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


School symbols are showing on the County and township maps.    1878 Atlas of Tippecanoe county. Sheffield Township maps. The 1878 map shows 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.   (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 Sheffield Townships

         Originally published in the TIPCOA Newsletter Winter 2010 issue #1 & 2.

               Numbered Schools for Sheffield Township:

No.  1.  Graft Section 11 Graft School, in District 1, was located east of Dayton, along CR 350 before you get to what today is Prelock's Blueberry farm.  Moses Graft, and so was named Graft School.
No.  2.  Dayton Section 4 The school at Dayton, District 2. has always been on the north edge of the settlement (in Sec.4). The inscription on the cornerstone of the 1916 building states that a school has been located on this land since 1827.
No.  3.  Royal/Bartmess,  aka, Pasteboard  7 West of Dayton is Royal/Bartmess, a log school located on land along State Road 38 owned by William Royal and O. C. Bartmess (just past the entrance to SIA, on the south side of the road in 2010.  2 locations recorded, see below.
No.  4.  Bausman-Vore Section 18 appears at the same location in section 18 in the 1866, the 1878, and the 1888
maps: on Newcastle Road, a little south of the intersection with CR 375 S.
No.  5.  Wyandotte Section 21 the first school house at Wyandotte was a frame building constructed west of  Wyandotte on the south side of the road about 150 feet west of the brow of the hill and the intersection withDayton Road.
No.  6.   Ireland, aka, Forest Park, aka, Goodman Section 23 No. 6 was located in section 23 on land owned by William Goodman along CR 950 E north of the present day intersection with CR 600 S.
No.  7.  Coulter Section 13 The first school in this area of section 13 was located on Wyandotte Road near the line on land owned by George Clapper. It was a log school and was called Clapper’s School (Hooker).
No.  8   Newcomer, aka,  Funk Section 35 Newcomer was the name of a neighborhood in section 35 in the southeastern corner of the township. A deed for this school has been found dated June 19, 1860 from John Wilson to the trustees of District 8.
No.  9.  Salem, aka,  Peters Section 33 On June 16, 1832, Robert Elliott deeded land to school trustees (Bk C, p. 450), and on September 2,1861, John Peters deeded land to Sheffield School Township (Bk 41, p. 273). Both of these deeds appear to be for this school.
No. 10.  Elliott, aka, Culver’s Section 15 School No. 10 and was a log school. That would seem to put it on what today is US 52, on land once owned by Michael Culver.

Susan (Yost) Clawson; TIPCOA member

Any writer worth his salt who writes about education in Indiana in “the early days” will point out that Indiana had the highest illiteracy rate of any state outside of the South, and will bemoan the one-room, country schools as the chief cause of the poor record. He will report that the people of Indiana were reluctant to let go of local control of their schools, and that they resisted efforts to tax themselves to support the schools. He may even point out that public schools were often considered to be for the purpose of educating those children whose parents could not afford to send them to private schools, and that those who could afford to send their children to such schools could not see why they should be taxed to pay for the education of paupers. All this is true. But what it does not reveal is the pride of the local people in their schools, for they truly were their schools. They selected the school trustees, they voted on the method to be used to support their schools, they often voted on the selection of the teacher. They may even have gathered to build the house themselves, and helped to support the teacher by boarding him or her for some period of the term. Maybe the school wasn’t much, but it was theirs, and they felt quite a sense of accomplishment each time they saw it. This proud self-sufficiency was characteristic of the times. It made for a cohesive community, and the schools reinforced that by the influence they had on both the children and their parents.

There is no reason to believe that the schools in Sheffield township were any different from those recorded as “typical” in most texts on the subject of education. The earliest schools were private subscription schools, taught in the cabins of the settlers and sometimes doubling as Sunday Schools on the Sabbath. These gave way to log cabins built for school purposes, which were often still subscription schools. Following that came the earliest public schools. An act of 1824 provided for setting up district schools, but the year they began in Sheffield township is not known. Section 16 of each civil township was set aside for the support of the schools. It could be sold and the money invested or used for the schools as the local trustees saw fit, or it could be farmed and the proceeds used for the schools. In Sheffield township (civil township 22), Section 16 was in the Richardville Reserve, and so was not available. Section 28 was assigned as the school land instead. It was divided up and sold (survey 13 Jan. 1832, Book C, p. 279). An act of the state legislature allowing taxes to be levied for public schools was tried in the 1850s, but was declared unconstitutional in 1855 and 1857. In 1867 a similar bill was reintroduced, passed, and allowed to stand. Sheffield township was divided into ten districts for school purposes. The district schools usually had all grades in one room taught by a single teacher. In 1845 and 1849 there were 8 districts; in 1850 there were the full ten. These ten districts are marked on the 1866 county map. If the township is typical, the system began sometime in the 1850s. Lists of school trustees have been found for one district in Perry township for the 1840s. In Sheffield township a deed to Dayton School District dated about 1831 and another to three trustees dated 1839 suggests that some schools were organized quite early. The earliest district schools were still log cabins (1831 petition at Dayton; 1845, 1849, and 1850 township clerk report)

