Reader’s Question:

What were the first public schools in Indianapolis, and where were they located?  ~ Ann F., Indianapolis

HI’s Answer: 

From the time non-native settlers began to populate the area that in 1821 became the City of Indianapolis, people met in churches and homes to learn about subjects that were of interest to them. However, these study groups were private assemblies.  Various seminaries and institutes also operated in the early and mid-1800s, but they charged tuition, and none of them survived for any length of time.

It wasn’t until 1847 that Indianapolis voters overwhelmingly supported a local referendum asking for free public schools, and it wasn’t until 1848 that the entire state of Indiana endorsed the concept.  Following that statewide mandate to provide free instruction for all children, a primary school was built in each of the seven wards of Indianapolis that were in existence at the time.  As other areas of Marion County were later annexed to the city, additional schools were built in the newly created wards.

1876 map shows the locations of Indianapolis' wards, each of which had its own school (map courtesy of David Rumsey Co.) CLICK TO ENLARGE

An 1876 map shows the locations of Indianapolis’ wards, each of which had its own elementary school within its boundaries (map courtesy of David Rumsey Co.)                              CLICK TO ENLARGE

In the early years of the Indianapolis Public School system, the ward numbers became the schools’ numbers. Thus, the school located in Ward 1 became IPS School Number 1, the school located in Ward 2 became IPS School Number 2, the school located in Ward 3 became IPS School 3, and so on.

In the early 1900s, the Indianapolis Board of School Commissioners also decided to assign a name to each of the numbered elementary schools.  Beginning with the 1903 Indianapolis Directory, each subsequent year’s directory included more and more names of schools alongside the schools’ numbers.  The names recognized a variety of men and women who had distinguished themselves in some way.  They included authors, poets, teachers, artists, suffragettes, clergymen, school board members, social workers, U.S. Presidents, etc.

School 1 was named the Hyde School.   The school was located on the southwest corner of East Vermont and North New Jersey Streets.  The building no longer exists.  Today, that parcel of land is part of the parking lot for the downtown Marsh Supermarket.  When a new School 1 was built on the northeast corner of East 36th and Gale Streets, several decades later, School 1’s name was changed to the George Rogers Clark School.

IPS School Number 1 was located on the corner of New Jersey and Vermont Streets (Wm H Bass Photo Co. Collection, courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society)

IPS School 1 was on the southwest corner of Vermont and New Jersey Streets.  Today it’s a Marsh Supermarket parking lot.    (W. H. Bass Photo Co. Collection, courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society)

School 2 was named the Benjamin Harrison School.    It was located on the northwest corner of East Walnut Street and North Delaware Street.  The building no longer exists.  Today, that is the location of the John Morton-Finney Center for Educational Services, the headquarters of Indianapolis Public Schools.  In 1958, a new School 2 building was erected at 725 North New Jersey Street.  The second Benjamin Harrison School still exists today.

IPS School 2 was located on the northwest corner of Walnut and Delaware Streets. Today it is the site of Indianapolis Public School headquarters (Wm H. Bass Photo Co. Collection courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society)

IPS School 2 was on the northwest corner of Walnut and Delaware Streets. Today it’s the site of Indianapolis Public Schools  (W. H. Bass Photo Co. Collection, courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society)

School 3 was named the Lucretia Mott School.  It was first on the east side of North Meridian Street, just north of Ohio Street.  It later was rebuilt on the east side of Rural Street, in the first block north of East Washington Street. The original School 3 building no longer exists; today, the original location is the site of the Birch Bayh Federal Building and United States Courthouse.  The second School 3 building is still standing but is no longer in use as a school; it appears the building is being converted to apartments.

IPS School 2 was on the corner of (Wm H Bass Co. Collection courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society)

IPS School 3 was originally on the east side of Meridian, north of Ohio. That’s now the Birch Bayh Federal Building and Courthouse      (W. H. Bass Photo Co. Collection, courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society)

School 4 was named the Mary E. Cable School.  It was on the northeast corner of West Michigan Street and North Blackford Avenue.  The building no longer exists.  Today, that site is part of the IUPUI campus and has a multi-story parking garage erected on it.

