Washington Twp. District 5


Photo taken September 7, 2021. From the author’s collection.

The Washington Township District 5 Zion school has been in existence at least since prior to 1870, when Morris Jones deeded a portion of his land to the trustees of Zion Chapel, a plot “commencing at the North Northeast corner of the School house and Grave Yard lot on the East side of the west half of the south east quarter of Section 13 (Delaware, 1870). The schoolhouse is visible there on Kingman’s 1874 plat map, though it’s only listed as “School” on Griffing, Gordon, & Company’s version published in 1887. In 1881, Thomas Helm listed the District 5 school as Zion, taught by C.O. Swingley (Helm, 1881).  Helm made no mention of the Zion church that was once situated just north of the structure, although the earliest graves at its cemetery appear to date from the 1840s.

For what it’s worth, the Delaware County assessor’s office lists the school building as having been constructed in 1900 (Delaware, 2021), though it likely predates that date by several years. At any rate, the Zion school -along with the District 4 Washington schoolhouse- closed at the end of the 1923-24 school year to consolidate into Gaston. The last teacher at Zion was Herschel Brown (Delaware, 1923).

In 1953, Dick Greene stumbled by the old schoolhouse and noted that it was being used as a community center (Greene, 1953). He came by the area again thirteen years later as the accompanying church was being prepared to be razed in order for its timbers to be sent and used for the construction of an educational wing of a different church near Fairmount (Greene, 1966). At that time, the old school was still being used as a community building. Today, it’s used as a home. The schoolhouse is visible from Interstate 69 just west of the Pipe Creek Rest Area, where it stands on North County Road 925-W. 


Delaware County, Indiana. (1870 July 14). Deed Book 33. p. 694.

Kingman Brothers. (1874). Map of Delaware County, Indiana. Chicago, IL.

Griffing, B. N. (1887). Mt. Pleasant Township. An atlas of Delaware County, Indiana . map, Philadelphia, PA; Griffing, Gordon, & Company.

Helm, T. B. (1881). Mount Pleasant Township. In History of Delaware County, Indiana: With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers (pp. 268–269). book, Kingman Brothers.

Delaware County Office of Information & GIS Services. (2021). Parcel ID: 0113400008000. Delaware County, Indiana Assessor. map, Muncie, IN.

Delaware County Public Schools. (1923). School directory, Delaware County public schools, Delaware County, Indiana 1923-1924. Muncie, IN. 

Greene, D. (1953, March 28). Seen and Heard in Our Neighborhood. The Muncie Star. p. 6.

Greene, D. (1966, February 9). Seen and Heard in Our Neighborhood. The Muncie Star. p. 4.