Site of Elkhart County’s first schoolhouse

There is no longer any structure or building, but at least the site is marked. Along County Road 44 west of Benton in Elkhart County is the site of the first schoolhouse in Elkhart County. Dean Garber, in his book about schools in the county, describes the first school building as a log cabin only about 12 by 16 feet in size, built of round logs, chinked with mud and straw to fill in the cavities between the logs. It is believed the floor was dirt. Benches were made of split logs. Students had to stand in order to use what served as a writing desk. In this simple structure county history was made. Col. John Jackson, a local historical figure, owned the land where the school was located. Another school was built later about one-half mile west along the same road. This is also near the Jackson Cemetery, said by some to be the county’s oldest cemetery. A Revolutionary War soldier is buried there. Fortunately a marker explains the site along CR 44 was where the first school was located. It is fitting there is some remembrance of it.

Pleasant View Cemetery and CR 23 005

Site of first school in Elkhart County near Benton.


About historynut11

My name is Tim Ashley and I am a newspaper editor/reporter/photographer in Milford, Indiana, and live in nearby Goshen, Indiana. A deeply held and sincere passion of mine is history and learning from the past. I enjoy a wide variety of history topics, but particularly local history, noted American highways (Lincoln Highway and Route 66), railroad history and the Civil War. I believe we can learn much from the past and that past shapes who we are today. I also enjoy visiting museums and historical sites, as well as taking photos of remnants from the past still standing.
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