IPS School 4 was at . Today it is (Wm H Bas Co, Collection courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society)

IPS School 4 was on the northeast corner of West Michigan and N. Blackford Streets. Today that’s part of the IUPUI campus     (W. H. Bass Photo Co. Collection, courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society)

School 5 was named the Oscar C. McCulloch School.  Its original location was on the south side of West Maryland Street, between Mississippi (now Senate) and Missouri Streets.  That block of Maryland is now part of the multi-block Indiana Convention Center.  In later years, School 5 was rebuilt at 612 West Washington Street.  Over the years, five different buildings housed School 5.  The last of the five structures was torn down when White River State Park was being built.  Fortunately, a portion of the façade was rescued and has been installed in the lobby of the Indiana State Museum, which now stands about where the where the fourth and fifth of the School 5 buildings formerly stood.

IPS School 5 was on the south side of Maryland Street, east of Missouri St. That spot is now part of White River State Park (W. H. Bass Co. Collection courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society)

The first three IPS School 5 buildings were on W. Maryland Street; the fourth and fifth buildings were on W. Washington St.         (W. H. Bass Photo Co. Collection, courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society)

School 6 was named the Austin Brown School.  It was located on the southwest corner of Union and Phipps Streets.  The school no longer exists.  Neither do the streets.  The thoroughfares were vacated at some point, and a new building was constructed over them by Eli Lilly and Company in 2000.

IPS School 6 was on the southwest corner of Union and Phipps Streets . Today it is the (Wm. H. Bass Photo Co. Collection courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society)

IPS School 6 was on the southwest corner of Union and Phipps Streets . Today it’s the site of an Eli Lilly and Company facility (W. H. Bass Photo Co. Collectio,n courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society)

School 7 was named the Thomas Jefferson School.  The building still exists today, but not as a school.  It is located on the north side of East Bates Street between Concordia and Davidson Streets. I could not find a vintage photo of IPS School 7, so I took a photo of the property as it appears today.  The stone slab with the school’s name carved in it still appears over what was probably originally the school’s main entrance.  It’s now used as an office building.

Former IPS School Number 7 is on the north side of Bates Street, between Davidson and Concordia (2015 photo by Sharon Butsch Freeland)

IPS School Number 7 was located on the north side of East Bates Street, between S. Concordia and S. Davidson Streets     (2015 photo by Sharon Butsch Freeland)

The first free public high school in Indianapolis was attempted in 1853 in a former seminary building on the southwest corner of University Park.  It was closed in 1858, due to the lack of adequate funding.  It wasn’t until 1864 that another public high school was opened, as a result of the tireless efforts of two educators named Caleb Mills and Abraham Shortridge.  The second time around, the high school would not just survive; it would thrive.

The first principal of the Indianapolis High School was William A. Bell.  For three years, the secondary school was housed in what had previously been the First Ward’s primary school building at Vermont and New Jersey Streets (see the School 1 photo towards the beginning of this article).

Then from 1867 to 1872, the high school was located in Circle Hall, a three-story building in the northwest quadrant of Monument Circle, on the corner of West Market Street and The Circle.  Circle Hall was formerly the location of Second Presbyterian Church, where Henry Ward Beecher was pastor from 1839 to 1847.  The Indianapolis Public High School held its first graduation in 1869.

Circle Hall, in the northwest quadrant of Monument Circle, served as the first home of the newly organized Indianapolis High School (photo courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society)

Circle Hall, in the northwest quadrant of The Circle, served as the first home of the newly organized Indianapolis High School (photo courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society)

From 1872 until 1885, the Indianapolis High School was located in the former Baptist Female Seminary at East Michigan and North Pennsylvania Streets.  When the building was declared unsafe, it was torn down, and a new building was erected on the same site.  Classes met in nearby churches while the new building was being built.

