Adams Township’s Poly Walk schoolhouse in Madison County

After a new state constitution authorized funding for free, common schools, Adams Township demolished five old schoolhouses in exchange for ten frame buildings that were soon erected to take their place1. The District 10 schoolhouse was one of them2.

Photo taken August 10, 2021.

Kingman referred to the original district 10 structure as Buttonwood, another name for the American sycamore trees that were prominent in the area. The schoolhouse was also known as Poly Walk, though, after the “thickly-settled locality” it was located in3. Prior to being drained, the southwestern corner of Adams Township was so swampy that poles were laid horizontally to serve as roads in order for students to traverse the land towards the schoolhouse4. Area residents took the “poly walk” to get from place to place.

As unique a name as it sounds, the District 10 school shared the “Poly Walk” name with another schoolhouse in Adams Township at District 5, which also known as Wildwood5. That building no longer stands.

The present structure was built in 1889. From 1922-24, the consolidated school at Markleville was expanded and remodeled. It appears as though the District 10 schoolhouse was abandoned at that time in order for its students to attend classes there6.

Sources Cited
1 Fox, J. (n.d.). Adams Township Had 10 Schools. Madison County Historical Society. Retrieved September 29, 2021, from
2 Kingman Brothers. (1880). History of Madison County, Indiana with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches. Chicago, IL.
3 Forkner, J. & Dyson, B. (1897). Historical Sketches and Reminiscences of Madison County, Indiana. book. Anderson, IN.
4 Phillips, V.B. (1975, July 27). ‘Brush, Swamp’ Days Recalled. The Anderson Herald. p. 11.
5 (See footnote 1).
6 Plat Book of Madison County Indiana (n.d.) W. W. Hixson & Co. Rockford, IL. map. Map Collection, Indiana Division, Indiana State Library.

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