Early Schools of Tippecanoe County Indiana
Shelby township


Tippecanoe County Area area Genealogy Society members, aka: TIPCOA, published this list of early school houses in Tippecanoe County.  This database is an effort to help others find, share and preserve this early history.  Information came from history books and from past newsletter issues as well as other resources sourced below to publish our newsletters. Many photographs were contributed by our members. We would love your help. You can send us a scanned photograph and the picture information, or a webpage that I can link?  Help us all continue to share this history. Thanks to our members and Susan Clawson, our Newsletter Editor.

E-mail: TIPCOA SCHOOL INFO.  Scanned digital copies, please add your source and your name as contributor.
Or mail to - P. O. Box 2464, West Lafayette, Indiana 47996

Fairfield, Jackson, Lauramie, Perry, Randolph, Sheffield, Tippecanoe, Union, Wabash, Washington, Wayne & Wea.


School symbols are showing on the County and township maps.    1878 Atlas of Tippecanoe county. Shelby Township maps.  (Historic Map Works)  The text "School" appears on the 1866 C.O. Titus map of Tippecanoe County, Indian. (Library of Congress)  Also be aware, school buildings may have been moved.


        Schools in Shelby Townships
           Originally published in the TIPCOA Newsletter Winter 2010 issue #4.

             Numbered Schools for Shelby Township:

No.  1.  Fairview, aka, Powers, aka, Buck Section 10 Located on CR 900 W; on Buck land in 1878; closed in 1905.
No.  2.  Silver, aka, Half Way, aka, Hen Peck Section 26 1 mile East of Otterbein, at corner of 850W and 500N; In 1851 a log school house was built. The second public school in township was located here. The school stood on J. Silvers’s land in 1866 and 1878. A new building was erected1873. The site was said to be called Half Way because it was half way between Lafayette and Oxford. The village boasted a school, church, hotel, blacksmith shop, a store, and a few residences. Half Way Corner was commemorated with a marker in 1932 (Switzer; Howell, Montmorenci).
No.  3.  Westfall Section 30 Located at the corner of CR 600N and US 231, third public school, opened in 1862; on Shigley land in 1866 and on Westfall land in 1878. Closed 1904
No.  4.  Montmorenci Section 6 It was named for the town. Schooling began in Montmorenci in 1857,and a building was finally erected in 1865 after the Civil War ended. It was a one-room frame at the W corner of the cemetery (650W and 350N).  In 1881 it was converted to a two-room L-shaped building by adding another one-room frame building. In 1890 a two-room, two-story brick building was erected in front and to the right of the location of the 1913 high school building (Brown; “One-Room Schools”; Howell, Montmorenci). By 1923, Montmorenci housed grades 1-12 and all the district schools were closed.
No.  5.  Plank Road, aka, McKinney Section 10 In 1866, there is a school in nearby section 2. In 1878 there is McKinney land in section 10, but School No. 5 is in section 3, on what today is 350N. Closed in 1900
No.  6.  Buckeye Section 14 On SR 26. On 1866 and 1878 maps. Closed in 1907.
No.  7.  Asbury Section 34 In the SW corner of the township. The site changed from the residence of Charles Bender to the Green Hill Road (Hooker). 1865-70: near Asbury cemetery and Methodist Church. 1870-1911: on Henry Birt farm near Charles Bender home on Kerber Rd. In 1878 it is shown on G. Ade land. Today the road has been moved and the site is at Ross Camp. Could this be the “German School” that held a carry-in dinner to close the school year in 1890? Surnames Bender, Vester, Heisser, etc. Conducted in English (“German”). In 1911 a modern house was erected at top of Indian Hill(Division Road).
No.  8.  Comesky, aka, Van Natta Section 27 Located on CR 600N to the E of 950W; on Van Natta land in 1878. Closed in 1907
No.  9.  Colfax, aka Dumas Section 20 In the SE part of the township; 75N and 575W; on Dumas land in 1878; brick building with steeple (“One- Room School”). Closed 1920 (Howell, Montmorenci).
No.  10.  Levering, Mount Tom, Cat Scratch Section 6 Located 6, ½ mile S of White County line, at corner 900N and US 231; in section 7 in 1878, probably moved north into section 6 later; a one-room frame building in 1921 in very poor condition; closed 1923 (Horwood; Howell, Montmorenci)
No.  11  Williamson Section 18 In the corner of US 231 and 750N, on Westfall land in 1878 but Williamson land lies across the road; closed in 1913.
No.  12  Best “Bluff” Section 8 South of the township; opened after 1878. Vester’s corner W of Ross Camp (Howell, Montmorenci). Not marked on 1878 map but Best and is near 600W and 250N. Closed in 1911.
No.  13  King Section 3 In the S half of the township, opened after 1878; closed in 1903.
No.  14  Nagel aka Bellfountain, aka, Downey Section 23 In the N part of township, 1st crossroad N of Half Way; opened after 1878; closed in 1905.
No.  15  Willow Grove, aka, Switzer Section 6 In the N part of township, opened after 1878; not marked on 1878 map, although Switzers lived in the section; shows on 1905 Orton map; closed in 1919.
No.  16  Bryan's Corner, aka, Foster Section 12 SR 26W at 950W, opened after 1878; closed in 1918 (Howell, Montmorenci).  Surnames of students in Shelby township schools in 1848: Foster, Moore, Simpson, Shambaugh, Chenoworth, Moore, Woodfield, Bonebrake, Stake, Holliday, Hampton, Vannatta, Sappington, Eastburn, Rittenour, Biggs, Haigh, Parish, Ngle, Buts, Buck, Knowles, German, Bever, Jones, Corgan, Harvy, Timmons, Hargar, Godfrey (TCHA). 14 teachers were employed in the township  in 1879, down to 13 in 1916 (Hooker).