From 1872 to 1885, the Indianapolis High School occupied the former Baptist Female Cemetery on the northeast corner of E. Michigan and N. Pennsylania Streets (photo scanned from Shortridge High School, 1864-1981, in Retrospect by Laura Sheerin Gaus

From 1872 to 1885, Indianapolis High School occupied the former Baptist Female Seminary at Michigan and Pennsylvania          (photo scanned from the book, Shortridge High School, 1864-1981, in Retrospect by Laura Sheerin Gaus)

From 1885 until 1928, the rebuilt high school occupied the entire block of North Pennsylvania Street between Michigan and North Streets.  Today, that site is the location of the Minton-Capehart Federal Building.

The original Indianapolis High School was renamed Shortridge during its years at E. Michigan and N. Pennsylvania Street (W. H. Bass Co. Collection, courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society)

The original Indianapolis High School was renamed Shortridge during its years at E. Michigan and N. Pennsylvania Streets   (W. H. Bass Photo Co. Collection, courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society)

By the late 1880s, the enrollment at Indianapolis High School exceeded the building’s capacity.  A second high school was established on Virginia Avenue in a former grade school.  As there was a growing interest in job training for students who did not have the aptitude or the funds to continue their education at a college level, a brand new high school was built in a triangular block of land surrounded by South Meridian Street, West Merrill Street, and Madison Avenue.  The new secondary school was initially named “Manual Training High School.”  It was later renamed Emmerich Manual High School, in honor of the man who had been its principal.  The new high school opened in February of 1895, and the old building in which it had operated became a grade school again.  Emmerich Manual High School’s previous building still stands today, although it is no longer a school.  Like the land on which Austin Brown School 6 once stood, just south of it, the former Manual Training High School’s property is part of the Eli Lilly and Company campus.

Manual Training High School was built in 1895 in the block surrounded S. Meridian Street, Merrill Street, and Madison Avenue (W. H. Bass Photo Co. Collection, courtesy of Indiana Historical Society)

Manual Training High School was built in 1895 in the block surrounded S. Meridian Street, Merrill Street, and Madison Ave.  (W. H. Bass Photo Co. Collection, courtesy of Indiana Historical Society)

Since the Indianapolis High School was no longer the only Indianapolis high school, a different name was necessary for the city’s original secondary school.  In 1896, it was renamed “Shortridge High School,” in honor of IPS’s first superintendent.

By the 1920’s, the core of the city had become denser and more commercial.  The dirt and noise made it less desirable to live in the center of town, plus the invention of the automobile made it possible to get to work downtown quickly but live a few miles out from all of the hustle and bustle.  Many new residential neighborhoods were built north of Fall Creek in the first quarter of the 20th Century, so IPS made the decision to build a new Shortridge High School on the north side.  Several sites were considered, including the northwest corner of 40th and Meridian Streets and the southwest corner of 46th Street and Central Avenue.

The final selection for the location of the new Shortridge was the northeast corner of 34th and Meridian Streets. Construction began in 1927 and was completed in 1928.  Still in that location today, Shortridge High School began its 151st year in August as an International Baccalaureate World School.

The current Shortridge High School building has stood on the northeast corner of E. 34th and N. Meridian Streets since 1928 (2015 photo by Sharon Butsch Freeland)

The current Shortridge High School building has stood on the northeast corner of E. 34th and N. Meridian Streets since 1928 (2015 photo by Sharon Butsch Freeland)

From its humble beginnings of just seven small ward schools back in 1853, the number of IPS elementary schools ultimately reached 114 in the latter part of the 20th Century.  From a single high school that opened its doors back in the fall of 1864, the number of IPS high schools grew to eight in the second half of the 20th Century.  The largest enrollment in IPS’s history can be attributed to the Baby Boomer generation of children born in the two decades immediately following the end of World War II.


69 responses to “HI Mailbag: Indianapolis’ First Public Schools”

  1. George Hanlin says:

    Great article, Sharon! I’m glad you’re back. One thing I’ll point out — the photo you use to illustrate School 5 is actually of School 58, built in 1908 at New York Street and Linwood Avenue on the east side. (Note that it’s missing all the terra cotta features of the Oscar Carleton McCulloch school.)

