Floyd County Jail demolition sparks memories for citizens
FLOYD COUNTY, TX (KCBD) - The Floyd County Jail in Floydada is almost completely torn down Wednesday afternoon, after a Commissioners Court vote.
The building was deteriorating from the inside, they said, and was unsafe.
"You know it's an older building," said Floyd County Judge Marty Lucke, "and you hate to see an older building torn down."
The jail was first constructed in 1925, but has been vacant for the past 13 years.
"It had a fire alarm issue and other things that caused it to be shut down in the first place," Lucke said.
The Commissioners Court members knew they could not afford an at least 2.5 million dollar renovation.
"It served no purpose," Lucke said.
They did not get complaints from hardly anyone at their public hearings, but Carolyn Hardy did pose some objections.
"It's just a landmark," Hardy said. "It's just one of those things you take for granted because it's always been there."
Hardy has read all about that jail in museum archives, and said it is the perfect complement to the courthouse. She hoped a business would possibly buy the building.
"You like things to just be smooth and stay the way they were," she said.
Sheriff Paul Raissez shares Hardy's emotions, because his career actually started in that jail.
"Most of my time was spent in the back doing the booking," he said. "We use to have our population cell on the third floor."
Raissez even remembers talk of a ghost in the jail, after an inmate named Popeye suddenly died one day.
"There was only dispatchers by themselves that night and you could hear the door slamming upstairs," he said.
Years later, a ghost chaser team called Grave Concerns Paranormal tested those theories and captured footage and suspicious audio inside the building.
"This is his home, this is his jail, so we just let him do whatever he wants to," Raissez said.
Raissez believes since the jail is almost completely torn down, Popeye is free to roam.
"He can just have the courthouse square to himself," he said, laughing.
But haunted or not, Raissez wishes he could have had one more tour of the jail hallways he still has the keys to.
"We'd have them on us at all times," he said.
Even after the building is gone in the next couple of weeks, these citizens and others will cling on to those keepsakes and stories.
"It was history as it was built, and it's history as it comes down," Hardy said. "That's life."
Lucke is unsure what will take the place of this jail. Possibly a parking lot, or even a Gazebo.
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