Lafayette Township’s District 9 schoolhouse in Madison County was known as Closser. It sits at the northeast corner of today’s West County Road 300-N and North County Road 500-W. In 1880, 300-N was known as the Anderson and Perkinsville Pike, a toll road that connected those two communities1. The schoolhouse got its name from the family that originally deeded its location to the township.
A District 9 schoolhouse was built in 18782, though it seems as that the core of the present structure dates to 18993. Along with the Prairie, Keller, Beech Grove, Elm Grove, Salem, and Florida schoolhouses, the Closser school closed in 1932 when Lafayette Township’s Leach school, -a consolidated, six-room building- was built near the center of the township4.
In modern times, the old District 9 schoolhouse survives as a home. It’s another old schoolhouse that was reconfigured in a way that obscures its original function. Nevertheless, the building fits the two mile rule, the core structure is still visible, and it’s surrounded by old trees. Just to be sure, I contacted Steve Jackson, the Madison County Historian, to verify that I’d taken a photo of the right building. He confirmed that I’d nailed it.
1 Kingman Brothers. (1880). History of Madison County, Indiana with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches. Chicago, IL.
2 Jackson, S.T. (2009, November 14). In History: Township schools set by districts. The Anderson Herald Bulletin. Retrieved December 3, 2021 from https://www.heraldbulletin.com/community/in-history-township-schools-set-by-districts/article_21819f32-4eef-5e59-992e-3bad0f213a87.html.
3 Madison County Office of Information & GIS Services. (2021). Parcel ID: 48-08-29-300-008.000-017. 4 Leach School to be Dedicated Next Tuesday (1932, August 19). The Alexandria Times-Tribune. p. 1.