It’s said that the Harrison Township’s District 4: Goodboo schoolhouse took its unusual name from a Native American word meaning “good morning1.” More likely, it took its name from a small community that sprung up in the Godfroy Reserve, an Indian reservation named after Miami chief Francis Godfroy, who was granted land here in 1818. The settlement included homes, a church, a schoolhouse, and a trading post; it was named after an Indian who married one of Godfroy’s daughters2.
According to Orville Cline, who began teaching at the building around 1912, the school had two rows of seats and a potbellied stove. Larger seats on the outside rows accommodated older students3.
The Goodboo school was condemned in 1923 due to its ramshackle condition: the building’s walls were cracked on all sides, its floors were loose and full of holes, and the school’s overall ventilation was poor4. At the time, only Goodboo, the District 8: Cale school, and the District 10: Jackson school were in operation in Harrison Township outside of Montpelier, and the township trustee examined the shuttered District 2: Matamoras school after Goodboo’s condemnation to determine whether or not that structure was suitable to take on the students of District 45.
Evidently, it wasn’t so Goodboo and Cale, also condemned, were used for the remainder of the 1923-24 school term because there was nowhere else to send their pupils6.
In 1924, the Goodboo school, along Cale and the already-closed Waugh, Blackford, Hoover ,and Pleasantdale schools were sold following the township’s consolidation into Montpelier in 19247. Later that year, the old District 4 schoolhouse was purchased by A.M. Shannon for $1018.
Today, the building stands in ruins. It’s all that remains of the former Goodboo community.
1 Goodspeed, D. (1972, October 29). The Muncie Star. p. 39.
2 Yencer, R. (1976, July 4). ‘Lost Indian Reserve’ Likely to Stay Lost as State Park. The Muncie Star. P. 61.
3 Goodboo School Is Condemned (1923, October 12). The Muncie Star. p. 8.
4 (See footnote 3).
5 (See footnote 3).
6 Montpelier (1923, November 15). The Muncie Evening Press. p. 2.
7 To Eliminate 6 Old Schools (1924, July 4). The Muncie Star. p. 2.
8 Sale of Abandoned Schools Bring $1,575 (1924, July 30). The Muncie Star. p. 9.
3 thoughts on “What’s left of Harrison Township’s Goodboo schoolhouse in Blackford County”
That this much of it is left 100 years later might lead some to suggest that the condemnation was premature.
I don’t doubt that some of those places were hovels, but the ones that have stood the test of time stand contrary to that belief, even if in ruins.
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I could see that. Even in modern times, that intersection is shallow.
An old woman who runs a local historical society here has often raged to me about how McGalliard/IN-332 curves ever so slightly into Harrison Township. Certainly someone stood to make some money from that, she claims. In reality, its indicative of how modern intersections are designed to cross over impediments (in this case, a railroad track) at right angles to make crossings safer. At-grade crossings, such as were added when this route was bypassed, are much safer than that shallow curve into Honey Creek Road.
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