Historical Timeline of the Missouri State Penitentiary

A Chronology of Jefferson City's Infamous Prison

In 1831 Jefferson City’s hold on the capital city status was a tenuous one. To ensure that it remained the seat of government, Governor John Miller suggested a prison be built in Jefferson City. Construction began in 1834 and the first inmate arrived in 1836. From then on the prison became famous for being one of the most efficient in the country…and infamous for its notorious inmates and the 1954 riot on its grounds.

jefferson city penitentiary tour