During the 1850s and 1860s, rectangular frame houses were built with either vertical siding or horizontal clapboards. The house of the 1850s was called the box house. Later in the 1870s, these gave way to brick buildings. During the early 1900s consolidation began and graded schools were introduced. Brainard Hooker, County superintendent and Dayton resident, published a history of the County schools in 1917 called The First Century of the Public Schools of Tippecanoe County. He included two illustrations for each township that demonstrated the consolidation and closing of the district schools for that township. One map showed the schools operating in 1894 and their approximate locations., while another showed those remaining open in 1916. The book also noted the date each closed school had been closed. The first district school was closed in 1902. During the 1850s a private Academy was opened in Dayton, known variously as the Dayton Union Seminary, the M.E. Academy, and in 1867, the Dayton Academy. It offered a secondary education at first, and later included a primary department. It closed in 1873, following the construction in 1872 of the new public township school. This building, called the Tower School, served all grades until a new building was erected in 1916. The 1916 building housed grades 1-8 plus some high school courses. Most of the district schools in the township were closed by 1916. Later high school courses were added until the school offered all twelve grades. The following is an account of each district school in Sheffield township, giving what information is known about each school district and the school or schools built for the pupils of that district.

No. 1  Graft

A brick school house from the 1886-90 period still stands. The first school in this area seems to have been one held in the cabin of William Baker and attended by Robert Baker as a boy. This cabin would have been somewhat south and west of the location of Graft’s school. A deed recorded on March 21, 1839, from Moses Graft to Robert Bull, George H. Steen, and William Parker, trustees, suggests that this school may have been started as early as 1839. There is also a deed for this school from Feb. 5,1862 to Sheffield School township (Book 41, p. 517). Record books for this school are available at TCHA for1864-72 and 1872-78.  A Sunday School was held in the building for a while. The school appears on Hooker’s 1894 map and was closed in 1911 (Hooker). The 1886-90 building is still standing in 2010, although it was in better shape in 1989 when I photographed it. The roof has gingerbread along the eaves. The windows have shutters on them and decorative woodwork inside. The walls are plaster above wooden wainscoting halfway up the wall. A narrow partition divided the front few feet from the rest of the room to make a vestibule or cloak room. A stove stood along one wall.

Graft School 1989Graft 1866  
Graft School 1989 (Photo courtesy of  Susan Clawson)  Map to the right
1866 map. Section 11

Graff School Photograph courtesy of Susan Clawson

Graft School and children with a Teacher, linked here.  Photo shared by Kathy Cox, Facebook post.

School No. 2, Dayton
The school at Dayton, District 2. has always been on the north edge of the settlement (in Sec.
4). The inscription on the cornerstone of the 1916 building states that a school has been located on this land since 1827. Tradition has it that in 1830, when the three plats of Fairfield, Marquis de, and Dayton were combined into one town, David Gregory offered to set aside land for school purposes if the town would be called Dayton, and it was agreed. A deed dated July 5, 1831 from David Gregory to Dayton School District supports this story. However, this deed was for lot 19 of Gregory’s first addition to the town of Fairfield or Dayton. The area where the school is now is a block north of lot 19 and in 1831 it was still Gregory’s farm land; it was never platted. In 1871, David Gregory, by then an old man, sold a piece of land to Sheffield township and platted 4 lots north of his earlier addition with “College Street” on the north. The new public high school was being built at this time to the north of these lots. This seems to be the first school on this exact spot. However, since lot 19 was on the edge of town and due south of the present site until the first school was built there in 1871, the tradition is true in essence if not in fact.

  In 1834 William P. McMillin filed a petition to teach a subscription school in Dayton. In1847-48 Overton Johnson taught at Dayton (Journal and Courier 14 Jan 2001). In the 1850 census, Thomas M. Mahan, school teacher, was living north of town on Haggerty Lane with the Margaret Haggerty family.

  In the 1850 Plat Book, Margaret Haggerty’s land is on the Sheffield township side of the road, and she is listed in the census in Sheffield township. The nearest school in Sheffield township would have been in Dayton. Frances Favorite described the school she attended (in the 1850s) as a one-room log building that sat back in the middle of the lot. There was no walk leading to the front door, and in wet weather all had to walk through the mud to enter. This school was probably set far back on lot 19.

