To take photos of and exhaustively research the history of every old schoolhouse that still stands in East Central Indiana; specifically the areas of Grant, Blackford, Jay, Madison, Delaware, Randolph, Hancock, Henry, Wayne, and Hamilton counties- with a few more thrown in for good measure.
When I was 12 my grandma developed a fourth-grade curriculum packet called Peat Bogs, Gas Wells, and Hotel Rooms for the Delaware County Historical Alliance. Part of the project included an updated version of the 1887 Griffing, Gordon & Company plat map of Delaware County that included features like schoolhouses, round barns, and cemeteries. My mom, grandma, and I went around the county to take photos of some of the remaining schoolhouses with mom’s primitive Sony FD Mavica MDC-FD87 digital camera that saved images onto floppy disks.
After a lull in my project to go to and take pictures of every county courthouse in Indiana, I decided to revisit the schoolhouse project around 2016. That year, I was able to locate 39 schoolhouses. Over the course of the 2020 pandemic, I found more local resources and nailed down the locations of 53 schoolhouses in Delaware County that still stand in some capacity. From abandoned piles of bricks to fully-restored homes, I believe I’ve found them all, I think.
After passing several schoolhouses in Blackford County in April on my way to get my COVID shot, I decided to locate all of that county’s schoolhouses as well. I’ve branched out to to the rest of East-Central Indiana.
This website is an attempt to make available all the research I’ve done to the greater public. The photos taken in 2021 and beyond were shot RAW with a Pentax K10D. Any photos I’ve included from 2015 were taken with a Kodak Easyshare C1530. All others were taken via an iPhone SE, an iPhone 7+, or an iPhone 11.
Special thanks for helping me go to county historians Stephen T. Jackson and Dr. Greg Hinshaw. My brother, John Shideler, and my mom, Barb Miller have been good sports in going out on some trips with me, along with friends Spencer Lee, Aerabe Koester, and Chelsea Rosander.. Bob Good, Zac Bow, Elaine Williams, and others have provided me with some enthusiastic research help, and of course my grandma Marilyn Swander is who started this all for me.
My name is Ted Shideler. I’m a thirty-one-year-old living in the Muncie, Indiana area. I work as a quality analyst for Newell Brands’ Food Division at the elderly Ball canning closure plant. Most of my free time is devoted to historical pursuits, from documenting schoolhouses and courthouses to working on my two vintage Showbiz Pizza robots and plotting to buy an air raid siren. In addition to all of that, I can sometimes be found playing drums live or in the studio for local musicians, working with analog synthesizers, developing custom LEGO sets, or flopped down in a chair watching King of the Hill with my brother’s cat Disco on my lap.
Other Important Information
Unless otherwise credited, the writing and photographs on this site, Schoolhousery, http://www.schoolhousery.net, are copyright 2021- Ted Shideler.
This site is a work in progress. I update new information via the feed at the homepage, but I may, from time to time, have minor updates to individual pages separate from creating new content. I’ve labeled counties that are new to me with a (beta) label. I’ve made every endeavor to document the factual truth, but some of the content of this website is educated speculation. If you find issue with any of what I’ve published, please contact me.
Obviously, I’ve utilized many resources and documents to publish what I’ve written here. The prior research of Dr.Greg Hinshaw and Steve Jackson -both county historians- has been of utmost help, and I’ve made every effort to cite the sources I’ve used here in APA 7. Where others’ writing and photographs are credited on this site, the original creators retain copyright of their works. If you think I’ve missed a credit of your work, please contact me.
I understand the realities of starting one’s work through others’ efforts since I did that here. With that being said, I don’t allow my work to be republished, but I’d be happy to discuss creating something with a new angle for your site or publication. Please let me know. If any of what I’ve researched -beyond what information I’ve simply aggregated- is to be used for profit, I expect to be paid for it. I strongly believe I have contributed enough to each individual post here to consider it my own work.
I retain RAW images of most of the schoolhouses I’ve been to. If you’d like to reuse an image in some way, please contact me. If it’s for a not-for-profit resource , a school project, or a personal pursuit then I’ll likely be quite happy that you hold my work in high regard. If you want to use an image to make money, I’ll be disinclined. I know this is the internet and everything can be taken, but please ask anyway.