Center Township’s Orphan’s Home schoolhouse in Delaware County

The site of the Delaware County Orphans’ Home was sold to the county for $3,300 on October 19, 1882 by George W. Franklin1. In 1882, the Delaware County Commissioners spent $1,450 to erect buildings and make repairs to the Delaware County Children’s Home at the site2. There is some corroboration that the Orphan’s Home schoolhouse was established sometime after 18853.

Photo taken April 29, 2021.

In 1890, a second orphans’ home was constructed that still stands today4. A commissioner’s report from the following year indicated that the schoolhouse near the home had twenty-two children as pupils5, and later reports indicate that the building was running out of space. It’s likely that some classes were held at the 1890 orphans’ home prior to 1898, when a new schoolhouse was built at a cost of $1,4256.

In 1901, commissioners filed a claim for fuel to the orphans’ home as well as the adjacent schoolhouse7. A record from June of that year is the last that mentions any pay for the schoolteacher8 but a newspaper article indicates that, in 1903, twenty-seven students attended class at the schoolhouse9 Louise Hunt was the teacher then, and the school was closed for two weeks due to an outbreak of diphtheria that February10.

The schoolhouse closed after that year and in 1904, Henry Hamilton moved it from its original site near the Minnetrista Orchard Shop of today to 114 East Highland Street to serve as his residence11.

Sources Cited
1 Taylor, H.B. (1988). Delaware County Children’s Home Schoolhouse 1883-1901. Prepared for Lanny D. Carmichael.
2 Board of commissioners miscellaneous papers (1882). Entry 4 CH-CI. Ball State University Library and Archives. Muncie, IN. 
3 Commissioners’ Record (1883, January-1885, December). Delaware County Building. “Orphans Home School Matter”
4 Delaware County Office of Information & GIS Services. (2021). Parcel ID: 1110101003000. Delaware County, Indiana Assessor. map, Muncie, IN.
5 (See footnote 3).
6 50 and 25 Years Ago. (1948, August 11). The Muncie Evening Press. p. 4.
7 (See footnote 1).
8 Commissioners’ Record (1901, August-1904, June). Vol. 25-26. Book 10. Delaware County Building.
9 Center Township school census outside Muncie. (1903, May 15). The Muncie Morning Star. p. 2.
10 Diptheria Closes School. (1903, February 19). The Muncie Morning Star. p. 8.
11 (See footnote 1). 

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