Delaware Twp. District 5


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

The agricultural community situated south of a bend in the Mississinnewa River in Delaware Township’s section 16 has been variously referred to as Clifton, Sharon, and Zehner Mill (Owens, 1957). It seems that, while the village was platted as Clifton by Abraham Cline in 1849, the post office was called Sharon and the mill in town, was operated by Benjamin Zehner (Greene, 1963). A schoolhouse in the vicinity is not visible on the 1874 plat map of Delaware County (Kingman), but one existed. In 1880, the schoolhouse -known as Sharon (Garfield, 1880) was home to several Republican nominating conventions (Pershing, 1880).

In 1881 -years after the nearby town of Desoto rose to prominence due to the arrival of the railroad- Isaac Boots deeded the Delaware Township Trustee land to build a District 5 schoolhouse in exchange for $40. That year, the Delaware Township Trustee erected a “commodious” schoolhouse a mile east of Clifton/Sharon/Zehner’s Mill (Mr. G.W. Jones, 1881), a structure that stands today albeit in modified form.

In 1885, the Sharon post office closed down (Forte, n.d.) though the school lasted for twenty-two more years. In 1907, students of District 5 were sent to the new, four-room schoolhouse at Desoto along with those of District 7, which burned down prior to the opening of the school year (Kemper, 1908). Leroy Minnick of Eaton was the last teacher (Delaware, 1905)

Today, belfry removed and windows shortened, the old District 5: Sharon schoolhouse is a dwelling.


Owens, E. (1957, January 7). In the Press of Things. The Muncie Evening Press. p. 4.

Greene, D. (1963, November 20). Seen and Heard in Our Neighborhood. The Muncie Star. p. 4.

Garfield Club at Sharon. (1880, August 10). The Muncie Daily Times. p. 1.

Pershing, A.C. (1880, March 6). Township Conventions. The Muncie Daily Times. p. 4.

Delaware County, Indiana. (1881, June 17). Deed Book 48. p. 198.

Mr. G.W. Jones, the Trustee of Delaware Township. (1881, January 28). The Muncie Daily Times. p. 1.

Forte, J. (n.d.). Indiana Delaware County. Jim Forte Postal History. Retrieved September 24, 2021, from Jim Forte Postal History.

Kemper, G. W. H. (1908). Education in Delaware County. In A Twentieth Century History of Delaware County, Indiana, Volume 1 (Vol. 1, pp. 237–237). book, Lewis Publishing Company.

Delaware County Public Schools. (1905). School directory, Delaware County public schools, Delaware County, Indiana 1905-1906. Muncie, IN.