  In the 1860 census there are two school teachers listed in Dayton. John W. Perry lived with the Robert Baker family and listed his occupation as professor, though he may have taught at the high school. F. K. Paige lived in Dayton with his family and gave his occupation as schoolteacher. Moses Lentz reported that when he came to Dayton in 1864 there were two district schools located there (Hooker). Hooker also reported that one of the schools was so large that it once had two teachers in the same room: C. E. Sims and James Sims. On the 1866 map of Dayton, two schools are shown, one in lot 19 on the north side of Main Street and one in lot 24 on the southeast corner of Pennsylvania and Main Streets. In September 1862 John and Jane Royal deeded lots 23 and 24 of Horram’s to the Sheffield township school trustees. This supports the claim that there was a school on lot 24, and suggests that it began in about 1862. Both lots 24 and 19 were sold in 1872, the year the Tower School opened. Florence Biery in 1966 (in a local Dayton Paper) noted that there was once a school where the barn stood on lot 24. The barn was burned in 1989.

Dayton Academy
About the middle of the nineteenth century, a private secondary school offered the citizens of Dayton and the surrounding area what must have been considered a progressive education. Probably judged superior to the district schools, the school must have held out the hope for prosperity to the people of the township, especially those who could not afford, or preferred not, to send their children to Lafayette or back east for schooling.

Founding as Dayton Union Seminary
The trustees of the school were members of more than one of the four local churches, perhaps suggesting the name they chose for the institution: Dayton Union Seminary. Although it is remembered as a secondary school, the Seminary also operated a primary department. The school attracted students from both the town and the countryside, with those from out of town boarding in the homes of townspeople. Some accounts suggest the school began in the early 1850s, but the first record so far located is the deeding of four lots to the trustees of the school in two deeds in 1858 and 1859. On December 7, 1858, lots 5 and 6 of Horram’s addition to Dayton were deeded by D. H. and Rachel B. Crouse and Samuel R. and Anna K. Seawright to William J. Snoddy, John M. Bayless, Robert Baker, Samuel Davis, and John Royal, trustees of Dayton Union Seminary Association, for the sum of $150. These two lots were on the corner of Walnut Street (State Road 38) and Washington Street. The following January 24, 1859, the adjoining lots 27 and 28, facing Main Street, were deeded by Platt and Elizabeth Gentry Bayless to the same grantees for $100. No articles of association have been found, but building seems to have gotten under way at once, although payment was apparently slow in coming. On March 27, 1860, Alfred Cosner, whose occupation is given as carpenter on the 1860 census, filed suit against the trustees for payment on a note for $79.00, and several payments were made between April 18, 1860 and August 14, 1861 to satisfy the debt. The first newspaper account of the school appears in the Lafayette Courier on March 16, 1859: “A number
of leading citizens in the eastern part of the County, have recently established an institution of learning at Dayton, which, we are gratified to learn, is already upon a permanent basis, and gives promise of muchusefulness in the future. After listing the particulars, the item concludes: “We can but commend the public enterprise of the gentlemen under whose auspices this institution has been established, and we earnestly hope that it may prove a complete success. An ad or handbill of the same date announces the second term of thirteen weeks, to open on Wednesday, April 20, 1859. The faculty is listed as Prof. W. S. Coulter, principal; Miss Salome Barr, assistant; and Rev. Geo. Weber, professor of German language. D.H. Crouse signed the ad as secretary. A primary department is listed along with standard high school subjects. Fees ranged from $3.25 to $6.00. Boarding was listed as available at $2 per week.

Dayton Union Seminary handbill. 1866,  (Courtesy Dotty Rowe Kinnun)
Terms of Tuition
Primary Department, $3,25.
Arithmetic, English Grammar, Geography, &c, 5,00.
Higher Mathematics, Natural Science, Greek and Latin Language, 6,00.
German (extra), 3,00.
Incidental Fee (in advance), 25¢
Tuition Fee—One-half in advance; the remaining half at the middle of the term

The following description of the building, based on a photograph and personal interviews, is found in a book by George P. Salen, Methodist Schools in North West Indiana Conference from1852 to 1892: “It was a two-story square frame building with a porch in the front and back. In addition, a picket fence enclosed the grounds. Persons living in the area who remember going into the building before it was torn down recall that the interior consisted of two floors with a wide stairway in the middle of the building. Off this stairway on either side was a large room”. The building sat back from the street, at the meeting of the four lots, probably facing Washington Street. The only surviving pictures were taken after the school was closed and occupied by the Lentz Carriage Factory. The earliest appear to date from the 1870s, soon after Lentz took over. The building is painted white with darker-colored trim. On all sides appear, at regular intervals, both up and down, tall windows of twelve panes each, five on the sides and four across the front. The appearance of the original front entrance cannot be determined, for it has been replaced by two large doors, presumably to allow carriages to be rolled in and out. The long picket fence and the front and back porches referred to in the description as well as a cupola, which probably contained a bell, can also be seen in the picture. The school seems to have also been referred to as Dayton High School as early as the 1860s. A map from 1866 shows the location of the school and labels it in this way. Biographies of several teachers and graduates from the 1860s also refer to the school by that name.

