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Franklin County Jail Museum

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Franklin County Jail Museum

209 W. Main St.

Benton, Illinois 62812

(800) 661-9998 or (618)439-0608


(See Map and Directions below)


Type: Museums

Illinois Tourism District: Southern

Go to Illinois Adventure #1301 information


The Historic Jail Museum in Benton serves as the home of the Franklin County Tourism Bureau. This beautifully restored 1905 structure houses memorabilia of the gang era from the days of prohibition, as well as mementos from famous Benton natives, including General John A. Logan, actor John Malkovich, NBA basketball star Doug Collins, and Beatle George Harrison, who visited his sister in Benton in the summer of 1963.

Special Mentions: The jail became a symbol for the gang era in Southern Illinois during Prohibition, and became the last stop for Charlie Birger, the last man publically hanged in Illinois on April 19, 1928 for the 1926 murder of West City's mayor, Joe Adams. A new jail was built in 1991, and the old jail was placed on the register of Historic Places on Feb. 1, 1999.


Map and Directions (click on map pointer to calculate directions)


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