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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

Responders/TDCJ Employees/

SHSU Students - $5;


Ages 6/17 - $4;


5 years and under - No Charge.

Contact Information:



491 Hwy 75 N

Huntsville, TX 77320

David L. Stacks - Director

Riley Tilley - Gift Shop Manager

Suzie Shaw - Office Manager


Joni White - Curator

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Mission Statement

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.

Contact Us

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!

General Questions

Conference Room Inquiries

Gift Shop Inquiries

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Popular Exhibits

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Capital Punishment

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.

Old Sparky

Prison Hardware

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.

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Ball & Chain

Prison Art


Bonnie & Clyde

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Plan Your Visit

Whether you've got a quick 45 minutes to browse, or a few hours to soak in some history, we've got something for everyone!


Monday - Saturday

10 am - 5 pm


12 noon - 5pm



First Monday of Each Month 

Open at 12 Noon - 5 pm

In observance of holidays, the Texas Prison Museum is closed

New Years's Day - January 1, 2023; Easter - April 9, 2023; Thanksgiving - November 23, 2023; two days during Christmas, December 25 & 26, 2023.


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


Thank you for your donation!

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.

May 19:    

 1938 - Huntsville, Tx.  - According to information released by prison officials, the population of the Texas prison system had reached 6633 Tuesday. The number of inmates at this time breaks all records. (Huntsville Item).

May 20:

1955 - Huntsville Unit (Walls) - Harry F. Butcher Jr., 29, convicted of criminal assault, was electrocuted early Friday at the Texas State Prison. Butcher entered the execution chamber at 12:02 AM, received the first charge of electricity at 12:04 and was pronounced dead at 12:06. His only last statement was, "praise God in the highest." He kept his eyes closed as he was strapped into the chair and appeared to be praying silently. Butcher had waited in seemingly good cheer for the execution. The Board of Pardons and Paroles Thursday turned down a last plea to commute his sentence to life imprisonment. Butcher was executed for the March 14, 1954 assault on an Odessa housewife. He talked freely Thursday with Don Reid Jr., Associated Press correspondent. His conversation was of a spiritual nature and Thursday night he was baptized in the Catholic faith. (AP. Houston Post, May 20, 1955)


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