The Old Jail Library

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Old Jail Museum


Soape Family Museum

The Old Jail Museum is located on the 2nd floor of the Old Jail.

Upstairs you will find the Q. M. Martin display. Mr. Martin was a well known educator in Panola County and was widely recognized for his talent with watercolors. Several of his best works hang in this area. There is a display case containing personal memorabilia of Mr. Martin. Those items and the paintings are on loan from Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Underwood.

There is a display containing various law-enforcement items. Resting in one corner of the building is a whiskey still captured by Sheriff Cobett Akins.

You can examine a WWII Ration Book. Almost everything was rationed during WWII. Atop a display case is a replica of a government complex built for management of the ‘Sabine-Bishop Co-Operative Project”, a project where homes were built on 80 to 120 acres of land and sold to African-American families on a 40 year payment plan.

We have the corner stone from the old fire station and the “running lights” from the first city fire truck, along with an old parking meter. Inside the cells, there are numerous items regarding early life in Panola County to include old photographs of downtown Carthage and many old homes in the area. One cell represents a prisoner’s cell, complete with mannequin.


The Soape Building Museum is located next to the Old Jail. The building was formerly a part of the old City Hall.

The museum contains many items from early life in Panola County.

Items such as the different saws and tools used in construction and lumbering. A display regarding the production of Cotton, including a display about the “World’s best Bale of Cotton” and that bale was from Panola County.

You will find a military display with uniforms; a WWII Japanese rifle; a WWII artillery shell; a replica of “Via Panola Express” a WWII bomber flown in Europe ; the flight jacket of George Berry West, a WWII Bomber Pilot which recorded his combat missions; items from covered wagons; yokes for oxen; early mallets and picks; wagon wheels and wash pots; stuffed animals, and many other items.

The Museum was opened in February 2002.

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