Delaware Township’s Valley College schoolhouse in Delaware County

In 1870, Francis Sipe deeded the Delaware Township Trustee a portion of his land for the construction of a District 9 schoolhouse59 on what’s now North County Road 400-East about a quarter of a mile north of East County Road 350-North60.

Photo taken September 24, 2021.

Rural common schools were sometimes known as colleges1, and the District 9 schoolhouse was known to its patrons as Valley College2. The current structure was built as a replacement for the original in the mid-1890s3.

Since Albany maintained a separate school system from the remainder of Delaware Township, the village of DeSoto rose to prominence as the ideal location for a centralized, consolidated school for students of the township. As early as 1900, Districts 4, 8, and 9 petitioned District 11 at DeSoto to let them to send pupils there. Unfortunately, the small size of DeSoto’s frame building made the arrangement impossible4.

In 1905, students of the District 4 school were sent to Valley College, but the consolidated school wasn’t graded so no high school operated5. In 1907, Districts 4 and 9 petitioned District 11 to consolidate again. This time, a $13,000 four-room schoolhouse was erected in DeSoto6 to accommodate the requests and the Valley College schoolhouse closed after the 1905-06 school year. E.H. Brewington of Albany was the last teacher there7.

The District 9 Valley College school is one of the few remaining frame schoolhouses in Delaware County. In 1976, it was used for storing grain and farm implements, having recently been repainted and repaired8. In 2021, it appeared to be abandoned.

Sources Cited
1 Greene, D. (1980, June 10). Seen and Heard in Our Neighborhood. The Muncie Star. p. 4.
2. Greene, D. (1976, March 3). Seen and Heard in Our Neighborhood. The Muncie Star. p. 4.
3 Ellis, J. S. (1898, August 17). Our County. Its History and Early Settlement by Townships. The Muncie Morning News. p. 6.
4 Kemper, G. W. H. (1908). Education in Delaware County. In A Twentieth Century History of Delaware County, Indiana, Volume 1 (Vol. 1, pp. 237–237). book, Lewis Publishing Company.
5 (See footnote 4).
6 Ask for new bids on DeSoto School. (1907, July 8). The Muncie Press. p. 1.
7 Delaware County Public Schools. (1905). School directory, Delaware County public schools, Delaware County, Indiana 1905-1906. Muncie, IN.
8 (See footnote 2).

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