White River Township’s Aroma Schoolhouse in Hamilton County

The first White River Township District 1 schoolhouse at Aroma, is said to have been a wood-frame structure with logs for seats1. Evidently, the school was a two-room structure, with a primary instructor responsible for students in grades 1-4 and a principal responsible for pupils in the upper grades, 5-82.

Photo taken October 30, 2022.

In 1917, it was replaced with the extant structure under the tenure of Township Trustee Roy Foust3. By 1938, the school still operated as a two-room elementary school, but it closed the following year when all of White River Township’s students were sent to attend a new, consolidated school six miles southwest at Walnut Grove4

Along with the township’s Strawtown school, the schoolhouse at Aroma was advertised for sale in July, 19395. Layton Johnson, a prominent local citizen who owned the surrounding seventy-six, purchased the building the following September6

Situated to the north and connected to 281st Street via a wide, paved path, Johnson used the old schoolhouse as a livestock center over the ensuing decades7. Today, the building is still being used as part of the town’s grain elevator, now operated by Johnson Grain Farms after several changes in ownership. Aside from a portion of building’s hipped roof that’s still visible, additions to the north and south, along with new siding, have obscured the old building in such a manner that makes it impossible to identify as a schoolhouse. The section of building pictured underneath the grain silo is the original structure.

Sources Cited
1 Guthrie, W. (1951, February 1). Sweet Forest Aroma Gave Town Its Name. The Indianapolis News. p. 11.
2 Hamilton County Public Schools (1915). Teacher’s directory: names and addresses of officers and teachers of Hamilton County Public Schools, 1915-1916. Noblesville, IN.
3 Greene, D. (1977, November 11). Seen and Heard in Our Neighborhood. The Muncie Star. p. 4.
4 Guthrie, W. (1951, February 1). Sweet Forest Aroma Gave Town Its Name. The Indianapolis News. p. 11.
5 Notice of Sale of Property Not Used for School Purposes (1939, July 25). The Noblesville Ledger. p. 2.
6 Roberson, L. (1939, September 6). Aroma. The Elwood Call-Leader. p. 5.
7 Peters, R. (1949, May 5). Aroma: A Community With Substantial Citizenry. The Elwood Call-Leader. p. 7.

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