Salem Twp. District 6

Shepp/Walnut Grove

The Salem Township District 6 schoolhouse, Shepp or Walnut Grove. Photo taken April 14, 2021. From the author’s collection.

The residents of Salem Township were earnest about establishing early schools since the first was put together during the winter of 1828-29 at the farm of David Vanmeter in Section 21 (Helm 1881), near Cross Roads. Several other subscription schools were erected or repurposed from abandoned cabins until an 1852 state constitutional amendment provided for a common rural school system (Natali, 2007). It took a few years for the funds to filter down, but in Salem Township several modern schoolhouses like White Oak (School, 1933) and Center (Helm, 1881) were built to take advantage of the new funds. Elsewhere, timber-frame schoolhouses were used until funds came along to rebuild.

In 1870, a brick building was built on the land of J. Shepp (Delaware, 2021), whose house just west of the schoolhouse was erected the following year (Kingman, 1874). By 1874, the schoolhouse was listed as District 4 but around 1880 the township underwent a redistricting that repositioned the Shepp school as District 6 (Salem, 1880). The following year, William Bowman taught classes at the schoolhouse and it was called Walnut Grove (Helm).

Despite its location near Daleville, the Walnut Grove school survived until 1914 (County, 1913) when it closed and consolidated into that community’s newly-enlarged structure built in 1911 (New, 1910). The last teacher was Ada Schlegel (County). Currently, the old schoolhouse is used for agricultural storage. It’s just west of Saunders Cemetery on West County Road 500-S; Daleville Road. 


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.

Natali, B. L. (2007). The Impact of Caleb Mills on the Hoosier Education Debate: An Edition of Two Unpublished Addresses (thesis). University Graduate School, Indianapolis.

School Days Recalled by Epic Poem. (1933, August 23). The Muncie Evening Press. p. 5.

Delaware County Office of Information & GIS Services. (2021). Parcel ID: 1405300002000. Delaware County, Indiana Assessor. map, Muncie, IN.

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

Salem Township Shows. (1880, March 24). The Muncie Daily Times. p. 2.

Delaware County Public Schools. (1913). School directory, Delaware County public schools, Delaware County, Indiana 1913-1914. Muncie, IN. 

New Daleville School. (1910, June 25). The Muncie Morning Star. p. 3.