Dewey Volunteers Rebuilding Old Jail Run By Silent Movie Star - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Dewey Volunteers Rebuilding Old Jail Run By Silent Movie Star

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It's a small square building wrapped in wood and rebar, but the old iron bars have quite a history. It's a small square building wrapped in wood and rebar, but the old iron bars have quite a history.
Tom Mix married a Dewey girl and would go on to fame as a movie star in the old silent westerns. Tom Mix married a Dewey girl and would go on to fame as a movie star in the old silent westerns.
"Other places have Mickey Mantle's and places like that, but we had Tom Mix," said A.C. Holden, of the Washington County Historical Society. "Other places have Mickey Mantle's and places like that, but we had Tom Mix," said A.C. Holden, of the Washington County Historical Society.
DEWEY, Oklahoma -

A piece of Oklahoma history, an old jail used by silent movie star Tom Mix, has been saved from the trash pile and is almost back to its former shape.

Volunteers in Dewey are rebuilding an Oklahoma moment.

It's a small square building wrapped in wood and rebar, but the old iron bars have quite a history.

"Other places have Mickey Mantle's and places like that, but we had Tom Mix," said A.C. Holden, of the Washington County Historical Society.

Tom Mix married a Dewey girl and would go on to fame as a movie star in the old silent westerns.

But Before Hollywood came calling, Tom Mix was a lawman--the town marshall of Dewey in 1911.

Mix's old jail, little more than a concrete box with steel doors and windows began to fall apart as the prairie grew around it. Until Dewey native John Orloski learned it was headed to the junk pile.

"It's easy to fall down the Tom Mix rabbit hole," Orloski said

He grew up hearing tales of Tom Mix and decided he couldn't let the pre-statehood piece of history fade away.

"It was an opportunity to look at something historical. It was inevitable that it was going to die, it would have been pushed into a hole, so we took the opportunity to recreate it," Orloski said.

The concrete was too far gone to repair, but Orloski recovered the original hardware, including the doors and window bars.

He's rebuilding it true to its original dimensions.

"The low doors, the low ceiling, the eight-inch thick walls, the 12-inch thick roof."

Orloski said the total cost for the project would be around $20,000, but thanks to donations from private companies, as well as the city of Dewey, the actual out-of-pocket cost will be closer to $1,000.

The historical society says the jail is just one more way to honor Tom Mix and make sure Dewey's place on the map is not forgotten.

"This is what we have in Dewey that we can use to bring fame and notoriety," Holden said.

The plan is to have the jail ready to be dedicated during the Tom Mix Festival on September 28.

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