Black Creek Schools in 1853

I had intended to move on from the old Black Creek Township schools but I stumbled across some additional information while working on another project. I work on several research projects at any given time, which is sort of like reading several books at a time. My attention often wonders from one interesting project to another and staying focused on the project at hand seems to be a recurring problem with me. Joe says that I am easily distracted by shiny objects. I guess old papers and documents are like shiny objects to me.

So, here is yet another post about the Black Creek Township schools, the information from the 1853 Mercer County plat maps. I noticed that among the maps and land descriptions that there are also descriptions of the township schools. I zeroed in on Black Creek Township.

The schoolhouse information, along with some church information, is in a separate section, made up of just a couple pages. One page had the heading, School Houses Belonging to Black Creek Township.

Black Creek Township schools, 1853 Mercer County Plat book.

There were only 6 Black Creek schools listed in the 1853 plat book. By the late 1800s there were 9 schools in Black Creek Township and I do not know if there were more schools in 1853 than the 6 mentioned in the book.

The 6 schools described were located in Districts No. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and an unnamed district. Comparing their locations, some schools were in a different location in 1853 than in the late 1800s. They were in the same general location, but across the road from where a school was later located, which often put the school in a different Section.

The 6 Black Creek schools, as described in 1853:   

School District No. 4, 50/100 acres, W corner of SW ½ Section 17; Situated on State Road; hewed log house. Val. [value] $85. [This would be Duck Creek School, located on the east side of State Route 49. Later plat maps show the school was located on the west side of 49, a little farther south, in Section 19.]

School District No. 5 [no location given]: Excellent hewed log schoolhouse, well furnished. Val. $95. [School No. 5 was located in the center of the township, in Section 15 in later maps.]

School District No. 6, 50/100 acres, SE corner of E ½ of NE ¼ [no Section given]: Good hewed log schoolhouse [?] [?] and furnished. Val. $70. 

School District No. 7, SE corner of W ½ of SW ¼, Section 13: Good schoolhouse hewed log [?], well furnished. Val. $85. [The location of this school seems strange, since it appears that it was close to School District No. 6. In later years School No. 7 was located in Section 35.]

School District No. 8 [no location given]: Good hewed log house, shingled roof, unfurnished but [?]. Val. $75. [School No. 8 was known as Grove School in later years.]

There was no District number given for the last school, which was located at the SE corner of the NE ¼ of Section 35, on the 80-acre farm of John Street. The school set on ¼ acre and was a hewed log house. Val. $70.

Black Creek School in Section 35, 1853.

As time went on these old log schoolhouses were replaced by brick and frame structures.

The 1882 History of Mercer County indicates that the first Black Creek Township schoolhouse was built in about 1840, on land owned at that time [1882] by Charles Jordan, which would have been in Section 2. The 1880 History also tells that Duck Creek Church, established in about 1856, occupied the schoolhouse until they built a frame church in 1868. That would place the early log schoolhouse on the east side of 49.

However, according to the 1978 Mercer County Ohio History, Duck Creek School No.4 was the first school in Black Creek Township and was started in 1852. The brick Duck Creek School building was built in 1893 and burned in 2005. It may have been the last old schoolhouse in the township.

Duck Creek School fire, 2005. Photo courtesy of Janet Myers.

The Ohio legislature established common schools in Ohio in 1825. At this time, the state government financed public education with a half-mil property tax. With the establishment of public education in Ohio, communities formed school districts to meet the state legislature’s requirements. [1]

[1] Public Schools, Ohio History Central, https://ohiohistorycentral.org/w/Public_Schools .

2 comments

    • Douglas Roebuck on March 19, 2021 at 10:07 am
    • Reply

    This is great information- thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you!

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