The agricultural community situated south of a bend in the Mississinnewa River in Delaware Township’s section 16 has been known as Clifton, Sharon, and Zehner Mill1 at different points in history. It seems that, while the village was platted as Clifton by Abraham Cline in 1849, the post office was called Sharon and the local mill -the community’s most prominent feature- was operated by Benjamin Zehner2. In 1880, a local schoolhouse -known as Sharon3– was home to several Republican nominating conventions4.
In 1881 -several years after the neighboring town of DeSoto rose to prominence due to the arrival of the railroad- a farmer named Isaac Boots deeded the Delaware Township Trustee land to build a District 5 schoolhouse in exchange for $40. That year, the Delaware Township Trustee erected a “commodious” schoolhouse a mile east of Clifton/Sharon/Zehner’s Mill5.
The Sharon post office was shuttered in 18856 though the school nearby lasted for twenty-two more years. In 1907, students of District 5 were sent to the new, four-room schoolhouse at DeSoto along with those of District 7, which burned down prior to the opening of the school year7.
Although its belfry has been removed and windows were shortened, the old District 5: Sharon schoolhouse is a dwelling.
1 Owens, E. (1957, January 7). In the Press of Things. The Muncie Evening Press. p. 4.
2 Greene, D. (1963, November 20). Seen and Heard in Our Neighborhood. The Muncie Star. p. 4.
3 Garfield Club at Sharon. (1880, August 10). The Muncie Daily Times. p. 1.
4 Pershing, A.C. (1880, March 6). Township Conventions. The Muncie Daily Times. p. 4.
5 Delaware County, Indiana. (1881, June 17). Deed Book 48. p. 198.
6 Forte, J. (n.d.). Indiana Delaware County. Jim Forte Postal History. Retrieved September 24, 2021, from Jim Forte Postal History.
7 Kemper, G. W. H. (1908). Education in Delaware County. In A Twentieth Century History of Delaware County, Indiana, Volume 1 (Vol. 1, pp. 237–237). book, Lewis Publishing Company.
4 thoughts on “Delaware Township’s Sharon schoolhouse in Delaware County”
Ted—–another local update from Atlanta, I have a good Purdue friend, Michael Wilson, that grew up very near that old school building in Sharon. I tell him I am his only friend that knows where Sharon is and have driven through there. I have forwarded your info to him. Also, did you know there is another old school building now as a home in Shideler? When I was a kid in the 1950s my friend Dan Shaffer and his family lived there.
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Thanks Bill! I’ll be interested to hear if he can add anything. That area is pretty interesting. As far as Shideler goes- I do! I’ve been to about fifty one-room schools in Delaware County, but ones new-to-me still pop up every so often.
Good to hear from the Atlanta Bureau!
Which corner was the old school house located on? My family moved there in 1954 and the school house was gone at that time. On the southeast corner there was a property that was used as a single family residence but could have been a school house at one time.
Hi Michael, the schoolhouse near Sharon is at the northwest corner of 500-N and 600-E. It doesn’t much resemble a schoolhouse at this point.