Lafayette Township District 12:
Originally known as Clark’s Station after the man who donated its land, Florida Station sprung up as a stop on the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, & St. Louis Railroad and was established in 1856. It was given its unusual name due to its swampy nature: A man, Tom Clark, paddled his way to the area from Anderson in a canoe. The marshland, with its abundance of water lilies and dog roses, reminded Clark of the state of Florida (Jackson, 2019).
By 1894, population increases forced Lafayette Township to establish a twelfth school district. A two-story, two-room building at Florida Station was erected to serve the area’s students (Jackson, 2009).
Eleven years after the school was established William Hollenbach, the teacher of the District 12 school, was arrested on a charge of assault and battery on one of his students, an orphan. Hollenbach pleaded guilty and paid a fine of $12.40 (Teacher, 1905).
Lafayette Township began plans to erect a new, consolidated school a mile west and a quarter of a mile north of Florida Station in 1929 (3, 1929). The new building, called Leach, was opened in 1932, leading to the closure of the Elm Grove, Prairie, Keller, Closser, Beech Grove, and Salem schools, along with Florida Station’s (Leach, 1932).
Today, the old schoolhouse is a home.
Jackson, S.T. (2019, September 10). What’s in a Name: Lafayette only township in county named for foreign-born person. The Anderson Herald Bulletin. Retrieved December 14, 2021 from https://www.heraldbulletin.com/opinion/whats-in-a-name-lafayette-only-township-in-county-named-for-foreign-born-person/article_18713796-c8ef-11e9-a3be-436bc9542f9a.html.
Jackson, S.T. (2009, November 14). In History: Township schools set by districts. The Anderson Herald Bulletin. Retrieved December 13, 2021 from https://www.heraldbulletin.com/community/in-history-township-schools-set-by-districts/article_21819f32-4eef-5e59-992e-3bad0f213a87.html.
Teacher Was Fined (1905, December 22). The Elwood Call-Leader. p. 8.
3 More Months Rural School Term Remains (1929, February 2). The Alexandria Times-Tribune. p. 4.
Leach School to be Dedicated Next Tuesday (1932, August 19). The Alexandria Times-Tribune. p. 1.