At this time, persons imprisoned for debt were allowed to be in an area designated as the “prison bounds.” The “prison bounds” were probably High St. to the west, Ward St. to the north, Reynolds St. to the south and perhaps to the east edge of town, basically the city limits. During the year or so of his confinement Simon Kenton frequently walked this area with a long walking staff. It is said that even when his daughter Elizabeth died, he had to observe her burial in the Old Graveyard just north of Ward St. without crossing the street.
Some years later the Kentucky Legislature remitted the charges against Kenton. The original jail served until 1832 when a new jail was built near the current courthouse. On April 14, 1832, the original jail building was auctioned off to Matthew Magrew and John Owen for $390.
The Champaign County Historical Museum is a not-for-profit organization that depends upon donations and dues to preserve, protect, archive and display the artifacts that tell the Champaign County story. The free public museum located at 809 E. Lawn Ave., Urbana, is open to the public Tues. - Fri. 10-4 and Sat. 10-2.
Looking Back at Champaign County
The Champaign County Historical Society strives to highlight historical people, places and events throughout Champaign County. If you have photos of historical significance that you believe would be of interest to Champaign Countians, please Contact Us.