Dating back to 1821, the building is made from adobe was a residence for about 20 years before it was converted into the jail in 1850 after San Elizario was made the first county seat. It remained in use while San Elizario was the county seat - except for two short spans (1854 and 1866).
The Commissioners Court approved the purchase of a prefabricated iron cell from Chicago, Illinois that had two areas that could hold up to 6 prisoners each. The cell is steel reinforced and was brought piece by piece. The building housed both the jail and courtroom. It was decommissioned after the town of San Elizario was no longer the county seat.