Bundy School, Porter County Indiana, 1907

My father asked me to do some research on the Bundy school, located in Morgan Township, Porter County, Indiana. I found this photo on the facebook page for the Porter County Museum. [1]

Bundy School 1907
(Click on image to enlarge)

The caption reads:

1907 image of the Bundy School in Morgan Township.
Top Row: Grace Hubbel-teacher, Grace Lemster, Pauline Lemster, Unknown, Laura Lemster.
Middle Row: John Shatz (3rd grade), Unknown, Paul Bartholomew, Martha Stoner, Emory Stoner, Unknown.
Bottom Row: Edward Domke, Fred Shatz (2nd grade), Unknown, Harriet Casbon, Floyd Casbon, Herman Casbon, Anna Walen.
Standing on left: Mary Keene
Standing on right: Mary or Madeline Ribly

There are three Casbon children in the photo: Harriet (1904-1983), Floyd (1902-1987), and Herman (1900-1941). They were all the children of Charles Parkfield (1872-1949) and Julia (Bidwell – 1878-1939) Casbon. Charles was the son of my second great-grandfather, Sylvester V Casbon, by his second wife, Harriet Perry. He lived about 1/2 mile north of the school in Center township.

Bundy school map 1906
Detail from 1906 plat maps of Center and Morgan townships, Porter County, Indiana. (Click on image to enlarge)

The school is shown at the northeast corner of the quarter section belonging to W.P. Fish. Today this is the corner of Division Road and S150E. The Fish property was purchased sometime before 1910 by my great-grandfather, Lawrence Leslie Casbon.

I’m suspicious about the date of the photograph. In 1907 Harriet would have only been 3 years old. I don’t think she would have been in school yet, and the girl labeled as Harriet looks older than 3 to me. I think 1908 or 1909 is a more likely date.

Grace Hubbell, the teacher in the photograph, is described in the 1912 History of Porter County as the niece of Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher White, of Valparaiso. “She has taught for three years in the Bundy school near this city and has recently been engaged to teach in the schools of Gary.” [2] This also suggests a later date for the photograph.

I haven’t been able to find out when the school was first built, but a history of the county published in 1882 describes it as “probably thirty years old.” [3] A Vidette-Messenger article on the history of Morgan township says it was last used as a school in 1923, and the building was still standing as of August, 1936. [4] A search of the Vidette-Messenger archive shows that the building was frequently used for dances and other social activities up until about 1930.

My father recollects that my grandfather, Leslie Casbon, sold the school building for $500 to be used for lumber, probably in the late 1930s. I’m guessing it was in pretty bad shape by then. He also recalls his uncle Loring Casbon using dynamite to blow up stumps at the site.

Do my readers know anything more about this school?

[1] “Porter County Museum Added 7 New Photos… – Porter County Museum | Facebook”. 2016. Facebook.Com. https://www.facebook.com/pocomuse/photos/a.178366272198652.30358.147268915308388/178366318865314/?type=3 [accessed 12 December 2016]
[2] “History of Porter County Indiana A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, its People and its Principal Interests, Volume II,” The Lewis Publishing Company. Chicago. 1912.
[3] Goodspeed, W.A., “Counties of Porter and Lake Indiana, Historical and Biographical, Illustrated,” p.190. F.A. Battey, Chicago. 1882
[4] “Morgan High School History of Morgan Township,” The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Indiana, p. 73 of 104, 18 August 1936. Newspaper Archive Library Academic Edition http://ezproxy.ppld.org:2083/us/indiana/valparaiso/valparaiso-vidette-messenger/1936/08-18/page-73 [accessed 12 December 2016]
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4 thoughts on “Bundy School, Porter County Indiana, 1907

  1. Jon, Lotsa’ bells ringing with this photo and story; Fred Shatz graduated from the “Morgan School” and Valpo High School in the same class; he brought me his copy of their high school year book at my dad’s wake in 1983. The map ties it together really well as the Shatz’, Domkes, Stoners and Casbons lives all flowed together through the next 90 years. Thanks for the work! Dave C

    On Mon, Dec 12, 2016 at 8:54 PM, Our Casbon Journey wrote:

    > Jon Casbon posted: “My father asked me to do some research on the Bundy > school, located in Morgan Township, Porter County, Indiana. I found this > photo on the facebook page for the Porter County Museum [link to museum]. > [1] (Click on image to enlarge) The caption reads: 1907” >

    Like

  2. Good work Jon. I was with my dad when the old school house was torn down. It really wasn’t in to bad of shape considering that it hadn’t been used for so many years. I remember that Floyd Casbon lived a mile or so north of the school. It was probably in the late 30,s when it was torn down. Don

    Like

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