The 1925 Runnels County Jail will probably be restored due to the work of Runnels County Clerk Julia Miller and Runnels County Jail Administrator Kimberly Dunn. The women fashioned a 501(c)3, with the blessing of County Choose Barry Hilliard and the Commissioners’ Court docket, to assist restore the jail for its historic significance and as an academic device.
In accordance with Miller, the restoration took place in an attention-grabbing method from one thing that occurred to one of many courthouse upkeep males, “Bob was within the restroom one morning and heard a voice ask, ‘Bob are you okay?’ This was early within the morning earlier than anybody arrived on the courthouse. Bob thought that perhaps somebody had are available early so he got here out and walked down the hallway. The entire doorways have been shut so he seemed out to the car parking zone and there weren’t any vehicles on the market. It freaked him out as a result of he mentioned that voice was as clear as somebody standing subsequent to him. He went out of the courthouse and waited for others to reach. He was rattled. I bought to speaking to him about it and informed him that we would have liked to have some ghost hunters come over right here.” Miller mentioned that one other unexplained incident occurred to the opposite upkeep man, “Cade mentioned that he was within the grand jury room cleansing up after a grand jury assembly. There’s a little restroom in that room and he went into that restroom to sanitize it. He’d pushed the entire chairs to the massive desk to go clear the restroom when he heard the entire chairs sliding as if anyone had are available and moved the chairs. When he got here out, the entire chairs have been pulled away from the desk as if somebody was sitting there. He mentioned that he was within the restroom for perhaps 2-seconds when that occurred and that it wasn’t sufficient time for somebody to return in and transfer all of these chairs.”
The unusual occasions did not cease there. Miller mentioned that as they have been speaking in regards to the incident, one other individual, Tiffany, mentioned that she went to the third ground one morning when she labored on the auditor’s workplace, “She mentioned that as she put the important thing within the door she heard the including machine going off. She walked in and located the including machine paper in a pile on the ground, and the including machine was nonetheless going. She bought her telephone out to document it.” Miller mentioned that’s when Tiffany seen one thing unusual in regards to the including machine tape, “There have been no numbers on it. It was all letters. It was an including machine, it did not have letters like a typewriter.”
Miller mentioned that she cleared the thought of a ghost hunt with Hilliard and the entire commissioners and sought the assistance of a few native paranormal specialists, “I thought of Dan and Connie LaFave on the Previous Park Resort and went to Barry to ask if we might have somebody come do a mystical investigation. I informed him that I might keep right here whereas they did their investigation so he gave me permission. I went to the elected officers and requested them in the event that they’d have any issues with me doing this. I informed them that we would not be going into any particular person workplaces, that we might simply be within the hallway and grand jury room. Everybody was advantageous with the thought.”
With permission to conduct the investigation in hand, Miller contacted the LaFaves, homeowners of the Previous Park Resort, which is taken into account by numerous paranormal societies to be probably the most haunted places in the US, “I talked to them and so they mentioned that they’d love to fulfill with me. We met on the lodge and so they mentioned that they’d do the ghost hunt. Whereas we have been speaking in regards to the courthouse ghost hunt, Dan pointed throughout the road to the previous jail and requested if they might get into it for a ghost hunt as properly. He mentioned that they might do the ghost hunt along side one in every of their occasions and that they’d donate the cash.”
After the dialogue Miller put the thought on the Commissioner’s Court docket agenda and informed Hilliard and the commissioners that the ghost hunt on the jail would not price them something and that they did not should do something for it., “The commissioners agreed so I moved ahead with the thought. In March, we did the courthouse ghost hunt and afterward I confirmed them the jail. Nancy Evans and I had been working and cleansing the jail out to get it prepared.”
The jail is cleaned out for essentially the most half, however there’s nonetheless a major quantity of labor to be achieved on the jail. Miller has spoken to the Runnels County Historic Fee, who agreed to help the thought. Miller created a 501(c)(3), the 1925 Runnels County Jail, Inc. Kimberly Dunn mentioned that somebody informed her about Miller’s concept and so they wished to assist, “My husband and I wished to assist so I despatched Julia an e-mail saying that I might love to assist and informed her to inform me about something she wanted.” Since then, the 2 have been busy doing the work to revive the jail. Miller has labored with the Commissioners’ Court docket to maintain them apprised of the progress, “About 2 weeks in the past, the Commissioner’s Court docket agreed to lease the jail from the county to the 501(c)(3) for five years. So, we are able to begin holding occasions and internet hosting fundraisers to assist with the restoration prices. Proper now, we’re trying to get insurance coverage to cowl us for occasions. We have began working to lift the $700 or so for the insurance coverage. I’ve talked to Dan and Connie to arrange an ghost hunt occasion, however the entire COVID factor is occurring.”
Earlier this 12 months, Garrett “Mac” McWilliams, who was the son of the Runnels County Sheriff Richmond E. (Earl) McWilliams, got here again to Ballinger to go to the jail the place he and his household lived whereas Earl was sheriff. The elder McWilliams was in workplace from 1924-1930. The go to from McWilliams would come to learn Miller and Dunn’s jail restoration mission, “Sooner or later Tito (Sheriff deputy Clemente Mata) and I went to eat with Mr. McWilliams’ son, Gary, who was right here the day of Mr. McWilliams’ go to. He requested the place he might go to donate cash to the mission. I informed him that we weren’t that far alongside but so he informed me to name him after we did get that far alongside. I contacted him a few weeks in the past and informed him that we’re to that time. On Monday, he referred to as me and mentioned that he needs to donate a shares with a price between $10,000-$12,000. I am getting the paperwork collectively in order that we are able to settle for the donation.”
The restoration mission would require an excessive amount of effort. The inside paint is flaking from the partitions, there are areas with wooden that’s rotted and must be changed, the ceiling wants work, as do quite a few different areas.
The fundraising is only the start of what they hope will probably be a rewarding effort to revive a bit of the material that’s woven into the historical past of Runnels County. Miller and Dunn will proceed to simply accept donations, that are tax deductible, and have created a GoFundMe web page underneath the title, “The 1925 Runnels County Jail, Inc.”