  2. Basil Berchekas Jr says:

    My late mother, Velma Berchekas, taught at School Number 8 (Eighth Ward) on Virginia Avenue (later was Assistant Principal of School 101). My sister Peggy (Clark) went to Tech and later served as Principal. Their schools were founded just after this period that you so aptly described. Learned a lot from this article!

  3. Sharon Butsch Freeland says:

    Good catch, George. I should have looked at the photo more carefully. Although it says School 5 in the description of the photo, it also says Ralph Waldo Emerson. I “fell” for the Indiana Historical Society’s labeling of it as Public School No. 5 and didn’t look further. I reported this to IHS after I saw your comment, so they may have corrected it. If they haven’t though, you can take a look at why I was misled: I will try to find another image of the actual Oscar McCulloch School 5 and post it later today.

  4. Jarryd Foreman says:

    I LOVED this article! In your research for this piece did you happen to come across any information for IPS School 33? (John Greenleaf Whittier School at 1119 N. Sterling) Built in 1890, it’s now the Whittier Place Apartments?

  5. Basil Berchekas Jr says:

    I would have gone to School 58, but when we moved north up Emerson to the 2000 block, I was rezoned to school 68. Both known to be effective public schools at the time…(maybe now)

  6. Sharon Butsch Freeland says:

    I am familiar with your grade school, having driven past it many times. I did not discuss it in my article, since it was built a number of years after the original seven IPS grade schools were. The reader who asked the question was interested in the early schools, so I did not go beyond them. If you haven’t seen it before, there is a 1916 photo of John Greenleaf Whittier School 33 on the Indiana Historical Society’s website, here:

  7. Jessica Nunemaker says:

    I just love those old school buildings. So much character! Great article.

  8. Molly Head says:

    As always, thanks Sharon for the amazing work.

  9. Iola Tomlinson Lanaman says:

    Great work, Sharon. I attended the first public kindergarten in 1932, when it was on 30th Street in Brightwood. Then went to School #51 until the second grade, when we moved up north so that my sister could go to Shortridge High School. I completed my elementary school education grades 3 through 8 at School #60. I graduated from Shortridge High School in 3 1/2 years during World War II. You may know that my parents met while attending Shortridge High School when the school was downtown.

  10. Sharon Butsch Freeland says:

    Thank you for your comments about your years in the Indianapolis Public Schools, Aunt Iola.

  11. Steven Clark Goad says:

    I was hoping to see an image of my old grade school on East Raymond Street. It was Margaret McFarland Public School #4. I hated to see the old brick building torn down. It held a lot of memories of my childhood and the old neighborhood.

  12. Steven Clark Goad says:

    Thanks for the article.

  13. Richard Simpson says:

    Great article. There is only one exception I have.

    There was actually an Indianapolis High School #2 before the Manual Technical School was built at Meridian, Merrill and Madison.

    The original Indianapolis HS 2 was at the corner of what, at the time, was Virginia and Huron, with Charles E. Emmerich as principal. That was in 1894. The following year, the “Industrial Training School,” at Meridian/Merrill/Madison, was opened, with Mr. Emmerich as principal.

    The original HS 2 became Annex #2, Indianapolis High School #1 that same year.

    The building became School #8, after the closing of the original #8 northeast of the Atlas Works, around 1898. Between 1898 and 1904, Huron was renamed Lexington.

    I am pretty sure that the building still exists. It was the Calvin Fletcher school before it was closed.

  14. Sharon Butsch Freeland says:

    Thanks for writing. The Margaret McFarland School at 3200 East Raymond Street was actually IPS School 112 (not 4). It did not become part of the IPS system until the 1960s. Since the person asking the question inquired about Indianapolis’ early schools, I did not include School 112 in this article.

  15. Basil Berchekas Jr says:

    i was wondering if this was one of the last Center Township schools to come into the IPS…

  16. Steven Clark Goad says:

    I wonder why Margaret McFarland #112 was given the number 4. Hmm.

