School Buildings




There are 13 townships in Parke county.  Originally, when Parke County was organized in 1821, the county line extended west to the Illinois state line.  In 1824, Vermillion Township organized into Vermillion County and the Wabash River became the western boundry of Parke County.    The 13 townships  basically stack 4 high and 3 wide (with the exception of 4 wide at the 3rd row high.)  Making up the southern townships are (west to east), Florida, Raccoon, Jackson. Highway 36 runs thru the northern quarter of the 2nd row townships of ,(west to east), Wabash, Adams,  and Union.  The 3rd row west to east, Reserve, Penn, Washington, and Greene.  The  4th and top row (west to east), Liberty, Sugar Creek, and Howard.


 The Rockville Grade School (1940)


The Rockville Grade School was built in 1940 at Elm, Shadeland and Howard Ave. around the outside perimeter of 3 sides of the 1875 all-grades building.  The front doors face to the south toward Elm Street. Then in the spring of 1941 the 65 year old 1st original 3 story all-grades building was torn down and the gymnasium  with the basement cafeteria was built in its place in 1948 inside the new U-shaped 1940 grade school. Later on, new classrooms were added onto the northside (backside)of gym fully enclosing the gym with classrooms.  See more pictures in the Grade School History Section.

In 1908 a new high school building was built on North Jefferson Street (in the north half of the second block north of highway 36), at a cost of $22,700.00 to accommodate the upper four (4) grades nine (9) thru twelve (12). The elementary and Junior High classes continued being held in the original 1875 all-classes building at Elm and Beadle (now Shadeland) Streets for the next 33 years until 1941. During the 1940-41 School Year a new Elementary School Building was built around three (3) sides of the perimeter of the original 1875 all-classes school building. In 1948 the 8th grade moved to the High School building for lack of room in the Elementary Building. The following year in 1949, the 7th grade moved to the High School Building. The 7th grade and 8th grade remained part of the High School until the new 7th and 8th grade Junior High Building was built in 1958 on Beadle Street north of Howard Ave.  The original part of this 1940 elementary perimeter U-shaped building is still in use  today with the gymnasium in the middle of the U. A new wing and  ground floor cafeteria was added on later to the west and northwest side and new classrooms were added to the northside of the gym fully encompassing the gym with classrooms.

In the 1940-41 School Year, I (John Swaim) was in the seventh grade. The first semester we got to look out the window and watch the new  1940 elementary building being built around us . We received four (4) weeks Christmas vacation that year. This gave the school officials time to move the desks and other equipment into the new elementary building of 1940. The second semester we got to watch the old original 1875 all class school building being demolished. (No, we didn't have to make up the extra Christmas vacation days at the end of the school year.)

Submitted 7-11-09 by John Swaim RHS Class of 1946


The Rockville Junior/Senior High School


In 1957, 20 acres were purchased on Beadle Street north of Howard Avenue under the guidance of Superintendent Russell Garrigus. The seven room Jr. High wing was constructed in 1958. (shown here to the right side of the doors). The New Consolidated Rockville High School building was added on to the west and opened in the fall of 1962. (shown here on the left side of the door). The football field and baseball diamond were relocated behind the the new Junior High building on Beadle Street from their old location at Beechwood park on the southwest side of town. The ball diamond and football field were southeast of the pavillion. The football field ran east/west along the south fenceline and the ball diamond was between the football field and the pavillion facing northeastwhere the city swimming pool now stands. The pool was built with donations in approximately 1958 when I was 10.

Submitted by Bill G. Hill   RHS Class of 1966



South Front Door and Circle Driveway of the High School Building. Class of '65 Seniors Sally Hopkins and Mary Malone are standing at the left. Gregg Golden's long legs are sitting at the left side. The Red Studebaker belonged to Art Teacher Mary Moscan. I think the white station wagon belonged to a counselor, Mr. Stewart.   Photo appears to have been taken in the fall of 1964.


Rockville High School  (1908-1962)  Adams Township    

  Old Rockville High School 1908-1962 (demolished in 1965)



The 1875-1941 Rockville All Classes School

The picture above  of the 1875 school building was copied from the 1937 50th reunion booklet.  The roof crown had been removed.




 This photo is from a 1929 post card from William S. Mash, Class Of 1952.

