Center Twp. District 14


Photo taken April 29, 2021. From the author’s collection.

The United States government granted James Howell the property that the Whitely schoolhouse would later sit on in 1833. Nearly sixty years later, the Whitely Land Company awarded the Center School Township block 42 for the construction of a schoolhouse48

In 1901, Center Township combined the District 11 Boyceton school -a structure that the township didn’t own and had become unsuitable for school purposes48– with the District 14 school. By 1903, the Whitely school was the township’s largest in terms of number of students50. Attendance kept growing: In 1905, a new structure, known as Longfellow51, opened three blocks west of the old schoolhouse, at the southwest corner of the present-day Doctor M.L.K. Jr. Boulevard and East Highland Avenue. That year, around forty pupils from the District 1 Priest College school were sent to Whitely, as were students from District 7 Riverside who had previously gone to the shuttered Hamilton Township District 10 school, a joint operation between the Hamilton and Center townships52

The Longfellow school ceased operations as a Center Township schoolhouse prior to the 1919-20 school year53 after Muncie annexed the Whitely area in 1918. In 1928, the Shaffer Chapel AME Church purchased the abandoned schoolhouse from the Muncie Community School Board for $3,50054. The church has altered and improved the building over the years and, as a house of worship, it’s become historic in its own right.


  1. Whitely, Indiana. Our Churches Are Our Community (2016). Jacket Copy Creative. . Retrieved September 2, 2021.
  2. The consolidating of Delaware County schools progresses. (1903, June 28). The Muncie Morning Star. p. 9.
  3. (See footnote 14).
  4. (See footnote 16).
  5. (See footnote 2). 
  6. Delaware County Public Schools. (1919). School directory, Delaware County public schools, Delaware County, Indiana 1919-1920. Muncie, IN. 
  7. Satterfield, Ed. (1992, September 6). African Americans have long history in religious community. The Muncie Star. p. 5D.