The Old Jail Library

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Library Address

We invite you to visit us at the

Panola County Historical & Genealogical Association
The Leila Belle LaGrone Family History Center
213 North Shelby
Carthage, Texas 75633
(903) 693-3388

Our History

The Panola County Historical & Genealogical Association (PCHGA) was founded by ordinary people in the community who had an interest in family and local history and who wanted to preserve our heritage. So, they met and formed PCHGA to serve those ends.

The charter members were all volunteers, so they asked Panola County to give them a long-term lease on the old 1891 Panola County jail which was no longer in use. The jail use was discontinued in 1954 and the old jail had fallen into a state of disrepair. These charter members not only raised money from others, but also donated their own time and money, and ultimately rebuilt a structure that would house history, family books and artifacts in a stable, controlled environment.

The upstairs of the Old Jail is now used as a museum. The old cells and locks are still intact. The bottom floor of the jail is where the jailer's family lived and where meals were prepared for the prisoners by the jailer's wife. The bottom floor now has three book rooms with a good representation of states, counties and family history; a computer room with four computers for public use; and an office with one computer for keeping up with the daily affairs of PCHGA.

The PCHGA Old Jail Library is open three days per week: Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday afternoon. There is no user fee or membership cost. Normal hours are from 10:00 AM until 3:00 PM on Tuesday and Wednesday, and from 1:00 PM until 5:00 PM on Sunday. We invite the public to visit us during any of these times.

We have three to four volunteer staff members to assist you with researching your family tree or maybe the history of your home county, town or state. You can also use our computers to research on the internet. We also welcome any and all tour groups.

Help is available!!




Bob Dierkes

Liz Hedges
Vice President
Ruth Hunt
Recording Secretary
Geraldine Graves
Becky Austin

Board Of Directors


Bob Dierkes

Ruth Hunt
Geraldine Graves
Robbie Sutlive
Eleanor Humphrey
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