  17. Sharon Butsch Freeland says:

    Could it have previously been a school that was located in the Beech Grove school system or a township school system? Maybe it had the number 4 in the earlier school system?
    I found a couple of Facebook pages for Margaret McFarland School 112. There’s a partial photo of the school building on both of them:

  18. Steven Clark Goad says:

    Actually there was another elementary school east of McFarland about two miles and it was known as #3.

  19. Steven Clark Goad says:

    Thanks, Sharon, for the site for Margaret McFarland School number 112/4. That’s the entrance of the old school. It shows a football team. That made me laugh. We not only didn’t have a football team or a basketball team, we didn’t even have a cafeteria. We brought our lunches to school. We had an old cinder track that was overgrow with grass on the adjoining property. Still, precious memories of my childhood and my first love interests, Barbara Flaskamp, and Deana Zimmerman, and Sharon Jones Shiver.

  20. Steven Clark Goad says:

    It could have been in the Beech Grove system, Sharon. It was maybe a mile from the Beech Grove border. I have written a book of short stories based on life at Margaret McFarland and Manual High School. It is called Gullible’s Travels. I would send you a copy if I had your snail mail address. My email is goadandco@hotmail. com Feel free to send me your address, and I will send you a copy.

  21. kiki says:

    i cant find any info on school no 9 built in 1899

  22. Sharon Butsch Freeland says:

    Clemens Vonnegut School Number 9 at 407 N. Fulton Street was designed by Diedrich A. Bohlen. It is no longer a school. The building is now home to Young & Laramare, an advertising agency.

  23. Sharon Butsch Freeland says:

    I’d love to read it. I’ll send you my snail mail address via a private message.

  24. Sharon Butsch Freeland says:

    I’d forgotten that there was an Indianapolis High School #2, before the new Manual Technical School was built. As the latter school in a sense replaced the former school, I guess I always thought of them as essentially one and the same entity. As I understand it, the teachers and students from Indianapolis High School #2 all moved over to the new Manual when it was completed.
    School 8 was built at 520 Fletcher Avenue in 1857, and it was the public grade school for the Eighth Ward from that year until it served as Indianapolis High School #2 in the late 1880s and early 1890s. During the time it was used as a high school, School 8 apparently operated elsewhere. As you noted, the second high school building became School 8 again after Manual opened, plus it was given the additional moniker of being named the Calvin Fletcher School.
    I can’t imagine how School 8 could ever have been located northeast of the Atlas Engine Works, if the schools were still following the convention of being numbered according to the ward in which they were located. Atlas was on the north side between 19th and 21st Streets and between Martindale and Sheldon, which is four or five miles northeast of 520 Virginia Avenue. I think Atlas Engine Works would have been in the 10th Ward when IPS was established. I’ll investigate this further and update the information.
    Thanks for your comments. It’s good to know that someone reads the articles. 🙂

  25. Basil Berchekas Jr says:

    OK. Appreciate that…

  26. sammy says:

    Why didn’t you mention Harry E Wood High School?

  27. Sharon Butsch Freeland says:

    The person who sent in the question to the HI Mailbag asked about Indianapolis’ first public schools. Harry E. Wood High School was not one of Indianapolis’ first public schools. Wood didn’t open until 1953, which was a century after the Indianapolis Public School system was established.

  28. sammy says:

    it still could’ve been mentioned since it was in the old manuel high school building.

  29. sammy says:

    Eli Lilly and Company isn’t an ips school either and still got mentioned

  30. Sharon Butsch Freeland says:

    The article focused on answering the reader’s question of identifying the earliest schools and their locations. Harry E. Wood High School’s being in the same building that Manual had formerly occupied does not make Harry E. Wood among Indianapolis’ first public schools. Arsenal Technical, Broad Ripple, Crispus Attucks, George Washington, and Thomas Carr Howe High Schools all existed before Wood did, and none of those other schools was mentioned.