Transition to Dayton Academy
The school was probably in poor shape at the end of the Civil War, which lasted from 1861 to 1865. Schools and Sunday schools suffered during the conflict because both scholars and teachers went off to war, some never to return. In 1867 the school was transferred to the Methodist Episcopal Conference. Articles of Association were drawn up for the new organization—to be called Dayton Academy—dated March 19, 1867, and signed by Luther Taylor, Thomas Royal, John Royal, G. Kellenberger, A.J. Bull, and William Fairman, and witnessed by Amos Henderson. The property of the Seminary was deeded by its trustees (John M. Bayless, Samuel Davis, William Royal, George J. Kellenberger, and Oliver Bartmess), acting with the authority of its stockholders, to the trustees for the new Academy on April 23, 1867, in consideration of the sum of $100. Since the original property had cost $250 plus the cost of erecting the building and making improvements, this was essentially a donation. The Articles of Association declared the endowment, consisting of the property and some other donations, to amount to $2500. The purpose of the new school was declared to be “to establish a high school for the educational religious training of the youth and adult[s] of said town and surrounding county.” The school was to be under the care of the local Methodist church, the quarterly conference, and the annual conference of the North Western Indiana Conference of the M. E. Church. The principal remembered in connection with the Academy is Thomas C. Radcliff (or Ratcliffe), who was also the first principal at the public high school that replaced it. His wife, Lucy, also taught at the Academy. The Radcliffs purchased a house next to the Presbyterian Church and in 1870 their first child was born, a daughter named Margaret. Good reports on the school appeared in the conference minutes for 1868, 1869, and 1870. In 1869, when the trustees of the proposed new university, to be called Purdue University, examined sites in the county as possible locations for the new school, they made a trip to Dayton (Kriebel, Old Lafayette 2: 89–90). Perhaps they were inspecting the Academy property.

It was donated by Maude Lentz. Lentzes owned the building after the academy
Scan courtesy of Tippecanoe County Historical Association.

Closing of the School
After 1870 no further mention is found of the Academy in the conference minutes, and it is thought the Methodists relinquished the Academy in that year. The conference was gradually closing its secondary schools as new public high schools were built. The opening of the fall term was announced as usual, however, in the Lafayette Courier in August of that year, listing the principal as Rev. William Fraley, the minister of the Dayton M. E. Church. The school seems to have continued as a private academy for two more years. In 1872 with a new township high school under construction, it was closed, and the lots where the two district schools stood were sold. In 1872 Sheffield township was composed of ten school districts with eleven district schools and a total enrollment of 439. Nearly a fourth of the total—or 139 pupils—were in Dayton. Teachers at Dayton were Prof. J. P. Rous, Miss L. A. Carnahan, and E. A. Sims (Courier, Feb. 10, 1872). A year later the total enrollment in the township had grown to 518 (Journal, June 5, 1873). The new school (later known as the Tower School) was expected to open its doors in the spring of 1872. Most accounts record that it opened in 1873, so perhaps there was a delay. It is not yet clear how the transition was made from the Academy to the public township high school. Surely those responsible for the education of the township’s young people would not have allowed a year to pass without a working school in the district. It seems likely that either the Academy continued as a private school or the township conducted classes there until the new building could be occupied.

The Tower School
In 1872 the new public high school, called the Tower School because of the tower in the front of the building, was built at Dayton where Dayton Elementary school stands in 2010. One report asserts that the brick building cost nearly $15,000 (Journal and Courier). It opened in the fall of 1873 with Professor and Mrs. Radcliffe as principal and teachers. The same year the Dayton Academy closed, and the property was sold in 1874 to Moses Lentz for $25,000. The two district schools were also closed and the lots sold, because all grades would be housed in the new school. The 1866 map shows the location of the Academy, labeled “High School” and the two district schools. The 1878 map shows the “Graded School” at the present location.
   Brainard Hooker reports that there was one teacher at Dayton in 1871, and 3 teachers in 1873 and 1874 and also 3 in 1882 and 1885-90. Principals of the Tower School following Professor Radcliffe were Leroy E. Landis, John Cassady, Joshua Hayes, Jasper Manlove, Thomas M. Powell, Israel Hatton, George E. Long, Brainard Hooker, B. F. Catherwood, and B. C. Sharpe. Teachers included Kittie Rizer, Nora McBride, Mary Hollingsworth, Alma C. Phillips, Nelle Taylor, Dora Hill, and Ada Motter (later Ada DeVoss), who taught for fifteen years. Hooker’s book includes a map showing the schools operating in 1894. This map shows the district school at Dayton as abandoned and the grade and high school combined; this is the Tower school. In 1908 the building was remodeled at the cost of $8,000 (Hooker). High school courses were introduced gradually in the 1890s, and high school graduation was achieved by passing an examination administered by the county superintendent. according to the account in the Sesqui 77 book, the Tower School offered grades 1-10 from 1893 to 1898. In 1899 the third year was added. Hooker reports that Dayton had third year  students in 1898 that a four-year course was offered in1907, that the high school at Dayton was certified in 1908 and commissioned in 1909.

