Adams Township District 10:

Poly Walk/Buttonwood

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

After a new state constitution was passed authorizing funding for free, common schools, Adams Township’s five district schools were demolished and ten frame schoolhouses were soon erected to take their place (Fox, n.d.). The initial District 10 school was one of them (Kingman, 1880).

Kingman referred to the original district 10 structure as Buttonwood, another name for the American sycamore trees that were prominent features of the area. The school was also known as Poly Walk, named after the “thickly-settled locality” it was located in (Forkner & Dyson, 1897). Prior to being drained, the southwestern corner Adams Township was so swampy that poles were laid horizontally to serve as roads in order for students to traverse the land towards the schoolhouse (Phillips, 1875).

As unique as it sounds, the District 10 school shared its common name with another schoolhouse in Adams Township’, District 5, which also known as Wildwood (Fox, n.d.). That building no longer stands.

The extant District 10 schoolhouse was built in 1889. From 1922-24, the school at Markleville was expanded and remodeled (Bock, 1969). It appears as though the District 10 school was abandoned at this time (Plat, n.d.).


Kingman Brothers. (1880). History of Madison County, Indiana with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches. Chicago, IL.

Forkner, J. & Dyson, B. (1897). Historical Sketches and Reminiscences of Madison County, Indiana. book. Anderson, IN.

Phillips, V.B. (1975, July 27). ‘Brush, Swamp’ Days Recalled. The Anderson Herald. p. 11.

Fox, J. (n.d.). Adams Township Had 10 Schools. Madison County Historical Society. Retrieved September 29, 2021, from

Plat Book of Madison County Indiana (n.d.) W. W. Hixson & Co. Rockford, IL. map. Map Collection, Indiana Division, Indiana State Library.