Submitted by: Donald G. Havey

 The first original Rockville all-class school building was built in 1875 as depicted in this 1874 Architect's drawing. Note the outdoor toilets on the northeast side of the building. The three (3) story building was completed just prior to the start of the 1875-76 School Year. This building was located on the  present site of the Rockville Elementary School gymnasium at Elm and (Beadle) Shadeland Streets facing east onto  Beadle (Shadeland) Street or to the east.  Until the opening of a new high school building in 1908 on Jefferson Street, the first floor of this building was for grades one (1) through four (4), the second floor for grades five (5) through (8), and the third floor for the high school grades nine (9) thru twelve (12).  The bathrooms were inside in the basement by the time I entered the first grade in 1934. 

Submitted by John Swaim,  RHS Class of 1946 

Lois Wilson McGranahan (49) attended school in this building grades one thru three from 1937 thru 1940.   Her 1st grade teacher was Inez Ayres, 2nd grade was Margaret LoudenWeatherman (Carolyn Plummers mother-in-law), 3rd grade Margaret Underwood.  Lois then moved into the brand new grade school  building where her 4th grade  teacher was Eva Harvey, 5th grade Mr. Hubert McCollough, 6th grade Edward Scott, 7th and 8th grade Principal Alma Foltz.

Submitted by Lois Wilson McGranahan RHS 1949 on Aug. 9, 2009



The page below regarding the library was copied from the 1937 50th reunion booklet

 The Bellmore School (Union )

 The Bridgeton School (Raccoon)

I attended school in the Bridgeton Building from the 1st grade  thru 6th grade from 1954 thru 1960 and I lived in Catlin just south of the Adams/Raccoon township line.   I was a Bridgeton Raccoon.  The township line was the road that ran east out of Catlin.  Bridgeton  high school students consolidated out to Rosedale and Rockville in the fall of 1960.  The grade school continued to operate for four or five more years per Danny Peterson and Mary Jane  Allbright Evens.   You will notice that the building resembles the Bloomingdale School building. 

The 2nd (top) floor of the Bridgeton School  was for grades 7 thur 12 and the Principals office.  I remember this because I spend a lot of time in the principals office.  The 1st (middle) floor was for grades 1 thru 6.  The upper basement (front right) was for Home Ec. and the lower basement left was the furance boiler area.  The girls restroom was on the first floor and the boys restroom was downstairs in the upper basement level.  The gym, with the stage and locker rooms were to the west basement rear.  The shop  and music  rooms were behind the stage on the west side of the gym as a one story addition to the back of the building. There was balcony seating on the east side of the gym. The band practiced in a converted dwelling on the north side of the school grounds. The baseball field was down over the hill behind the school in the northwest corner of the grounds. There was a small kickball diamond on the south property line. The playground was on the south side of the building.  The cafeteria was right across the street in a converted dwelling. I remember that during the last 50's that Wendall Adams was a Principal, Jack Roebuck taught 5th/6th grades, Mrs. Chapman 4th grade, Mrs. Case 3rd grade,  Mrs. Murray 2nd grade, and Mrs. Fisher 1st grade. Dale Spurlock taught Music/Band. Jack Mosteller (Bob and Russell's father) was the Supt.

Ron Barnes, Alice Allbright, Mary Alice Akers (Gregg) and I were all in the same class of about 15 students. Linda Peterson, Ann Perry (Loney),Frank Earl , Eddie Kerr were one year older. Jerry Hill, Russell Mosteller and Gwen Allbright 2 years older than I.  Danny Kerr 4 years older, Linda Collier, Gayle Chaney ((Miller) Glenn Andrew 3 years older, Vicki Collier one year younger. Russell Perry, Bob Mosteller, Gary Harris and Janie Akers (Noel)about 2 years younger, Rita Collier (Jacks), Mary Jane Allbright (Evens)and Ronnie Akers about 4 years younger.

Submitted by Billy Hill RHS Class of'66

The Mecca School (Wabash)


Mecca One Room School House



We need  stories and history of the big Mecca School Building.  For additional info



Attached above  is my Mom's school photo.  She called this the Rabbit Town School, but that is what the area southeast of the Mecca covered bridge is called. Students went to this school through 4th grade, then they continued school at Mecca.  The teacher is Irene Mills.   In the back row, the first person is my Mom's cousin, Rose Harmon Cox.  The second person is my Mom, Joan Guoli Nowling.  In the second row, the first person is my Mom's cousin, Mary Catherine LaPrees Roberts, and that last person in the second row is Mary Catherine's sister, Norma Jean LaPrees Gerrish.  The 6th girl in the second row is Betty Toney.  Those are the only ones I can identify.  My Mom has passed away, but I'm sure my Dad, Joe Nowling can give me more names and I can get back to you.  Both of my parents and their siblings graduated from Mecca.  One of my cousins went to elementary school there and she taught there until the school closed.  (She teaches at Montezuma now.)  
Linda Nowling May 30, 2013

