An Education on Indiana Education

Education in Indiana extends well beyond big-name universities like Purdue, IU, Notre Dame, Butler, Ball State, and Indiana State. From the collegiate level down to the elementary level, Indiana has a rich history in education. Across the state, Hoosiers have pursued information in numerous venues.

This tour highlights those locations throughout the state with ties to Indiana’s studies. From smaller sites like the Farmers Institute to larger sites like Franklin College and everywhere in between (even including an observatory!), An Education on Indiana Education will provide you with countless insights into the erudite actions of past and present Hoosiers. Discover Indiana invites you to take a journey across the 19th state and explore the history of Hoosiers learning from one another and teaching each other!

Please keep in mind that each tour is by no means a comprehensive list of sites in Indiana related to each theme. Please be respectful of private property lines when visiting each of these sites.

Carnegie Hall at Moore’s Hill College

Through the efforts of John Collins Moore, a college called the Moores Hill Male and Female Collegiate Institute (later known as Moores Hill College) was founded in Moores Hill, Indiana and opened to students in 1856. John C. Moore was the son of…

Borden Institute

The small town in northwestern Clark County (formally named New Providence) is now named Borden in honor of Professor William Wesley Borden, the leading citizen who donated the Borden Institute. The town of New Providence was originally founded in…

Crispus Attucks High School

Crispus Attucks High School was built in 1927 as the city of Indianapolis’ first and only African American high school. Despite protests from the Better Indianapolis League (a civic organization of progressive black citizens), the school board…

Bethel AME Church (Indianapolis)

Located in what was the center of Indianapolis’ black community, the Bethel AME church is the oldest African American congregation in the state. The congregation, founded in 1836, met in a small frame house and was also known as Indianapolis Station.…

Franklin County Seminary

The Franklin County Seminary opened in 1831 as part of a mandate in Indiana’s 1816 Constitution for each county to have a seminary. The concept of a publicly supported secondary educational system in the United States under a state-wide program was…

Eleutherian College

Eleutherian College was one of the first Indiana schools to admit students without regards to race or gender. Eleutherian was also the first school in Indiana to offer advanced educational opportunities to African-American students. The three-story…

Franklin College

Founded in the late 1830s, the Indiana Baptist Manual Labor Institute transitioned to being the four year liberal arts college known as Franklin College in 1844. Franklin College was the fifth college to be founded in the state of Indiana. According…

Madame CJ Walker Building

Madame CJ Walker was the first African American woman to open the field of cosmetology as a new and lucrative industry for black Americans. Her experimentation with hair preparations for African American women eventually led to the establishment of a…

Indiana Dental College

As the last quarter of the 19th century began, the idea of an education for all Americans was becoming a reality. Educated professionals were gaining acceptance, especially in medical fields. Medical and dental colleges sprang up with alarming…

DePauw University

Indiana Asbury University was granted its charter in 1837 and was the first Methodist College to be established in Indiana. Asbury quickly became a leading educational institution in the state. The name of the college was changed to DePauw University…

Booker T. Washington School

Constructed in 1905, the Booker T. Washington School served as one of two African American schools in Rush County. This two story, brick building housed grades 1-6 up until 1932, when it was closed by the local school board. The first floor of the…

Evansville College

Conceived in large measure as part of a 1921 campus master plan, the three main features of the historic Evansville College campus are Administration Hall, the Circle, and the President’s House. They are now situated within the larger campus that has…

Lyles Consolidated School

Lyles Station was founded in prior to the Civil War by Joshua and Sanford Lyles, former slaves from Tennessee. Joshua Lyles returned to Tennessee and encouraged other former slaves to come join him in Indiana. Many decided to do just that, and, at…

St. Mary’s of the Woods

In 1840, the Sisters of Providence, a religious order of Catholic nuns, immigrated to the United States from France. The Sisters, led by Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, came from France for the express purpose of establishing schools and orphanages in…

Leora Brown School

Originally known as the Corydon Colored School, the building was constructed in 1891 as an elementary and secondary school for African Americans. It may be the oldest African American school remaining in the state of Indiana. The grade school met in…

Manchester University

The college was originally founded by the United Brethren Church in 1860. The college was first known as the Roanoke Classical Seminary and was located in the small village of Roanoke in Huntington County, Indiana (about 20 miles east of North…

Earlham College Observatory

Founded by Quakers in 1847, Earlham College is a private institution in Richmond, Indiana. In 1856, the college purchased a 6.5 inch objective lens telescope from R. B. Rutherford, an American pioneer in astronomy. Five years later, the Earlham…

Farmers Institute

The Farmers Institute is the main building of a small campus of Quaker buildings located in a seven acre grove near Lafayette, IN. It is a wood frame building constructed in 1851 and enhanced by Greek Revival elements. The building housed the first…

The Propylaeum

The Propylaeum was founded in 1888 by a group of seven Indianapolis women. The original purpose of the meeting was to find a headquarters for the Indianapolis Woman’s Club. However, the chairperson, May Wright Sewall (a nationally known educator,…

Vincennes Fortnightly Club

The Fortnightly Club in Vincennes is an educational, social, and humanitarian club for women. Before women were allowed to vote (1917 in Indiana, 1920 nationally), clubs and organizations were the only accepted way for women to take an active role in…

St. Joseph Indian Normal School

The St. Joseph Indian Normal School operated from 1888-1896, and was owned by the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions in Washington, D.C. It was designed in imitation of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, which was founded nine…