As early as 1831, a subscription school was taught in Shelby Township by Mr. Payton in a cabin on the farm of Roland Ward, NE of Montmorenci on CR 600W. The first public school in the township was located in the river town of LaGrange. There was talk of opening an Academy but one never materialized. Districts got off to a late start, but by 1878 there were 12, and there were 16 by 1894-95 (Howell, Montmorenci). Shelby Township held the all time record for the number of schools in operation at one time (“One-Room School”).
Mount Tom school
No. 10. Mt. Tom School, at the end of its use.
Source: Horwood

Williamson's Corner School No. 11   Both photos courtesy of Donna Sutton Laughlin

Named recorded above:  First Row:: 1. Hugh Sniffin, 2. Earl Williamson, 3. Glen McCarty, 4. Dora Beutler, 5. Vera Sutton, 6. Nellie Martin, 7. Hazel Sutton.  Second Row: 8. Custer Williamson , 9. Harry German, 10. LaRue Sutton, 11. Iva Martin, 12. Emma Beutler, 13. Mamie Howell, 14. Mabel Williamson, 15. Ernes Martin, 16. Essie Kurtz (Behind #11), Third Row: 17. John Sutton, 18. Frank Sutton, 19. Job Williamson, 20. Irene Sutton, 21. Ancil German 22., Mr. J.M. Golden, Teacher (Names were handwritten on the back.),

**1903- 1904 School side picture
**1904 - 05 Williamson Class

MONTMORENCI HIGH SCHOOL  1893  first year in operation, two-year program. 1895: year; 1905: 4 year. 1907 first brick building enlarged, 1913 new brick building at cost of $40,000. Consolidated with others in 1966 to form Benton Central High School (building closed in 1968) (Howell, “Schools”; Howell, Montmorenci).

Montmorenci 1907_Kim Howell
1907 scanned original of Montmorenci school, . (Photo courtesy of Kim Howell)

Donations of schools by  Donna Sutton Laughlin
**1908 Graduating Class
**1907  Montmorence Class Purdue Field Trip   Group 1
**1909 Program  one and two

1848 School Enumeration of Children Over Age 5 - Shelby Township

1878 Atlas, Kingman Brothers, 1878.

Hooker, Brainard. The First Century of Public Schools of Tippecanoe County Indiana, (Lafayette IN: Haywood, 1917).

Horwood, Murray P. Public Health Survey of Lafayette, Indiana and Tippecanoe County,

Benton Central Jr.-Sr. High School. Wikimapia. Accessed July 2010.

Howell, James. Montmorenci and Shelby Township, 1829–1979. 1980.

“Schools and Education [Shelby Township].” TCHA Bicentennial Project,
  1976. TCHA vertical file.

Lafayette (Ind.) Courier, 1861. Microfilm. TCPL.

“One-Room Schools.” Lafayette [IN] Journal and Courier, 14 September 1957. TCPL Vertical file

Biographical Record and Portrait Album 1888

Brown, Martha. “Early Days of Shelby Twp.” 11 Dec. 1928. TCHA vertical file.

Cheesman, David R. Past and Present Towns, Villages and Cemeteries of Tippecanoe County, Indiana.

Laughlin, Donna Sutton, contributed Williamson School photo scans on TIOCOA Facebook page, June  8,2021.

Originally published in the TIPCOA Newsletter Winter 2010 issue #4.


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