  31. Sharon Butsch Freeland says:

    Eli Lilly and Company was mentioned because that’s who owns the building today. Likewise, I discussed what is currently on the sites of the first seven grade schools and the first high school. I did not discuss all of those school buildings’ histories between the time they opened in the mid-1800s and the present. No doubt some of the buildings had other uses in between their original purposes as schools and what they are now.

  32. Steven Clark Goad says:

    I’m amazed that some people just don’t get it, even after you have explained it, Sharon. It was about the “FIRST” public schools. Not about all schools or our favorites. SMH

  33. Sharon Butsch Freeland says:

    Thanks, Steven.

  34. Basil Berchekas Jr says:

    Yes, just the first seven, matching the City’s first seven wards designated at that time with the schools numbered after the ward they were located in. Simple.

  35. sammy says:

    I get it was about the first public schools all I said was she could’ve stated that harry e wood high school was in the old manual high school building. people don’t have to be rude about it.

  36. Steven Clark Goad says:

    She could have written about anything. But it was about the subject matter she was addressing, not about Manual High School, as much as I love my old alma mater.

  37. Randall Miller says:

    Hello Sharon,
    I just love looking through this wonderful bit of history. I myself went to IPS #1, from 1965 thru 1968. All seven of my family attended, I was the youngest. Then moved to Putnam County.
    My father had attended there also. Wondering where I might go to find old photos, from the 1930s school pics. Again I think you have done a wonderful job. And keep up the good work. If I find anything of interest, I will be sure to pass it on to you.
    Thanks Again
    Randall Miller

  38. Charlotte Ottinger says:

    I was excited to read you recollection about your parents meeting at Shortridge and your attendance. We are in the process of re-establishing a SHS Archive and Museum at the School. If you would be interested in participating in an oral history, please contact me at Thank you

  39. Catherine McIntire Morgan says:

    I attended PS #16 on the west side from 1945-1953. In the spring of 1953 IPS was celebrating an anniversary and had a parade downtown Indianapolis. I rode the float from our school. Several schools participated. My question is to your knowledge are there any pictures of that celebration specifically our school. Perhaps you could guide me to a site or place where pictures may be found. Thank you Catherine Morgan

  40. Sharon Butsch Freeland says:

    I just found an article in the April 24, 1953, edition of The Indianapolis Star that reported on the parade. The occasion was the 100th anniversary of the State of Indiana’s vote to provide free, public education for all children. The parade occurred on Thursday, April 23, 1953, at 1:00 p.m., in downtown Indianapolis. Approximately 6,000 of IPS’ 65,000 pupils participated in the parade, and approximately 175,000 people lined the streets to cheer them on.
    In the article, there were photos of School 1’s float and School 23’s float, but unfortunately not School 16’s. However, since there were three daily newspapers at that time (The Indianapolis Star, The Indianapolis News, and The Indianapolis Times), as well as many weekly newspapers around town (The Indianapolis Recorder, The North Side Topics, West Side News, etc.), I would recommend that you try to look at scans of all of the local newspapers that existed in 1953. The other papers may have published photos of the parade, as well, and their photos may have been of different floats from the ones the Indy Star took. Both the Indianapolis Public Library and the Indiana State Library have newspapers on microfilm.
    Good luck!

  41. donnie h harris says:

    What a wonderful job you have done. I started school @5 (8/1/53 in 1958. I then went to 21-grade schools in In the Larger part of The city at the size it is today. How could I get a list of the one opened at the date threw my arrival At Manuel in sep 1968?

  42. Betty Jones says:

    Did I miss school # 9 ?

  43. Pauline Kurtz says:

    I’m looking for pictures of IPS # 35, at the time of 1930s …
    During the depression my father and his siblings went there…
    They were Finns.

  44. Billie elaine smith swelstad says:

    This was a great article, and I’m glad I stumbled into it. My brother and I were students from 1948 to 1956 at ps#1, or rather George rogers Clark elementary school.. on 36th and gale. Mrs shirley was the principal. It was a great school, even had a “new” addition from the mid 40s. I was surprised to see that it has been abandoned, and wondered why it hadn’t been torn down as there are many homes in the area, and plenty of opportunities for troubleforyoung children. Does anyone know why it’s been abandoned?