My father, Joe Nowling was born in 1928 and this is his 2nd grade class. He's 4th from the left on the front row. The teacher is my grandmother, Dad's mom, June Wann Nowling.  She passed in 1994 at the age of 90. This picture would have been about 1936.    Linda Nowling May 30, 2013


Fisher  School

Rozelle Pyle Woods is the short girl in the picture above visiting the school.

This picture above would have been taken around 1937-38.  My Uncle, Dale Bradfield, was 2 years older than dad, and guessing by size, he probably would've been around the 8th grade here, and my dad, Allen would have been in the 6th grade.  After the 8th grade, they went to Rockville High School, so nobody pictured here could have been older than 8th grade.

Picture above and commintary submitted by Lyndall Bradfield

 The Fisher School was established on the farm of my great-grand-father, Lewis Fisher at a date uncertain in my mind. It was about three miles southwest of Rockville and a mile or so southeast of what is now US 41. I think my oldest brother John, and sisters Myrtle, Virginia, and Edith attended the Fisher one room school. A friend of mine and a classmate at Rockville, Charles L. Jones, and also Robert F. Smith attended there and entered the fourth grade at Rockville as the Fisher School closed at the end of the 1942-43 school year. Robert Smith's father, Myron Smith purchased the Fisher School at a sale soon after the school  closed in 1943.  He dismantled the building and used the lumber to build the house on his farm on US 41 just south of Rockville. The house he built  with this lumber is the last house on the left before you could turn left on the first road south on US 41 bordering the new Beacon Hill Cemetery property. 

 Submitted by Don Havey , friend of the RHS Class of 1952.   July 17, 2009

Mildred Goff Machledt (35), Gwen Cornthwaite (35), Wayland Fisher (35), Dorothy Cornthwaite McMahon (38), and Leighton Fisher (41)  attended  the Fisher school.  Dorothy Cornthwaite started the first grade in this building in 1927.  Teachers names include Cora Simmons and Mrs. Shonkwiler.

Submitted by Dorothy Cornthwaite McMahon (38)  August 7, 2009 



The Pleasant Valley School

Located Northeast of Bridgeton by the Pleasant Valley Cemetery.


Hickory Grove School


The New Discovery School

We need pictures, location and stories of the New Discovery School.  

Contact Billy Hill 66 thru the "contact us" menu item

The New Discovery School southeast of Rockville closed after the 1942-43 school year, per Don Havey.


The Catlin School

This two room red brick Catlin School was constructed between 1905 and 1910.  It is beleived that an older school building once stood in the same location. While construction of this building was taking place, school was in session next door in the Catlin Christain Church.  This brick building was heated by stoves which the students kept supplied with wood and coal.  Outdoor toilets were at the back of the building.  Each student brought his or her own lunch.   In an article written by Miss Lou Nevins and Miss Hershel Isham, sisters, who both attended this school, they attributed much of the success of learning to Mr. Charles Caress who taught for 66 years and was a teacher at the Catlin School.  His values were high and he passed these on to his students.  It was during his years in Catlin School that the school library was perhaps one of the best in the county.  Mr. Caress supervised oyster soup and ice cream socials to add new books.  New song books were purchased too, and once opening exercises included singing, prtions of a good book were read and verses of Scripture were given by the pupils.  Besides teaching the eight grades Mr. Caress passed on to us his Christain values and he still had time at recess to come to the play ground to participate in games and teach us a sense of fair play.     

Submitted by Marilyn Neet Blakely  (53)  - Rockville Newspaper, March 1973

The Catlin School was located on the south end of Catlin just south of the S turns on the west side of the road.   When I moved to Catllin in 1953 at the age of 5 the school had already been dismanteled, but I don't know what year.   All that was left was the brick front stairs and the foundation.    Students from Catlin would have then gone on to high school at Rockville, Bridgeton, and Rosedale depending on which side of the roads (township lines) their homes were located.  As a young boy, I often visited with  the elderly Miss Lou Nevens and Miss Herchel Isham on their  front porch 100 yards east of the Catlin Road on the east/west township line road just on the east side the bridge. 