Tower School
Tower School. Opened 1872-73.
Photo courtesy of Tippecanoe County Historical Association.

Sheffield Township High School—the 1916 Building
School consolidation resulted in the construction of the brick township school in 1916. Principals were B. C.Sharpe, George W. Rowe, R. M. Marshall, Robert G. Campbell, Carl Wright, C. R. Landis, Robert Mertz, and David Thayer. By 1916 most of the district schools had closed, and the last ones (Salem and Newcomer)closed soon after. All students in the township were transported to the school at Dayton. The building housed both primary and secondary grades until 1965, when the last class graduated from Dayton High School. Today grades K through 5 are located in a new building constructed in 1982 on the same site. As a result of continuing consolidation, older students now attend Wainwright Middle School, coincidentally located near the former site of Salem district school, and McCutcheon High School, located south of Lafayette.
Dayton High School
(The 1916 building of Dayton High School, about 1936.
Photo courtesy of Julia A. Widmer Yost.)

County Officials from Sheffield Township
Several officials have been associated with Dayton over the years. In 1859 a resident of Dayton, Andrew J. Carter, served as examiner for the, meaning he was to examine prospective teachers in the and issue licenses. Another examiner with local connections was E. H. Staley, who served from March to September 1862. Staley was the husband of Salome Barr, whose family lived north of town in Perry Township, and is buried in Dayton Cemetery. William H. Caulkins (“Old Cock”), who was superintendent in 1875, spent part of his childhood in Dayton. His mother was twice widowed. Her first husband was John Heaton, one of the first merchants in Dayton. Caulkins’s term ended in 1890. Dayton resident Brainard Hooker was principal at Dayton before serving for many years as County Superintendent (from approximately 1907 to sometime after 1917).

School No. 3, Two Locations: Royal/Bartmess and Pasteboard
The first school mentioned as being located in section 7 west of Dayton is Royal/Bartmess, a log school located on land along State Road 38 owned by William Royal and O. C. Bartmess (just past the entrance to SIA, on the south side of the road in 2010). A deed from Royal and Bartmess dated March 27, 1860 (Bk 40, p. 46) transferred a half acre to Sheffield Township. Royal School was closed in 1866, according to Hooker, but a school is marked at the same location in section 7 on both the 1866 (no numbers are given) and the 1878 maps, and it is numbered 3 on the latter map. A record book exists for Royal school from 1877 and for the District 3 school for 1875-77 (TCHA).

  Hooker’s 1894 map shows 11 school locations, although his book lists only 10 districts for Sheffield Township. He shows schools both in section 7 and in the northeast corner of the township in section 1. On the 1888 map, there is no school on SR 38 west of Dayton, but there is one on Haggerty Lane, in the northeast corner of the township. A number 3 in a square identifies it as district school No. 3. It is also marked on the Orton 1905 map and again labeled No. 3. Neither location is marked on the 1900 map (date uncertain) or on Hooker’s 1916 map showing the schools in operation at that time. Hatton reports the text of an 1896 commencement program for Sheffield Township in his 1945 Mulberry Reporter newspaper column. The graduates that he lists for School No. 3, Pasteboard (Minnie Bolyard, May Brand, Maud Brown) are from families who lived in that part of the township. School No. 3 is designated Paste Board in Hooker. He says it was closed in 1910. I suspect that sometime after 1878, the school west of town was closed and a school was built northeast of town, and that the number was reassigned from the Royal-Bartmess location to the Pasteboard location. The northeast corner of the township, in section 1, had long felt itself to be a neighborhood. It sometimes was called County Line, sometimes Paste Board. In 1866 there was a store and post office, operated by John Gladden. Oxford church is located just over the line into Perry Township, and for a while, the Presbyterians held weekly prayer services in the County Line area (Yost). It would make sense for there to be a school as well, and Randy Ritchie (personal correspondence, May 2003) reports relatives told him there was one there. The corner of Haggerty and CR 1050 was called Pasteboard corner, and Pasteboard Items appeared in the Mulberry Reporter (Ritchie). Ritchie reports that his Mother, Mary Edwards Ritchie, remembered seeing an old school building there as a child. Many descendants of Samuel Brand attended Pasteboard school, including Alberta, Maude, and Lola Brand, in the 1910s (Ritchie).

