Filed Under Baker

Fallon County Jail

The completion of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Pacific Railroad line through this area in 1908 brought an influx of homesteaders, increasing the demand for county services. Simultaneously, the Progressive Movement in Montana sparked a county splitting craze. An acrimonious battle soon erupted between Ekalaka, Baker, and Wibaux for designation as county seat of the recently formed Fallon County. In 1915, the Montana Supreme Court upheld the election of Baker as county seat and the county commissioners took immediate steps to build a permanent courthouse and county jail. The commissioners worked to act quickly to provide tangible proof that Baker was the political center of the county. The county contracted with the architectural firm of Link and Haire, who specialized in public buildings, to design a jail and heating plant to cost less than $9,000. The Craftsman style Fallon County Jail expresses the firm’s adaptability to smaller buildings and limited budgets. Gable-front porches supported by Doric columns of exposed aggregate protect the entrance. The first floor served as the sheriff’s residence with a simple living space of plain woodwork and hardwood floors. The second floor housed the jail; one room had two cells for women and the other room had four cells for men. The cells were removed in 1974, but the second floor windows retain the original steel bars. Constructed in 1916, the jail well represents Montana’s homestead era, incorporating Craftsman ideals of honesty and simplicity expressed in concrete and stucco. The O’Fallon County Museum opened in 1980.  


Fallon County Jail
Fallon County Jail Fallon County Jail, facing southwest on South Main Street, front/side view. Source: Creator: Date: June 2004


723 South Main Street, Baker, Montana | Public


The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Fallon County Jail,” Historic Montana, accessed June 18, 2024,