Jackson Township’s Dildine schoolhouse in Blackford County

Blackford County’s Dildine schoolhouse that exists today was built in 1921 as a replacement for a previous building on the same site. For some reason, a 1905 plat map of Blackford County lists both the Dildine School -then located on the land of J.F. Wentz across from Joseph Dildine’s eighty acres- and what was known as the Markle schoolhouse two miles northeast as both serving District 31.

Photo taken December 24, 2021.

The later building that assumed the Dildine name was known for the family who donated its land. Built by the local construction firm Clamme Brothers, the building is nearly identical to the schoolhouse nearby in Trenton built around the same time2 that has been demolished. Jackson Township’s school at Millgrove, built in 1931, was of similar size.

In 1959, seventy-six students attended classes at Dildine3. Despite that, the District 3 school closed either the following year according to the family that purchased it, or in 1963 when its counterparts -the schoolhouses at MIllgrove and Trenton- shut down in order to send their students to the new Jackson Township Elementary that opened two miles to the west4.

Blackford County’s Jackson Township school, now home to the Blackford County Sheriff. Photo taken August 15, 2021.

After the District 3 schoolhouse closed, Carl and Lucille Sandhoe purchased the old school for $3,000 with the intent to demolish it. Instead, the family converted the structure into apartments5. Apparently, the building is thought to be haunted6.

The Jackson Township Elementary School that the students of District 3 were moved to closed in 1993. Two years later, it became the Blackford County jail. Today, the old Dildine schoolhouse is still home to apartments.

Sources Cited
1 Hixson, W.W. (1905). Blackford County, Ind. map. Map Collection, Indiana Division, Indiana State Library. 
2 Album of Yesteryear (1994, February 27). The Muncie Star Press. p. 15.
3 Hartford City (1959, September 7). The Muncie Evening Press. p. 10.
4 New Jackson School to Open on Monday (1964, February 23). The Muncie Star Press. p. 7.
5 Routledge, R. (2001, October 31). What a scary site! The Muncie Star Press. p. 5.
6 (See footnote 5).

2 thoughts on “Jackson Township’s Dildine schoolhouse in Blackford County

    1. It really is. This township actually had three of similar size. Another was identical, and it stood just four miles west on IN-26 in the community of Trenton. Another came a little later, in the village of Millgrove. All three replaced previous, smaller, structures scattered around.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s