Harrison Twp. District 11


Photo taken April 10, 2021. From the author’s collection.

The District 11 schoolhouse does not appear on an 1874 plat map of Harrison Township, though a township school of unknown district is west of the present-day intersection of North County Road 700-West  and West County Road 300-North (Kingman, 1874). In 1881, Thomas Helm reported that the District 11 school was known as the Africa schoolhouse, with W.P. Barnett as the teacher. 

The following year, William Antrim granted the Harrison Township Trustee a portion of his land to erect a new schoolhouse (Delaware, 1882). A new, brick building -located about three-quarters of a mile west of the schoolhouse visible on the 1874 map- was occupied during the winter of 1883, and dedicated the following March (Our, 1884). 

Just how the schoolhouse got its peculiar name is unknown, though there was also an Africa schoolhouse in Wells County’s Liberty Township (Will Build, 1910) and one in Kosciusko County’s Turkey Creek Township. The school in Kosciusko County received its name due to its remote location: traveling to attend classes there was such a trek that the students might as well have been voyaging to Africa (Spurgeon, 1988). Harrison Township has no incorporated communities, so the District 11 school may have gotten its common name for a similar reason. 

In its later years, the District 11 school was known as the Fairview schoolhouse (Greene, 1952). Gilbert Carpenter of Yorktown served as the final teacher before the school closed in 1924 after Harrison Township’s new consolidated school opened (Delaware, 1923). Today, the structure has been expanded and is in use as a barn. 


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

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, Indiana. (1882, November 21). Deed Book 54. p. 440.

Our County Schools and Matters of Interest Concerning Them. (1884, March 20). The Muncie Morning News. p. 3.

Will Build New Schools. (1910, February 11). The Muncie Morning Star. p. 2.

Spurgeon, B. (1988, August 9). Seen and Heard in Our Neighborhood. The Muncie Star. p. 6.

Greene, D. (1952, March 26). Seen and Heard in Our Neighborhood. The Muncie Star. p. 6.

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