Early Schools of Tippecanoe County Indiana
Washington 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, Shelby, Tippecanoe, Union, Wabash, Wayne & Wea.


School symbols are showing on the County and township maps. 1878 County map showing townships and some locations.  The 1878 map show districts 1-10, outside the Lafayette Corporation limits. These districts were administered by the Fairfield township trustee and advisory board until they were closed or incorporated into the city schools.  1878 Atlas of Tippecanoe county. Washington Township maps. (Historic Map Works)  Click a few times to blow the map up. 1894 Cory & Sons map.  Look for the matching section number.

       Schools in WashingtonTownship

         Originally published in the TIPCOA Newsletter Winter 2011  issue #1.

               Numbered Schools for Washington Township:

No.  1.  North Union Section 25  on the west side of the township). On Stair land in 1878, near a church and a cemetery, probably North Union cemetery. This location is not far from the Jewett’s Port
No.  2.  Buck Creek Section 33 named for the town; in 1878 the school was on Railroad Street in the east end of Buck Creek/Transitville one lot east of Valley Street (1878 Atlas). This school began in a one room building. By 1866 it was a four-room brick (“Buck Creek, Colburn”), and it still had four rooms in 1910 (DeHart). It was described as a two-story brick building (with basement) with eight rooms in 1921 (Horwood). See also Transitville/Buck Creek High School.
No.  3.  Shigley Section 27 east side of township; it was a brick building in an updated picture; closed in1908.
No.  4.  Felix, aka Waymire Section 36 Range 3), on east side of township; on Felix land in 1878, closed 1902. (called Waymire in 1873)
No.  5.  Chapmanville, aka, Colburn Section 13 named for the town and post office; in 1878, was located west of the ME church on CR 700N (1878 Atlas); 1 teacher in 1872; 2 in 1873 and 1890. Five grades taught there in 1892; high school classes 1898-1908 (Hooker); see Colburn High School. Colburn Academy was opened in 1900 by the Lutherans, closed in 1905 (“Buck Creek, Colburn”). In 1921 it was a one story brick building (with basement) with two classrooms (Horwood), probably serving as an elementary.
No.  6.  Americus Section 16 named for the town; in 1878 was at corner of Lafayette and Columbia Streets (1878 Atlas). One-room school replaced in 1889 by brick building; in 1913 new brick structure (“Road”; Hooker). One source (Woods and Martin) reports that high school courses were offered here in 1908, but this is not mentioned elsewhere. Still open in 1921 as a one-story brick building (with basement) with 2 (probably elementary) classrooms (Horwood).
No.  7.  Stranahan Section 11 on SR 25 east of Americus; nearby families in 1878 were Stranahan, Tea, Dyer, and Runkle;  closed in 1902.  (later became a church, now gone)
No.  8  Wikle Section 26 located south of Colburn on the railroad (1878 Atlas); closed in 1902.
No.  9.  Sugar Creek Section 21 on Hursh land along Sugar Creek in 1878 (1878 Atlas); closed in 1901.
No.  10.   Stair   Section 29 not on 1878 map, so probably opened after that; closed in 1901.  There were eleven teachers in the township in 1879, but only ten in 1916 (Hooker). Closing of Shigley school in 1908 made Washington the first township in the county to have consolidated all its district schools.
Washington township Schools by Peggy Jane Eckhart.

 Americus School No. 6.    Article on  this school. No source.

No.  3.  Shigley, from “County Schools of Yesteryear.”

The first school in Washington Township was a subscription school taught by George Snodgrass in 1831. By 1878 there were nine district schools and the school year lasted eight months (1878 Atlas, p. 23).

COLBURN HIGH SCHOOL  \Beginning date not established. In 1898, one year of high school courses was offered; by 1899 three years were taught. In 1908, all secondary classes were moved to Buck Creek, and Colburn was an elementary school (Hooker; Woods and Martin 114).

COLBURN ACADEMY 1900-1905; begun by Lutheran church; teacher Prof. G. M. Moser. Then school moved to Mulberry as Widener Institute. In 1909 enrollment was 54 (“Buck Creek, Colburn”).

TRANSITVILLE/BUCK CREEK HIGH SCHOOL. High School classes began in 1895 in the four room brick building that also housed the elementary school. The first high school commencement was in 1895 (“Buck Creek, Colburn”). In 1908 all high school classes in the township were moved to Buck Creek. A seven-room structure was erected in 1910. The school offered a four-year course of study in 1907, was certified in 1910, and commissioned in 1914 (Hooker, pp. 129-30). In 1921, it was described as a brick building with eight rooms (Horwood). An addition was built in 1926 providing room for music classes and a gym (Woods and Martin 114). Buck Creek consolidated with Monitor in 1958 to form East Tipp High School. East Tipp consolidated in 1970 with Battleground and Klondike to form Harrison High School. A list of Buck Creek graduates from 1888 to 1925 is available on the

1878 Atlas page 55, Can you see the school symbols above Transitville? Now Buck Creek, Indiana.

No 2, Thought to be Early Buck Creek. Courtesy of Peggy Eckhart

  Buck Creek School (Courtesy of Rose Mary Patrick , TIPCOA member)

1910-1911 Buck Creek Girls basketball team. (Courtesy of Rose Mary Patrick , TIPCOA member)

Sources Used:
1878 Atlas. Kingman Bros. 1878.

“Buck Creek, Colburn Schools Have Served Washington Township Needs for Many Years.” Lafayette,
Ind. Journal and Courier? TCHA Vertical File.

Cheesman, David R. Past and Present Towns, Villages and Cemeteries of Tippecanoe County, Indiana.
Privately printed, about 1980.

“County Schools of Yesteryear.” Lafayette, Ind. Journal and Courier. 14 Sept. 1957. Clipping. TCPL vertical file.

DeHart, Richard. Past and Present. 2 vols. Indianapolis: Bowen, 1909. Author of chapter on schools is Brainard Hooker.

“Horwood, Murray P. Public Health Survey of Lafayette, Indiana and Tippecanoe County, Indiana.
Lafayette, IN: Tippecanoe Co. TB Assoc., 1921. Accessed on Google Books, 3 Aug. 2010.

Peg Eckhart, persona publishing of Washington township school

Photographs of schools , Rose Mary Patrick & Peggy Eckhart

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