Center Twp. District 5

Moore/Water Works

Photo taken April 24, 2021. From the author’s collection.

As early as 1874, a Center Township District 5 schoolhouse stood on the land of Parker Moore southeast of Muncie on the Burlington Pike (Kingman, 1874). Initially, the school took on the landowner’s last name, becoming known by locals as the Moore schoolhouse.

In 1889, a new water works plant featuring three boilers and pumps furnishing four million gallons of water was established “two miles from the city” (The New, 1889). The water purification plant was immediately northwest of the school and, around this time, the schoolhouse became known as the Water Works school. 

It seems as though the present, four-room building was constructed around 1900 (Delaware, 2021). In 1903, Professor M.M. Bailey was the principal of the schoolhouse and, in an event noteworthy enough to make the pages of the local newspaper, Bailey encouraged his students to play polo during recess (50, 1953). 

That year, the District 5 Water Works schoolhouse was one of Center Township’s largest in terms of attendance- 190 students went to class in the building. It was only outpaced by the larger District 7 Riverside, District 13 Congerville, District 14 Whitely, and District 15 Normal City schoolhouses (Center, 1903).

In 1918, the eight-room Robert Louis Stevenson school on Macedonia Avenue was completed at a cost of $45-50,000, and it absorbed students attending classes at the District 6 Water Works and District 7 Madden/Macedonia Pike schoolhouses (Stevenson, 1918). Eight years later, the Stevenson school district in Center Township was annexed by the city of Muncie (Council, 1926), and in 1973 the Stevenson building was closed for good, its students sent to Muncie’s Grissom Elementary.

References

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

The New Water Works. (1889, September 24). The Muncie Morning News. p. 2.

Delaware County Office of Information & GIS Services. (2021). Parcel ID: 1114428032000. Delaware County, Indiana Assessor. map, Muncie, IN.

50 and 25 Years Ago. (1953, December 17). The Muncie Evening Press. p. 4.

Center Township school census outside Muncie. (1903, May 15). The Muncie Morning Star. p. 2.

Stevenson School, Finished at Cost of Nearly $50,000, To Be Placed in Use Monday. (1918, December 28). The Muncie Evening Press. p. 3.

Council to be boss of city. (1926, May 25). The Muncie Evening Press. P. 9.