Salem Twp. District 11
Though students attended school here as early as Civil War days (Greene, 1946), historical record is unclear as to how the Mt. Healthy school, Salem Township District 11, got its name. The school does not sit on any appreciable summit, and illness raged through the “neighborhood” during 1881, necessitating the closure of its Sunday school (Mt. Healthy, 1881). It is possible that the Strickler family on whose land the building sat (Kingman, 1874) hailed from Mt. Healthy, Ohio. For what it’s worth, there was also a Mt. Healthy school in Madison County’s Pipe Creek Township near Elwood (Prayer, 1901).
The schoolhouses of Salem Township were apparently subjected to a redistricting around 1880 (Salem, 1880), as the schoolhouse was listed as District 6 in 1874, though it was listed as number eleven seven years later (Helm, 1881). That year, the Mt. Healthy neighborhood was prominent enough to earn periodic mentions in the Muncie newspapers (Notes, 1881) but it certainly was not well-populated. That January, for example, only nineteen pupils were enrolled at Sunday school in Mt. Healthy, compared to 65 at tiny Cross Roads (Paths, 1881). Perhaps the area’s location on the Middletown and Daleville Pike -surveyed and laid out in 1840 (Helm) – helped burgeon its reputation.
The extant schoolhouse, just south of Arrowhead Drive on 800-W, appears to have been built in 1891 (Delaware, 2021). In 1897, Delaware County Superintendent of Schools Charles Van Matre began exploring consolidating one-room schools into larger structures. Salem Township -where Van Matre lived- began combining schools three years later (Helm). Mt. Healthy was the township’s second to close when its seven pupils were sent to the graded District 10 schoolhouse at Cross Roads in 1901. William VanMatre was the first driver of the school hack that transported Mt. Healthy’s student there (Album, 1981), the most distant living no further than five miles away (Kemper, 1908).
Today, the old Mt. Healthy schoolhouse still stands as a dwelling.
Greene, D. (1946, March 28). Seen and Heard in Our Neighborhood. The Muncie Star Press. p. 6.
Mt. Healthy. (1881, April 18). The Muncie Daily News, p. 2.
Prayer Did Not Cure. (1901, February 3). The Muncie Morning Star, p. 7.
Salem Township Shows. (1880, March 24). The Muncie Daily Times, p. 2.
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.
Notes from Mt. Healthy. (1881, June 18). The Muncie Daily News, p. 2.
Paths of Peace Found in the Sunday – School. (1881, January 25). The Muncie Daily Times, p. 2.
Delaware County Office of Information & GIS Services. (2021). Parcel ID: 1417376001000. Delaware County, Indiana Assessor. map, Muncie, IN.
Album. (1981, June 7). The Muncie Star, p. D12.
Kemper, G. W. H. (1908). Education in Delaware County. In A Twentieth Century History of Delaware County, Indiana, Volume 1 (Vol. 1, p. 252). book, Lewis Publishing Company.