Submitted by Billy Hill,  RHS Class of 66  July 18, 2009

Billy, the Catlin school closed about the end of the 1940-41 school year.  I heard many stories about the Catlin School from my brother, Paul A. Neet (36) and two older sisters. Students, including my brother Paul  A. Neet (1936) and my sister, Ruth Neet Hobson (42) attended grades one thru eight  in Catlin and then went elsewhere for grades nine thru twelve depending in which township one lived.  My sister Ruth Neet Hobson (42), told me about the wonderful “field trips” the students had for science in the woods behind the school.   My  sister Jane Neet Shouse (47)  attended the  Catlin  School for grades 1-6 and then the school closed.  She then started  grade 7 in the brand new Rockville Elementary building in 1941 and graduated from Rockville High School in 1947.  The Catlin School closed in 1941 just as I started the first grade.   I began as a member of the very first first grade class in the brand new Rockville Elementary school building in the fall of that same year,  1941.  

Submitted by Marilyn Neet Blakely,  RHS Class of 1953  July 18, 2009




The Nyesville School (Washington)



There were two schools at Nyesville at one time because the Adams and Washington township line road came thru Nyesville.  Bill Hill (66) and Jerry Hill (64) mother Margaret Sneath Hill attended grade school  1 thru 6 from 1930  thru 1936 in Nyesville and later graduated from Marshall High School in 1942.  The building no longer exits. Margaret is front row left with the belt around her waist.  Notice the kids with no shoes meaning the picture was taken in warm weather.

Submitted July 20,2009 by Bill Hill RHS Class of 1966  and Margaret Sneath Hill


The Nyesville Sand Creek School

Joe Thomas taught here and then taught many years at Rockviile High School.  Joe taught SHOP at RHS.  The building no longer exits.  Closed sometime prior to 1930.

Submitted by Margaret Sneath Hill on July 20, 2009


The Judson School (Washington)


Judson picture Provided by Sue Hazlett


 The Bloomingdale School (Penn)

drawing by Barbara Flock Submitted by Jeanne Chezem (68) August 7, 2009


The  Swaim Crossroads School

Another rural one room school was located at the Swaim Crossroads. Which is east of Rockville and just north of US 36. After you cross Little Racoon Creek and the old T B Sanitorium (now a nursing home), on US 36, continue up the hill and take the first road to the left (North). It was located less than 1/2 of a mile north of US 36 on the right. The school was just a few feet before you come to a crossroads. No doubt the reason for the name Crossroads School.  Another John Swaim (not a close relative) lived just east of there and owned the land the school building stood on. Possibly the reason for the name Swaim Crossroads School. This building is no longer standing.

Submitted by John Swaim on July 19, 2009 RHS Class of 1946


The Nowling Town Hill School


Another old, old one room school was the Nowling Town Hill School. My Mother started to school there probably in 1908. She passed away in 1992. I know of no one else who is still living that attended that school or when it closed. It was located south east of Rockville. To get there take the Rockville - Bridgeton Road to the New Discovery Road. (First road to your left.) Go over the hill to the first road to your left. It is (was) at the top of that hill.

Submitted by John Swaim on July 19, 2009   Class of 1946


 The Marshall  School (Washington)

Margaret Sneath Hill and Marjorie Earl (Joyce Batty Paddock's mother)  attended Marshall High.

 Drawing by Barbara Flock  1977 and provided by Joyce Batty Paddock on August 18, 2009. 

The White Hall  (Boyd) School


The school was located one mile east of Rockville on the old orginal highway 36, the road behind Billie Creek Village and Billie Creek Motel. 

My grandmother Edna Forrest (Bradfield) Bryant (RHS 1910) taught at the White Hall School.  She and my grandfather (Otto Bryant, RHS 1907) were married in September 16, 1914.       Alice (Bryant) Finch


The Byron School (Howard Township)

The Byron School was a two room school by Highway 47 between Turkey Run Park and Waveland.  Kelly Price (RHS 55) attended Grade School in this building in the 1940's.

Coloma School


Bloomingdale Academy



An old one room school  
There was a one room school on "old 36" (a gravel road that runs east from Billy Creek Village) just east of Rockville. It was on the left side of this road. I know absolutely nothing about this school or of anyone who attended it. The building may still be standing. It would be just behind (south of) the Clark's Reception Hall. It may have been called the Boyd School.
  Submitted by John Swaim  July 19,2009    Class of 1946

Grange Corner School(Sugar Creek)


Annapolis School



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