Old Naper Jail & Main Street Lamp Post
The Old Naper Jail was returned to town and dedicated on June 12, 2004.
Attending the ceremony were (left to right above)
Jim Sattler (NHS President), Joe Janousek representing Niobrara Valley Electic Membership Corp, Buffalo Bill, Vernon Goodman (Mayor), and former owners Thelma & Leonard Schmitz.
Old Naper Jail
Early settlers of Naper constructed a jail sometime around the late 1800’s or early 1900’s to temporarily house desperados of all kinds. Cattle rustlers, horse thieves, and common criminals spent time behind bars. The busiest time for this old jail was on Saturday nights when it was home to locals and area cowboys who had a bit too much to drink.
There was one notable escape attempt, when one desperate resident attempted to burn down the jail to gain his freedom. The flaw in his plan became apparent when it seemed he would perish along with the structure, however both were saved before the fire got out of control.
This jail served the community of Naper until it sold at auction in 1964 to Leonard and Thelma Schmitz who used it as a grain bin. They donated it to the Naper Historical Society which renovated it with funds provided by Niobrara Valley Electric Membership Corporation.
Main Street Lamp Post
The Lamp Post pictured here was used to light Main Street Naper for many years. It was found in a creek bed several years ago, and became the property of the Naper Historical Society.
After cleaning it up and rewiring it, this symbol of an earlier Naper Main Street was installed in front of the Old Naper Jail.
So, the next time you’re in Naper stop by for a look. We can even let you spend a little time in the jail. But please…do not bring any matches!