News Releases

2/22/2017 - Frontier Kansas Jails, a First Thursday Presentation

Program Information: Nona Miller, Curator of Education
(785) 309-5776 (day)

General Information: Susan Hawksworth, Director
(785) 309-5776 (day)
(785) 825-6306 (evening)



Frontier Kansas Jails

Event Title:    Frontier Kansas Jails, a First Thursday Presentation
Date:               March 2, 2017
Time:               5:30 - 6:30 pm
Location:         Smoky Hill Museum, 211 W. Iron, Salina, KS 67401
Admission:      Free


Join Dr. Gerald J. Bayens for a presentation on his new book “Frontier Kansas Jails” on March 2, 2017, at the Smoky Hill Museum. Afterwards, he will sign copies of his book which is carried by the Museum Store.

Dr. Bayens will share how gunslingers, gamblers and outlaws vastly outnumbered sheriffs and marshals in the cattle towns of the Kansas frontier. Famous lawmen, such as Charlie Bassett, Wild Bill Hickok and Tom Smith, kept the peace by sheer force of personality and the integrity of the local lockup. The story of the state’s settlement can be tracked in the fascinating development of these bastions of prairie justice. Makeshift jails of earlier times were replaced by limestone, brick and concrete structures with iron cells and elaborate locking systems. From the squirrel cage of Wichita to the iron jail of Lawrence City, tour these early Kansas prisons with author Gerald Bayens.

Gerald J. Bayens, PhD, is the associate dean of the School of Applied Studies and professor of criminal justice at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. Dr. Bayens is the author of numerous research articles, government reports and books. He is the recipient of the 1993 Washburn Alumni Fellows Award and the 2014 A. Roy Meyers Excellence in Research Award.

The Smoky Hill Museum is a nationally accredited history museum, in the heart of downtown Salina, Kansas. This FREE museum is open Tuesday-Friday 12-6 and Saturday 10-5. Also, be sure to stop by the Museum Store for a wide variety of regional and Kansas products, local artwork and gifts for all ages.