will be presented at the next Fort Wayne Board of Zoning Appeals meeting on Thursday, February 16, 2023, at 5:30 pm.

Back to top

Page updated: