Lafayette Township District 3:


Photo taken August 9, 2021. From the author’s collection.

Josephus W. Layne -later superintendent of Evansville’s schools and a member of the state board of education- taught an early version of the District 3: Salem schoolhouse as a seventeen-year-old in 1867 shortly after the institution was established.

In 1875, a frame building was erected at the northeast corner of today’s county roads North 500-West and West 700-North, a mile south of Frankton (Jackson, 2009). The extant schoolhouse, its replacement, was erected in 1904 at a cost of $7,000. The Elwood Daily Record trumpeted it as “by far the handsomest country school in the county (Fine, 1904), and it is of a unique design in comparison to its peers. 

Along with the Prairie, Keller, Beech Grove, Elm Grove, Closser, and Florida schoolhouses, the Salem school closed in 1932 upon the opening of Lafayette Township’s Leach consolidated school, a six-room building erected near the center of the township (Leach, 1932). 

Today, the old District 3 schoolhouse is a home. After recently removing its aluminum siding, the present owner discovered the names of former students written on its brick walls (Jackson, 2021).


Josephus W. Layne (1896, October 2). The Elwood Free Press. p. 1.

Jackson, S.T. (2009, November 14). In History: Township schools set by districts. The Anderson Herald Bulletin. Retrieved December 3, 2021 from

Fine New Building (1904, June 11). The Elwood Daily Record. p. 4.

Leach School to be Dedicated Next Tuesday (1932, August 19). The Alexandria Times-Tribune. p. 1.

Jackson, S. T. (2021, August 24). Madison County schoolhouses. email.