Adams Township District 3:

Old Columbus/Dunkard/Dead Dog

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

The first District 3 schoolhouse in Adams Township was a log building “up on the hill on Art Hennings’ property (Bock, 1970).” Around 1854, a frame structure was completed next to the Dunkard (German Baptist) Church that still stands on New Columbus Road south of what’s now East County Road 500-South, an area sometimes referred to as Old Columbus. Accordingly, the schoolhouse was known as the Dunkard school (Jackson, 2018). In 1877, a brick schoolhouse was built in what was called the “Fesler District (Kingman, 1880)” that measured 23×38 feet and cost $1,100. This school, the building that still stands, was an exact replica of Adams Township’s District 8: Collier schoolhouse.

The schoolhouse received the colloquial name of “Dead Dog,” legend says, after a pregnant dog was hit by a train at Alliance, a railroad station just east of the structure (Jackson, 2018). Bizarrely, another schoolhouse -this one in Boone Township- shared the grisly name, but for entirely different reasons (Jackson).

In 1922, the state board of health issued orders condemning the schoolhouse as unsanitary, along with five others in Adams Township (Condemns, 1922). That year, the school at Markleville was expanded and remodeled (Bock, 1969). A new, consolidated school called Fall Creek Heights opened in 1928 (School, 1928) and it appears as though the District 1 school, along with Districts 2, 3, and 5, were abandoned at that time (Plat, n.d.).

The view of the schoolhouse from County Road 500-S, also known as Alliance Road after the train station, is actually a view of the rear of the structure as the roadway ran south of the building when it was constructed prior to being straightened (Jackson, 2021). Today, the District 3 schoolhouse is a dwelling.


Bock, G. (1970, October 29). Adams Township Had Ten School Districts. Anderson Daily Bulletin. p. 4.

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

Jackson, S. T. (2018, June 10). Of Lost Woods, Poley Walk and other odd place names. The Herald Bulletin. Retrieved September 28, 2021, from

Condemns Six Adams Township School Buildings (1922, April 14). The Alexandria Times-Tribune. p. 1.

Bock, G. (1969, June 3). This is Year of Last Good Bye for Markleville H.S.. Anderson Daily Bulletin. p. 4.

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

School Terms to Close Next Week (1928, April 14). The Elwood Call-Leader. p. 1.

Jackson, S. T. (2021, August 9). Madison County schoolhouses. email.