Ayrshire Schools

This is the story of the condemnation of the Ayrshire Schools taken from the 1910 Annual Report of the State Board of Health. The books are full of schools being condemned.  I think they had to be condemned in order to get the money from the state to rebuild or remodel?  

 Also I have included a few photos shared by Jackie Willis Houchins of early Ayrshire Schools in the 1930s.   These are in the “new” brick building that is still standing in Ayrshire as a home.  I wrote the information down somewhere that Jackie had given me of a few names in the pictures, but I am too organized and cannot find it 🙂  Maybe Jackie, her brother and others will read this and add a comment of who some of the kids are.  

New Note:  I am so organized I actually had the names listed on the jpeg 🙂  So I will add those and any other names as people let me know.

Annual Report of the Indiana State Board of Health 1910  Pg 62

Petition:  Ayrshire, Ind., September 16, 1908

This is to certify that we, the undersigned patrons of schools at Ayrshire, Pike County, Ind., do hereby request that the State Board of Health investigate the sanitary conditions of our schoolhouse.

Signed as follows:  A.J. Hedges, H.S. Hughes, U.G. Wiley, George Pickle, Alfred Adams, George Vanlaningham, James A. Spyers, F.B. Browder, Gus Harier, A. Sermerskeim, Samuel Tisdol, F.O. Woodrey,  Edward E. Woolsey, Geo. Benedict, I.H. Eanes, A. Lanzo Dean, John Barlow, Isaac Coffa (these are the spellings in the book)

Report of inspection of Ayrshire Schools, Pike County, January 5, 1909 by John Owens:

Buildings:  Three one room, frame:  two shingle roof, one iron, the latter the colored school.  Two of the buildings, the white schools, occupy the same lot, one half-acre, high, dry, clay soil.  Building in which upper grades are held, should be condemned outright.  The other white school building could be repainted and enlarged to accommodate the upper grades and the colored school should be repainted.  The whole town is dirty and derelict.  Mining is the industry.

White Schools:

Grades 1,2, and 3:  Seats single and double, all sizes:  badly scarred.  Ceiling and walls wood, unpainted.  Pupils face south; blackboard on south; Nine foot ceiling.  Vestibule 10 x 8 feet.  Forty five pupils in room.  Each pupil has 13 feet of floor space.  Light space one-ninth of floor space.  Open well, typhoid fever in schools a year ago.  Blackboards on north and south sides.

Grades 4,5,6,7, and 8:  Pupils:  30; face north.  Seats double, bad.  Ceiled with wood, not painted.  Floor bad.  Flue smoky.  Buildings one to two feet from ground, no foundations.  Outhouses bad.  All doors 3 x 7 feet.  Each pupil has 20 square feet of floor space.  Light area one-ninth of floor area.  General conditions bad.

Colored Schools, Ayrshire:

Pupils, 15.  Face west.  Board on west.  Tin roof.  No foundation; props; two feet from ground.  No well.  Closets bad.  Ceiling and walls plain boards, unpainted.  Each pupil has 24 square feet floor space.   Light area one-fifth of floor area.  Seats all sizes, single and double, badly scarred.

These buildings are in keeping with the town.

Proclamation of Condemnation

Whereas, it has been shown to satisfaction of the State Board of Health, that the schoolhouse at Ayrshire, Pike County, Indiana, is unsanitary and consequently threatens the health and life of the pupils, and also interferes with their efficiency, therefore, it is ordered that said schoolhouse at Ayrshire, Pike county, Indiana is condemned for school purposes and shall not be used for said school purposes after June 1, 1909 and if any school trustee, or trustees, any teacher or any person uses said schoolhouse for school purposes, or teaches therein, after the date above mentioned, he or she or they shall be prosecuted.  Any person mutilating or tearing down this proclamation shall be prosecuted.


1937 – 38 Ayrshire Grade School.  2nd Row:  third girl, Jackie Willis.  3rd Row:  last boy, Fred Willis.

Ayrshire School 1937-38 Upper Classes

Ayrshire School 1937-38 Upper Classes


Ayrshire Grade School Early 1930s.  The teacher is Lucille Amos Donham.  2nd Row:  5th girl, dark hair, Jackie Willis, boy on end Fred Willis.

boydies boydrowns


Ayrshire Patoka Collieries Mine



Joan Woodhull was kind enough to share her photo of Ayrshire Collieries.  It is from a postcard that Ruth Hammond had let her copy years back.

I believe this was originally Ingle Mine #8.

Read more about the Ayrshire Collieries at:

Chapter 18: Ayrshire Collieries Corporation – Dane Starbuck, The Goodriches: An American Family [2001]         Click here

Family, Farming and Freedom:  Fifty Five Years of Writings:  (start on page 6)  Click here. 