  45. Betty jones says:

    I went to the old school 2 from first grade and I was in the first class when the new school opened! Mr. Youngman was the principal! The old school 2 was a beautiful school I loved the way it smelled and all the beautiful wood floors and the big stairs! The gym and auditorium was on the third floor. It also had a dentist that would come in and do dental work for students who couldn’t afford it! I wish things were more like those good old days!!

  46. Jean says:

    Does anyone in the Indiana Historical Society actually know the history behind Oscar McColloch? He was for years involved in charities for the poor and under privileged. But somewhere along the line he thought he was an expert in the new field of eugentics. He proposed to the Indiana Legislation his plan to STERILIZE “undesirables, which was adopted in 1902. McCulloch’s plan to eradicate poverty, ignorance (the uneducated) was to round them up and forceably STERILIZE them. This law was in effect for about 3 years before it was eventually deemed unconstitutional a few years later by the Governor of Indiana. It has been said that Adolph Hitler read about McCulloch’s “Indiana Plan” But took it a step further in is “Final Soultion” to eradicate undesirables. To my mind, Oscar MxCulloch does NOT deserve a monument in his name within the Indiana Historical Society… unless it is a monument to the dark days in Indiana’s history. Google the “Indiana Plan” to learn something.

  47. James I McPike says:

    I was at # 33 for Kindergarten and thru to the 2nd grade. I was amid-term student in 1953 through 55. Do you have picture of the school? Jim McPike

  48. Patricia Conner says:

    I am looking for a public school that I attended in the 1950’s.
    It was located near West 12th or West 13th and Missouri Streets. Also in that area were several baptist churches – Mt. Zion Baptist and Mt. Paran Baptist, among others. If you have any information, please publish. Thank you for your time.

  49. Jerry Carman says:

    Catherine, are you a younger sister of Michael McIntire? We were in the same class. I have often wondered about my former classmates.

  50. Ralph Roberts says:

    I have been searching for a photo of school #28 but, unable after weeks of searching. Is there someone that could help me please?

  51. Sharon BUTSCH Freeland says:

    Hello, Ralph,
    I assume you are searching for a photo of the original IPS School 28 and not the current one. Built in 1883, the original school was located at 931 Fletcher Avenue for 84 years. Alternately known as the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow School, it was replaced in 1967 by a new school, two blocks away at 510 Laurel Street. In 2016 the Pinnex Apartments were built on the former site of School 28. The only photo of the original school that I could find is in the W. H. Bass Company Photo Collection at the Indiana Historical Society, which was taken in 1923. Here is the link to that image:
    I hope this is helpful.
    Sharon Butsch Freeland

  52. ralph says:

    Thank you very much, appreciated greatly, I attended this school from 1959 until 1968 when the new # 28 was finished. I, for the life of me, I could not place the second structure next to the school. I think it was the boiler room for the steam heat for those old iron radiators. Again, Thank you!

  53. Erica says:

    I am looking for any information on school 35. What happened to it, did it change its name or cease to exist? Thanks

  54. Lisa Hannon says:

    I would love to find a photo of the (I guess) original IPS School #20 located at 1125 Spruce Street. When I was a child it was the “Prospect” Street Branch library until 1969 and then moved and I guess became the Fountain Square branch. I found one photo, but it is more of a close up of the door/entrance, and I can see the plaque that says Prospect Branch Library. I would love to find a photo of the whole building but haven’t had any luck. And I believe it was torn down.

  55. Jacq Gaines says:

    I would love to see photos of School #40 and Teachers attended there when I was a child …. Thank You..

  56. Mary jones says:

    Indianapolis Public Library. Prospect Branch Library
    Library buildings–Indiana–Indianapolis–History
    Indianapolis Public Library–History

  57. Sonja Cookson says:

    I’m trying to find photos of Indianapolis PS 21 elementary and Lowell elementary in Warren Twp.
    Photos showing the original buildings during the 1940’s for a family book I’m writing.

