Welcome to the Texas Prison Museum
The Texas Prison Museum offers an intriguing glimpse into the lives of the state's imprisoned citizens. The museum features numerous exhibits detailing the history of the Texas prison system, featuring a look inside the operations behind the fences and walls.
Adults - $7;
Seniors 60+/Active or Retired Military/First
SHSU Students - $5;
Ages 6/17 - $4;
5 years and under - No Charge.
491 Hwy 75 N
Huntsville, TX 77320
The Texas Prison Museum shall collect, preserve and showcase the history and the culture of the Texas prison system and educate the people of Texas and of the world.
If you've got questions, would like to place a gift shop order, or would simply like to know more about the Texas Prison System, we'd love to hear from you!
From the time of Independence from Mexico until 1924, hanging was the lawful method of execution in Texas. Hangings took place in the county where the condemned person was convicted.
In 1924 the State of Texas took control of all executions and prescribed electrocution as the method. One of the most chilling exhibits at the Texas Prison Museum is "Old Sparky," the decommissioned electric chair in which 361 prisoners were executed between 1924 and 1964. This legendary device, made by prison workers, was in storage at the Walls Unit Death House before being donated to the museum, and is our most controversial exhibit.
Various types of hardware have been used to contain inmates. This exhibit shows the different types of equipment used over the years, including the old ball and chain, pad locks, and modern handcuffs.
Ball & Chain
Bonnie & Clyde
HOURS OF OPERATION
Monday - Saturday
10 am - 5 pm
First Monday of Month
12 Noon - 5 pm
12 pm - 5 pm
In observance of holidays, the Texas Prison Museum is closed on Easter,
Thanksgiving, two days during Christmas, and New Year's Day.
End of Watch Memorial
Many Texas Department of Criminal Justice public servants have lost their lives in the line of duty and from the COVID-19 pandemic. In honor of these fine men and women a remembrance memorial is slated for construction at the Texas Prison Museum. The memorial will be a symbol of their unwavering service and ultimate sacrifice. All donations are welcome and can be made here.
If you have any questions, feel free to email our Director, David Stacks, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Week in Texas Prison History
Execution accounts are type transcriptions of actual newspaper articles that covered the inmate's execution. In order to maintain accurate historical context of the time period when the articles were written, the language used in them has not been changed.
1927 Huntsville Unit (Walls) - F.M. Snow (TDCJ has E. Snow), Stephenville woodchopper, went to his death in the electric chair at 12:18. "I've nothing to say," he told officials when asked for a last statement. His face remained blank from the time he was led into the death chamber until he was strapped into the chair. The current began to be applied at 12:12 and Snow was pronounced dead six minutes later by Dr. F. L. Anglier, acting prison physician. Among the many witnesses of the execution was Miss Dorothy Armstrong, reporter for the Huntsville Item, believed to be the first woman who ever witnessed such an event in Texas. She reported it for her paper. Half a dozen Erath County officials were present, including Sheriff D. M. Hasslor and J. M. Watson, 83 - year old justice of the peace. Ranger Captain Tom Hickman, who arrived late Thursday, questioned Snow in low tones just prior to the execution, apparently attempting to get confessions of another crime, but was unsuccessful. Snow was convicted in Stephenville of slaying his 18 - year old stepson, Bernie Connally. He subsequently confessed to also having killed his wife and her mother. The story of how he carried his stepson's torso to a hilltop and there severed the head and brought it several miles back toward the (???) farm dwelling, rivals dime novel thrillers. Accidental discovery of the boy's head in an abandoned farmhouse by a hunter was the first intimation that anything had happened out of the ordinary in this quiet rural district. It was found December 9, 1925. At that time Snow was on speaking terms that his wife, her mother and Bernie had gone away on a trip and would be gone a long, long time. It was several days until anyone recognized the head as that of the missing young Connally. Thousands of persons had viewed the gruesome head at an undertaking parlor. When the head was recognized, officials went in search of the stepfather Snow. He was found in a farm wagon with all of the moveable household goods of value from the Snow place, apparently planning to move to other parts. He was held in jail at Fort Worth several days before he confessed, and led a posse of officers and newspapermen to the spot where the boy's torso lay in a clump of woods. Later, Snow revealed that he had burned the women's bodies in the fire place at the farmhouse. He said it took a cord and a half of wood and nearly a week to hide the evidence of his woodman's ax. (Houston Post Dispatch. 08/12/1927) (AP)