A Trip to Patoka National Wildlife Refuge

My Momma and I decided to walk the trail at Maxey Marsh yesterday.  It was drizzling some rain then the sun popped out.  The fall colors were glowing.  It was gorgeous.  We drove the roads at the newly opened area of the Sycamore Land Trust.  My Momma had not been out there for years,  since it had been the old curvy Massey Road.  We talked about the man who had all of the old cars in sheds and truck beds that Dad used to trade with.  I wanted to share the photos of our outing.

Driving through the Ayrshire Road Barrens.

Driving through the Ayrshire Road Barrens.


The field on my brother’s farm.

I'm sure this Marsh has a name.  It was across the road from Snakey Point.

I’m sure this Marsh has a name. It was across the road from Snakey Point.

I like the tree and the colors.


Snakey Point Marsh

Snakey Point Marsh

Snakey Point when the sun came out.

Snakey Point when the sun came out.

Roads in the Sycamore Land Trust area

Roads in the Sycamore Land Trust area

Old Perlina Whitman's Barn

Perlina Whitman’s Old Barn

On the way home.

On the way home.

From the Sycamore Land Trust Page:   The Columbia Mine Preserve is now open for public use and enjoyment! Visitors are welcome to engage in passive recreational uses, including hiking, bird-watching, and photography. A Grand Opening Ceremony will be held on November 16, 2013 at 1:00 pm.


My friend Amber hosts a blog with nature photos taken around here.  Check it out at :   http://www.pikecountywilds.com/index.html

Connections, Logtown, and Minters Family

I have just been tickled to death at all of the connections being made on the blog.  Old friends getting back in touch and lost family finding family.  That happened for my family through the blog at Christmas time.  I will tell more about that story in May when we all meet for the first time.  It starts in France and ends up here.

You should be sure to read the comments on the blogs also.  You might find someone you know.

I  received this comment from M. Howard Edwards of California.  He is a descendant of the Minters family that I blogged about here.   He came across the blog and wrote me about his family history.
“My widowed great grandmother, Eliza Anne Liggins Cole married miner Charles Henry Wells of Patoka, Pike, Indiana about 1916. She was born in Lyles Station, near Princeton.
Her daughter, Emma Zovella Mae Cole, had a daughter fathered by Mearl (Murl?) Merritt Minters in 1921 but was not permitted to marry him by his family by her account.
By the 1930 census Mearl had relocated to Indianapolis with his mother Belle Minters as had my grandmother Zovella with her mother Eliza Wells. I have found it interesting that Belle consistently was listed in the U.S. Census as a widow despite Martin Minters being alive and well in Pike County all along. Mearl married Elsie Pepper in Indianapolis in 1935, but he had no other offspring.
I particularly thank you for the pictures of the headstones you shared in the article you wrote on Martin Minters. I took pictures of the same headstones when I was visiting along with pictures of the church. When I picked up my suitcase at the airport here in California, I found that the locks were broken, and it had been taped shut apparently by a baggage handler. Of all the stuff in there the only thing missing was the roll of film. I guess God intended for me to discover your blog over thirty years later.”
Before the genealogy meeting tonight I went through the old articles and found one to go along with some photos taken last fall that I wanted to post.  Thanks to my friend Amber Ball who lives over by #7 Road  for sharing her photography skills when we are out rambling on the backroads and talking about all that has been lost.
This stand of trees is growing up in the old foundation is all that is left of the Mt. Hebron Church in Logtown.

This stand of trees growing up in the old foundation is all that is left of the Mt. Hebron Church in Logtown.

The old foundation of the Mt. Hebron Church in Logtown.

The front steps of the Mt. Hebron Church in Logtown.

Foundation blocks of the Mt. Hebron Church in Logtown.

Foundation blocks of the Mt. Hebron Church in Logtown.

The front steps of the old Mt. Hebron Church in Logtown.

The front steps of the old Mt. Hebron Church in Logtown.

The pulpit from  the Mt. Hebron Church in Logtown  is still around.

The pulpit from the Mt. Hebron Church in Logtown is still around.

July 30, 1920  ~ Pike County Paper

The new colored church at Ayrshire is nearing completion.  The colored folk there started in more than a year ago to raise the funds to build a new church, the congregation having outgrown the old church building.  They first planned for a concrete building but later changed the plans and made  it a frame structure.  The new building is completed except the inside finishings.  While the new church building is being erected the hall is being used as a place of worship.

July 29, 1888 ~ Pike County Democrat

Entertainment at the Mt. Hebron Church in Ayrshire.