School No. 4, Bausman-Vore
Bausman-Vore school (No. 4) appears at the same location in section 18 in the 1866, the 1878, and the 1888 maps: on Newcastle Road, a little south of the intersection with CR 375 S. A picture exists of the school in1894, showing it to be of the box type, with horizontal siding and shutters. Pupils in the school included Kathryn Frantz Widmer and Louise Frantz. The children are holding signs that say No. 4, Bausman-Vore, 20 pupils, and Bausman school is written on the front. There 20 students appear to range in age from grades 1 to 8, and could include a few who may be studying high school subjects in preparation for the exam. Vore-Bausman school appears on Hooker’s 1894 map. It is not on the 1900 map (date uncertain). Hooker says it closed in 1904.
Bausma - Vore
District School No. 4, Bausman-Vore. March 20, 1894,
20 pupils, 1 teacher. Courtesy of Julia A. Yost.

School No. 5, Wyandotte
Education began early in the Wyandotte area, location of the first settlement in the township. The first school in the township is said to have been taught in 1825 by Mrs. Richard Baker in her home at Wyandotte in section 21. Another early school was taught by Mary Bell in an upper room of the Joshua and Rebecca (Bell) Roseberry cabin, also near Wyandotte (DeHart, p. 715, bio of William J. Roseberry). Hatton reports that the first school house at Wyandotte was a frame building constructed west of Wyandotte on the south side of the road about 150 feet west of the brow of the hill and the intersection with Dayton Road. The 1866 map locates it there. The 1878 map shows it on the south side of the road, but east of the intersection. A deed dated Nov. 14, 1851 from Henry Bausman “to School District 3” confirms the south side location (Bk 30, pp. 355-56). Henry Bausman owned land in section 21 at the location Hatton described; perhaps the numbers of the district changed over time. The district is referred to as district 6 in record books from 1864-73 and 1874-78 in the TCHA archives. The school was rebuilt as a brick building on the west side of Dayton Road by Burton Steel, township trustee, in 1887 (Hatton). Several residents of the area remember the brick building as located on the west side of Dayton Road, and it is shown across the road from the Wyandotte cemetery on the 1888 and 1900 maps. Bonnie Booher reported she and her husband found the cornerstone from the 1887 school when digging on their property on Wyandotte Road (in Kriebel, Old Lafayette Dec. 2004; personal correspondence Dec 2004). Neighbors told them the school looked just like the old Newcomer School. Tom and Wanda Horn also have a stone that appears to be a cornerstone from this school. It says “Sheffield Township District #5 1892” (personal correspondence Dec 2004). Wyandotte is reported to have had the first martial band in the area (Hatton). Israel Hatton, local historian, describes a meeting of school patrons for the purpose of electing the teacher for the year. The school was closed in 1916 (Hooker).

School No. 6, Ireland (Forest Park), formerly Goodman School
On the 1866 map, the school later designated No. 6 was located in section 23 on land owned by William Goodman along CR 950 E north of the present day intersection with CR 600 S (although the intersection does not show on the 1866 map). It is probably the school referred to as Goodman Schoolhouse in an obituary (“Godfrey”). On the 1878 map the school is located on land owned by Levi Slayback on CR 900S, to the south of the intersection with Wyandotte Road. The school appears on Hooker’s 1894 map. According to Israel Hatton, the school, which was probably at the 1878 location in his day, was named the “Forest Park School” about 1874 by one of the teachers, George O. Switzer, who was raised in Wyandotte. Switzer named it for its location near the road at the edge of the forest. Later Neal Carter taught there and renamed it “Ireland” because a number of families of Irish descent lived in the district. The school was closed in 1910 (Hooker).

School No. 7, Coulter (Center Grove), Shepherdson, formerly Clapper’s School
The first school in this area of section 13 was located on Wyandotte Road near the line on land owned by George Clapper. It was a log school and was called Clapper’s School (Hooker). Hooker gives an account of the visit of the County Superintendent to this school in 1871:

“Same day [December 20, 1871] visited Clapper’s School, Sheffield Township, taught by Sarah Long. This house is built of logs closely fitted together. At one time the interstices between the logs were filled with mud, but time and the winds have overcome its adhesiveness and the house is now a self-ventilating concern.“In the third log from the floor, augur holes have been bored into which wooden pins are inserted, having an inclination toward the floor; upon these pins a broad board is fastened for a writing desk, the pupils thus sitting with their faces to the wall. The wide seams which traverse the heart of the logs are used for penholders and book racks.“The benches or seats are made of two-inch plank with round sticks for legs. In some cases the legs protrude through the plank far enough to create a doubt as to whether the bench is right or wrong side up. “The wall on one side of the house is ornamented with a chart of the ‘Solar System, while upon the other hangs a pallid-looking black-board, having two ghastly looking seams across its surface. On this the ‘advanced class’ in Arithmetic and ‘that other class, as the teacher designated the second one, performed some operations in common fractions with neatness and accuracy.

