A schoolhouse has stood at the southwestern corner of what’s now Cyntheanne Road and East 156th Street since at least 1866, when a District 12 building -known as Fairview- was located on land owned by the Stanford family1. The structure was of frame construction at least as of the 1892-93 school term2, a year before one of the most dramatic and tragic accidents to occur in Hamilton County happened on its site.
That October, the teacher instructed several of the school’s older students to help roll an enormous log from the middle of the sloping schoolyard to its outer borders. Though most other younger students kept away from the accelerating piece of timber, six-year-old Willie Stanford ran after it in order to try and ride it down the hill. Kids do things that seem fun, but Willie tripped as he outpaced the log and it crushed him headfirst3.
The hill that Willie Stanford died on is visible in the photo I took.
As Wayne Township’s southeastern-most schoolhouse, the District 12 school was closed after the 1909-10 school year4.
Today, the building is abandoned.
1 Warner, C. S. (1866). Map of Hamilton county, Indiana. atlas. C.A.O. McClellen & C.S. Warner.
2 Clarity of 70-Year-Old Picture Defies Time (1962, June 23). The Noblesville Ledger. p. 6.
3 A Sad Accident (1893, October 27). The Hamilton County Ledger [Noblesville]. p. 1.
4 Hamilton County Public Schools (1909). Teacher’s directory: names and addresses of officers and teachers of Hamilton County Public Schools, 1909-1910. Noblesville, IN.