What’s left of Licking Township’s Bailey schoolhouse in Blackford County

Licking Township’s District 1: Bailey schoolhouse burned during the 1938-39 school year in a fire that caused $8,000 in damages1. That’s $168,000 today! The school’s forty-seven students were distributed across the District 4: Carney and District 11: Guseman schoolhouses, two miles south and six-and-a-half miles southwest, respectively2

Photo taken August 6, 2021.

After the fire, Bailey’s teachers, Pauline Huffman and Virginia Wilson, were reassigned to the two buildings, which were converted from one to two rooms through the use of movable partitions3.

The following year, officials announced that six students from the Bailey school would be sent to the consolidated Washington School in Washington Township, just two miles northwest, while the remainder of its pupils would continue to attend classes at Carney and Guseman. The announcement came after a petition filed by twenty-seven residents of District 1 in support of sending its students to the Hartford City schools was rejected by local officials4

In 1905, the Bailey schoolhouse sat on Hiram Tewksbury’s 79 acres5. Today, the remains of the schoolhouse are located on the site of Hill Family Farms. Not much is left to be seen in person of Licking Township’s District 1 school aside from its foundation. The of concrete and brick near the bottom right of the photo closest to the foreground was once the base of the schoolhouse’s entry vestibule, which was flanked by two cloakrooms.

Sources Cited
1 Fire Destroys Bailey School (1938, October 22). The Muncie Star. p. 6.
2 Bus Contracts Are Deferred (1939, July 20). The Muncie Star Press. p. 2.
3 Pupils Are Transferred (1938, October 23). The Muncie Star. p. 7.
4 School Petition Is Turned Down (1939, July 26). The Muncie Star. p. 4.
5 Hixson, W.W. (1905). Blackford County, Ind. map. Map Collection, Indiana Division, Indiana State Library. 

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