Center Township’s Moore/Water Works schoolhouse in Delaware County

As early as 1874, a Center Township’s District 5 schoolhouse stood on the land of Parker Moore southeast of Muncie on the Burlington Pike1. Initially, the school took on the landowner’s last name, becoming known by locals as the Moore schoolhouse. Later on, Parker Moore lent his name to a cemetery and an iron bridge near where East Memorial Drive crosses the White River on the east side of Muncie.

Photo taken April 24, 2021.

In 1889, a new water works plant featuring three boilers and pumps furnishing four million gallons of water was established “two miles from the city2.” The water purification plant was immediately northwest of the Moore schoolhouse and, around this time, the schoolhouse became known as the Water Works school. 

The schoolhouse burned in November, 19013, and the present, four-room building was constructed to replace it. In 1903, Professor M.M. Bailey was the principal of the schoolhouse and, in an event noteworthy enough to make the pages of the local newspaper, Bailey encouraged his students to play polo during recess4

That year, the District 5 Water Works schoolhouse was one of Center Township’s largest in terms of attendance- 190 students went to class in the building. It was only outpaced by the larger District 7 Riverside, District 13 Congerville, District 14 Whitely, and District 15 Normal City schoolhouses5.

In 1918, the eight-room Robert Louis Stevenson school on Macedonia Avenue was completed at a cost of $50,000, and it absorbed students attending classes at the District 6 Water Works and District 7 Madden/Macedonia Pike schoolhouses6. Today, the building is home to two apartments. A log cabin sits out back.

Sources Cited
1 Kingman, A.L. (1874). Map of Delaware County, Indiana : from recent & original surveys, made expressly for this map, drawn, compiled and published by A.L. Kingman and assistants. map, Chicago, IL; A.L. Kingman.
2 The New Water Works. (1889, September 24). The Muncie Morning News. p. 2.
3 Temporary School House (1901, November 23). The Muncie Times. p. 2.
4 50 and 25 Years Ago. (1953, December 17). The Muncie Evening Press. p. 4.
5 Center Township school census outside Muncie. (1903, May 15). The Muncie Morning Star. p. 2.
6 Stevenson School, Finished at Cost of Nearly $50,000, To Be Placed in Use Monday (1918, December 28). The Muncie Evening Press. p. 3.

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