Man bids $6,100 for old, dirty jail cell - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Man bids $6,100 for old, dirty jail cell

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SHELLSBURG (KWWL) - A town's old jail cell was auctioned this week and brought a highest bid of more than $6,000.

Mike Cooper of Solon bid $6,100 Tuesday for a jail cell that's been in Shellsburg for more than 100 years.

It's not a pretty antique; it's filled with decades of dirt, dust and drab. The Shellsburg City Council said it didn't have any use for it, so it went for auction.

Out of 18 sealed bids received, the highest came from Cooper.

The jail cell used to be in the old municipal building, and when it was torn down in 1999, the city council at the time decided to save the cell.

Now, however, the city doesn't have room for the jail cell. It's currently sitting in the corner of the Shellsburg Maintenance Shop.

"If we sold it for scrap, it would be between 80 and 100 dollars," Council Member Judy Shaeffer said.

But the question remains... what does one do with a 100-year-old jail cell?

"I can't imagine... it's a funny thing," Shellsburg resident Lonnie Speckner said.

Cooper didn't specify any plans he has for the cell when he dropped off his bid Tuesday. KWWL tried contacting Cooper, but was unable to reach him.

Cooper has until Tuesday, March 3 to collect, and pay for, the jail cell, which is a two-week time frame from when the bid was placed. The city council says if he doesn't show, the cell will go to the next highest bidder.

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