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

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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


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Popular Exhibits

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 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.

This Week In Texas Prison History


October 19

1921 Huntsville Unit (Walls)  - After being trailed by bloodhounds for more than two miles, R. R. Welch, 23 years old, serving a term for highway robbery from Dallas County, was shot and killed by Guard Chesshire yesterday while trying to escape from a wood camp a few miles from the Huntsville prison, according to information reaching here today. According to the report three squads of eight men each were cutting wood about two miles south of the Huntsville prison. Welch's squad was working separately from the others. Welch remarked to a guard that his hat had been blown off and that he was gong behind a group of bushes to get it. When well on the other side, according to guards, Welch broke and ran and was soon out of sight. Guard Chesshire and Buck Ross, dog sergeant, gave immediate chase. The guards became separated, Chesshire later catching sight of Welch. Upon failure of Welch to obey a command from Chesshire to halt, Chesshire fired one time, the shot hitting a fatal spot, according to the report. Welch had been a prisoner at the penitentiary only three weeks. His home was at Commerce. His body is being held subject to orders from his family. R.R. Welch drew a five-year penitentiary sentence here on a charge of holding up Guy's Pharmacy, 619 South Akard street, last spring. He was convicted in District Court about two months ago and sent to the State penitentiary. (Dallas Morning News. Special to The News. October 20, 1921)