   In 1875 it is mentioned as the last log school in the County, and then called Center Grove. According to Hatton, this school was called “Chinquapin College” for the Chinquapin trees around it. He locates it on the northeast corner of the crossing of the roads on ground belonging to George Clapper, which puts it at the same location as that marked on the 1866 map. In 1876, according to Hatton, a new brick school was built one-half mile west and was thereafter known as the Coulter School because it was near the home of the John Coulter family. This sounds like the location marked on the 1878 map, on land belonging to D. H. Yundt across the road from the J. Coulter family. Teachers in the 1870s and 1880s included Sarah Long, W. W. Martin and his wife (with 35 students in 1875), Albert Roth, and William Chenoweth, Ella Royal, Judson Carter, Joseph Smith, John Smith, John Young, Iva Munger, and Ada Motter DeVoss. The school appears on Hooker’s 1994 map and on the 1888 Cory map. It was closed in 1902 (Hooker), the first to close in the consolidation process. Students included Israel Hatton, Alice, Dora, and Anna Brand, Will Lehr, Nettie Booher, Ida Coulter, Victoria Miller, Will Scheirer, Edgar Hatton, Jasper Mitchell, Everett Clapper, Charles and Emerson App, Alva and George Booher, Sallie Mitchell, Mary and Aldine Clapper, Joseph and Amanda Scheirer, Laura, Alvin, and William Miller, Israel Rothenberger, Alva Coulter, Kittie and Mamie Coulter (Hatton). Israel Hatton describes spelling bees and other contests, games, and recitations that the students participated in.

School No. 8, Newcomer, Funk
Newcomer was the name of a neighborhood in section 35 in the southeastern corner of the township. A deed for this school has been found dated June 19, 1860 from John Wilson to the trustees of District 8 (Bk 40, p. 02). The school is at the same location in both the 1866 and the 1878 maps: what today would be described as CR 1000E just south of the intersection with CR 700S. On the 1866 map CR 1000E appears to end at CR 700S, but it continues south on the 1878 map as it does today. Just north of the school is a church on both maps. There is a record book for the school available for 1874-79 (TCHA). The location is marked on the 1888 Cory and on the 1900. Hooker shows Newcomer School on his 1894 map and states that it was formerly known as Funk (there are families of that name in the area). Children attending included Louis and Bill Beehler and John Frantz. A brick building was erected in 1893 that still stands today. The main room is a large broad room with a smaller vestibule appended to the front. The windows show signs of having been shuttered. The walls are of plaster and show the pattern of wallpaper or a painted wallpaper-type design. The floor was of broad planks. The school shows on Hooker’s 1916 map as a district school still operating.

District School No. 8. Newcomer. About 1980. Owned by
Floyd Yundt. Photo courtesy of Susan Clawson

School No. 9, Salem or Peters
The neighborhood in the southwest corner of the township (section 33) was known as Salem. This school is shown at the same location on the 1866, the 1878, the 1888, and the 1900 maps: at the southwest corner of the intersection of CR 775E and 700S. The road has been relocated slightly since then. Today CR 775 does not cross 700S directly. It intersects 700S from the north, then a short distance west it turns south off of 700S to continue south. The school must have stood about where an old barn or house stand today (George and Debbie Frantz, 17 Aug 2008, and Thelma Morgan, 18 Aug 2008, Intippec mailing list), to the east of Wainwright Middle School on the south side of 700S. Then the road ran on the east side of the school; today it runs to the west of the house and barn on the same location. The road continued south as it does today to a Methodist church, Salem church, located where 775 turns to cross Interstate 65. Peters, another name for the school, was the name of a family living in the area. On June 16, 1832, Robert Elliott deeded land to school trustees (Bk C, p. 450), and on September 2, 1861, John Peters deeded land to Sheffield School Township (Bk 41, p. 273). Both of these deeds appear to be for this school. Debbie Frantz posted a scan of a graduation program from 1903-04 titled “Souvenir, Peters Public School, District No. 9” (Intippec mailing list, August 17, 2008). In 1911 the building was made into a two-room school by the addition of the building from Elliott school. Salem shows on Hooker’s 1916 map as a two-room consolidated school, grade only (Hooker).

Salem School #9
District School No. 9. Salem. Photo courtesy of Kathy Cox.