  58. Debbie BrOoks says:

    I also attended GRCS# 1. Lived at 34th and Forest Manor. I went there in the early 60’s.
    Hearing on the news about the weekend shootings @ 35th and Adams I had to do a search and see where it was as I can’t remember. Used to run those streets all the time as a kid.
    So so sad to see it so deteriorating. My grandmother was a cook there also.
    Mrs. Geyer was the principal when I attended. I was a traffic guard and walked home for lunch.
    Oh the memories. I had no idea the building was abandoned. So sad.

  59. Sharon Butsch Freeland says:

    Hello, Debbie,

    Thank you for leaving a comment. I saw the news about the multiple murders in this morning’s IndyStar, too. Very shocking! As I imagine you discovered when you searched for it, Adams Street is only two blocks west of Gale Street, where School 1 was located. The children in the 3500 block of Adams would have gone to School 1 back in your day, so I understand your sadness at both the condition of the former school and the nearby violence. I had several friends who went to George Rogers Clark School 1 in the Fifties and Sixties. Before Arlington High School was built, School 1 students went on to Shortridge High School, which is my alma mater. Also, my great-grandmother lived on Adams Street, and we visited her every Sunday after church. I remember the neighborhood as a quiet, peaceful area and a short walk to the wonderful Meadows Shopping Center. If you are not already aware, Principal Leone (Hankins) Geyer passed away in 2002 at the age of 91. Also, I checked city records, and the former IPS property at 36th and Gale Streets has changed hands a number of times in recent years. It is currently owned by a local individual, but I can find no information about his plans for the property.

  60. Sharon Butsch Freeland says:


    IPS School 23 was located on the northeast corner of 13th and Missouri Streets. Also known as the Charles Sumner School, it was named for a United States Senator who was an anti-slavery Republican during the Civil War. Unfortunately, School 23 no longer exists, as it was demolished to make way for the Interstate highway system. The ground on which the school once stood is in the path of the on-ramp from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street to I-65.

  61. Doris Miner says:

    Thank you, Why was the name Clemens Vonnegut ?

  62. JAMES (tom)LEONARD says:

    I attended Margaret McFarland school #4. I was part of the last graduating class in 1962. It then became school 112. The grades were 1 through 8. No kindergarten. After that the school became a Junior high grades 7-8. It was great source of learning my siblings were caught up in the changeover. I still have pictures of the old with flagpole My aunts and uncles also attended school there. No cafeteria but a small auditorium. I’m 73 now and have fond memories of the school and friends I grew up with.

  63. Mary says:

    Hi there, Is this the school on Raymond Street? If so, in the late 90s and early 2000s (after being abandoned for a while) it was purchased by a spanish-language church. I believe it still operates as a church but not sure since I moved away in the mid 2000s.

  64. Charles Roberts says:

    Margaret McFarland was Township school #3, then it became part of the IPS system and was renumbered IPS #112. We were in the Manual high school district.

  65. DON eATON says:

    Sharon: you mentioned you were unable to find a picture of the original School 7. There is an excellent article along with a great picture of the original School 7- Thomas Jefferson in the December 12, 1948 issue of The Indianapolis Times. Available on microfiche at the downtown Indianapolis Public Library. I have a great copy of the article and will be happy to forward it if you contact me at the email address accompanying this message.

  66. Tiffany Benedict Browne says:

    Thank you for that kind offer. Sharon is no longer affiliated with this website, but thank you for the thoughtful gesture, and information.

  67. Crystal Bolen says:

    My great aunt is 95 yrs old. She said she went to a school that use to be at Bluff Road and Hanna Ave in the late 30’s & 40’s. She was trying to find info on it and figure out the name. Any help?

  68. Mike Padgett says:

    I attended School # 9 from 1946-1954 and would love to locate others that attended the school
    and any information you might have. Most of my aunts and uncles (Padgett) also graduated from there
    If you can Email me on anything regarding the school would be appreciated
    Agnes Mahoney was the principal for many years!!! Everyone loved her. Mike

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