Wayne Township’s Raysville schoolhouse in Henry County

The first school in Raysville sat adjacent to the Raysville Friends Church on a three-acre plot east of town that was likely deeded by Samuel Pritchard, a trustee of the church1. In fact, like many early schools in the area, Raysville’s began as a Quaker institution2. The church was built in 1844, and it’s likely that the school followed suit in short order3. Eventually, a two-story, brick schoolhouse was erected in the same spot4

Photo taken November 19, 2022.

The original schoolhouse was condemned in 1921, a year that nearly sixty students attended class there. Many changes were necessary in order to satisfy state inspectors. For one, the second story needed to be lopped off. The school also needed better lighting, better heating, and a general overhaul5

Rather than undertake a significant remodeling project, in 1921, township officials purchased an acre of ground a block north of the National Road in Raysville proper and built a new schoolhouse for $11,8356. The old schoolhouse was purchased by Frank Dalrymple, who dismantled it to use the bricks for cottages he intended to build at a new vacation spot that the Indianapolis Star was promoting as Knightstown Lake7

The extant schoolhouse was dedicated on February 22, 1922. At the time it was built, it was one of two schoolhouses that featured running water in Henry County8. By 1936, seventy-three students attended classes at the school, and the following year, grades seven and eight were moved to Knightstown due to overcrowded conditions9

In 1963, fifty-two students in the third and fourth grades went to school in Raysville10. It appears as though the school was closed sometime between 1964 and 1974, when it -having been remodeled into a private residence- became home to the Knightstown Church of Christ. In 1980, the church remodeled the interior of the structure. 

Property records indicate that the Church of Christ sold the school in 2015. Today, it’s a home.

Sources Cited
1 (Barnard, M.) 1890. The Little Village of Raysville. Henry County Genealogical Services. Web. Retrieved November 24, 2022.
2 Octogenarian Club (1951, February 1). The Knightstown Banner. p. 8.
3 First Shoveflful of Dirt Turned (1927, April 15). The Tri-County Banner. p. 1.
4 Condemn School Building (1921, March 11). The Knightstown Banner. p. 1.
5 (See footnote 4). 
6 How Time Flies (1961, July 27). The Tri-County Banner. p. 2.
7 Will Build Cottages at Lake (1923, June 8). The Knightstown Banner. p. 1.
8 Community Dinner at Raysville School (1922, March 3). The Knightstown Banner. p. 4.
9 Knightstown School News (1937, February 5). The Knightstown Banner. p. 3.
10 School Enrollments Mostly Up THru Banner Area (1963, September 12). The Knightstown Banner. p. 1.
11 Ohlemiller, J. (1974, July 15). Community To Study School Needs. The Greenfield Daily Reporter. p. 3.
12 Church Of Christ Plans Open House (1980, November 5). The Knightstown Banner. p. 8.

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