School No. 10, Elliott, Culver’s School
Hooker reports that Culver’s school was located southeast of School No. 10 and was a log school. That would seem to put it on what today is US 52, on land once owned by Michael Culver. Adam Pinkerton is reported to have taught at a district school on Wildcat Prairie in the fall of 1851 (McGee), and I have speculated that it may have been Culver’s. Family names associated with the school included Elliott, Reser, and Culver, as well as Goldsberry, Mitchell, Platt, Rhoades, Ilgenfritz, Hoffer, Lucas, Peters, and Johnson (J/C Apr 19, 1956). On Dec. 20, 1862, Robert Elliott deeded land in section 19 to school trustees (Bk 42, p. 551); on Sept. 20, 1863, Samuel Elliott did the same for land in section 20 (Bk 49, p. 572). The 1866, 1878, 1888, and 1900 maps show School No. 10 to be in section 19 on 550S (where Wyandotte Road continues across US 52), on the north side of the road on land owned by Elliotts. From this it would appear that by 1866 Culver’s had been closed and replaced by the district school, Elliott’s. Record books are available for this school for the years 1864-72, 1873-77, and 1878 (TCHA). A newspaper article of Mar. 18, 1890, calls it District School #10, Culver’s. This school appears on the 1896 map. In 1911, the school was closed and the house moved to Salem (Hooker).


Schools served as community centers as well as educational institutions. Early churches sometimes held services in a nearby school, and community meetings were often held in the schools. When the railroad came to Dayton in 1875 a welcoming picnic was held for the workers. The tables were spread in the upper floor of the Academy building, still referred to as such, although the school had been closed for 3 years (Journal and Courier). The District schools often closed for the year with a school picnic. Eighth grade graduation was a milestone celebrated with ceremonies and student recitations in the years when most students didn’t go on to high school. Teachers, though sometimes baited by the older boys, were also showered with praise and the thanks of grateful patrons. Then as now, the school was the site of memories—most fond, some painful—and a focus of community pride.

Baker, Mrs. Otto. “Baker Home in Dayton” and “Robert Baker’s Home” Lafayette, Ind. Journal and Courier, 28
  Jan. and 4 Feb. 1956. Two-part articles on Baker House at 740 Walnut St. Dayton, Ind.

Biery, Florence. 1966 Additions to “A Brief History of Sheffield Township” as compiled by Mrs. G.E. Bausman,
Dayton, Ind. Herald, 1941.

Sequi 77, Dayton, Ind. 1977.

Yost, Kenneth. 150 Years of Dayton Memorial Presbyterian Church. Dayton, Ind., 1984

Boone, Richard G. Education in Indiana. New York: Appleton, 1893.

DeHart, Richard P. Past and Present. 2 vols. Indianapolis: Bowen, 1909.

DePauw University Archives. Greencastle, Indiana

Favorite, Francis. Interview by Herbert H. Heimlich, prepared for the “Pioneer Day” of the Tippecanoe County
  Historical Association, Sunday, January 19, 1939, TCHA.

Hooker, Brainard. The First Century of the Public Schools of Tippecanoe County. 1917. Includes two ketches showing
  approximate locations of the schools in 1894 and again in 1916.

Kinnun, Dotty Rowe. Handbill Dayton Union Cemetery and emails.

Kriebel, Robert. Old Lafayette, Columns in Lafayette Journal and Courier 1980s.
Lafayette Journal and Courier, 1859-70s.

Kriebel, Robert. Old Lafayette. Columns in Lafayette Journal and Courier. 1980s.
Lafayette Journal and Courier (J/C).

Land Records. Tippecanoe County Recorder.

Intippec email list on Rootsweb.com.

Maps: 1866 Tippecanoe County wall map; 1878 Atlas; 1888 Cory and Sons Atlas.
Tippecanoe County Historical Society Library and Archives (TCHA).

Minutes of the Northeast Conference of the M.E. Church 1867-70.

Salen, George P. Methodist Schools in the North West Indiana Conference from 1852 to 1892. 1952.
Cheesman, David R. Past & Present Towns, Villages and Cemeteries of Tippecanoe County, Indiana. Privately Printed, about 1980.
“Godfrey, Charlotte: Aged Woman Dead at Home in Dayton.” Lafayette, Ind. Journal and Courier, 27 Apr1922, page 12; in
Intippec Mailing List 7 Oct 2003.
Hatton, Israel. “Past and Present” column in Mulberry Reporter. 1940s.
Maps: 1866 Tippecanoe Co Wall map; 1878 Atlas; 1888 Cory and Sons Atlas. 1900 ? map (date not clear).
1905 Orton map.
McGee, B. F., compl. and author. History of the 72nd Indiana Volunteer Infantry of the Mounted Lightning
Brigade. Ed. Wm. R. Jewell. Lafayette, Ind.: Vater, 1882.
Personal correspondence: Bonnie Booher, Tom Horn, Randy Ritchie.
Reese, William J. “Indiana’s Public School Traditions: Dominant Themes and Research Opportunities.”
Indiana Magazine of History 89 (Dec. 1993): 289-334. Downloaded April 2010.
Sesqui 77. Ed. and Comp. Ruth Dilden and Bonnie Andrews. Dayton, Ind., 1977.
Tippecanoe County Public Library.Newcomber School, Susan ClawsonGraft School, Kathy Cox's Facebook post.

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