We here at the History Center are researching the history of the one-room schools that once dotted the countryside of Brown County.
The schools were located near each little pioneer village or settlement. School-aged children sometimes needed to walk a few miles to reach the nearest schoolhouse.
Settlers began coming to this area long before it was a county. The county was founded in 1836, then was divided into five townships. We know the president of the United States was Andrew Jackson and Horace Mann started the first public school system.
The first schoolhouse was said to be located in a little settlement called Hedgesville. It is believed that Hedgesville was located east of Georgetown, now Nashville, near Gnaw Bone of today.
The first schools recorded were built of logs. Logs were the building material the settlers had plenty of. Sawmills were set up at some point, and the building materials were much improved.
We are interested in each of the schools, where they were located, their actual footprint. We know the general vicinity of many of the schools, but we think you can help us figure out the land location and what happened to the buildings when they were no longer in use. You, our readers, can help us with that piece of the puzzle as well.
We know a few of the school buildings are still standing and have been turned into dwellings. We also know some were torn down, the lumber taken to another location and used to build another building.
One example of this is the Junction School. Junction was located in Washington Township, near Daugherty Road, on the hill beside the cemetery. This school building was dismantled and the lumber was taken to Bartholomew County where a new dwelling was built.
The accompanying photograph came to us in a collection of photographs given to the Brown County Archives. We need your help to identify the school, the location or the name of the teacher.
If you have any information about any of the Brown County one-room schools, you may contact us at 812-988-2899 or you may email email@example.com.
We invite you to visit the History Center Archives any Tuesday or Friday between the hours of 1 and 4 p.m. Our location is 90 E. Gould St., Nashville.
— Pauline Hoover, Brown County Historical Society
New winter hours for the History Center are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.