Harrison Township District 4:


Photo taken November 26, 2021. From the author’s collection.

It’s said that the Harrison Township’s District 4: Goodboo schoolhouse took its unusual name from a Native American word meaning “good morning” (Goodspeed, 1972). More likely, it took its name from a small community that sprung up in the Godfroy Reserve, an Indian reservation named after Miami chief Francis Godfroy, who was granted the land in 1818. The settlement included homes, a church, a schoolhouse, and a trading post and was named after an Indian who married one of Godfroy’s daughters (Yencer, 1976).

According to Orville Cline, who began teaching at the building around 1912, the school had two rows of seats and a potbellied stove. Larger seats on the outside rows were meant for older students to sit at (Goodspeed). 

The Goodboo school was condemned in 1923 due to its ramshackle condition: the building’s walls were cracked on all sides, its floors were loose and full of holes, and the school’s overall ventilation was poor (Goodboo, 1923). At the time, only Goodboo, the District 8: Cale school, and the District 10: Jackson school were in operation outside of Montpelier, and the township trustee examined the shuttered District 2: Matamoras school after Goodboo’s condemnation to determine whether or not that structure was suitable to take on the students of District 4 (Goodboo).

Evidently, it wasn’t, and Goodboo and Cale, also condemned, were used for the remainder of the 1923-24 school term because there was nowhere else to send their pupils (Montpelier, 1923). 

In 1924, the Goodboo school, along Cale and the already-closed Waugh, Blackford, Hoover ,and Pleasantdale schools were sold following the township’s consolidation in 1924 (To, 1924). Later that year, the old District 4 schoolhouse was purchased by A.M. Shannon for $101.

Today, the building stands in ruins, all that remains of the former Goodboo community.


Goodspeed, D. (1972, October 29). The Muncie Star. p. 39. 

Yencer, R. (1976, July 4). ‘Lost Indian Reserve’ Likely to Stay Lost as State Park. The Muncie Star. P. 61.

Goodboo School Is Condemned (1923, October 12). The Muncie Star. p. 8.

Montpelier (1923, November 15). The Muncie Evening Press. p. 2.

To Eliminate 6 Old Schools (1924, July 4). The Muncie Star. p. 2.

Sale of Abandoned Schools Bring $1,575 (1924, July 30). The Muncie Star. p. 9.