Indiana State Archives for Perry County, Indiana, USA
State Archives hold a multitude of mysteries and answers to many of a genealogier' questions; but local county ones do, also. In this journal update, I want to tell about the amazing genealogical library in the Tell City, Indiana, USA,library and the curator of the genealogy/history library - Evelyn Lasley.
In 2009, my youngest grandson and I were returning from Louisville, Kentucky, and since we were on no strict time schedule, I decided to return thru Southern Indiana, and visit my sister, St. Meinard's Abbey, the Sparrow School House, if I could find it, the cemetary where my Sparrow grandfather is buried, the cemetary in Tell City, and the Library there, to do some research. Needless to say, all those ideas fell short as we ran out of time. We did get to visit with my sister, who said that unless I knew all the kinks and curves, I'd never find either the school house, or the Avery Cemetary, by her directions. Well, I opted for the Sparrow School House, as I knew it was on the way to Tell City. Long story short, I missed the School House, by 1/4 mile! The library had already closed for the day. But the Greenwood Cemetary was still open! Ha! Ha! Just across the street from there was the new city court house, and various offices. We located the land office, and went in there to ask about the location of the Sparrow School House and purchase a county map. They were very nice, pulled up a large map on a video screen, from their computer, and helped us search for various areas, the school house, included, which is when we discovered that we had only been a 1/4 mile from it. They called the people who now own it and the land, and told them who I was. They offered to let us come out that night, the next day, or any time we were in the area. We still had a 4 hour trip home, so we opted to come back at a later time. We were told it is still in good condition. Years earlier, my Dad, Aunt, I and my girls, had been there and wrote our names upon the blackboard, along with former students' names. I wish now that I had read the names looking for the earliest, and maybe even my aunts and uncles names, as the land and the school had been donated and built by my ancestors.
On to the Archives in the Tell City, Indiana, Library. I was given the phone number to the library, so the next day I called and talked to the Curator of the Genealogical Department. She was very nice, and we exchanged several emails. She then began searching all of their records and a few weeks later had copied more than 50 pages! of articles about my families. I sent her a check as a donation, since at that time there was no charge, and a few days later I received the most wonderful gift about the Sparrows, the Cullens', the Mosbys, the Davis' and the Alveys. I could barely wait to get it opened.
The Sparrow School House. I have attached a picture and story from the newspaper article and will proceed to tell you what was included in the 50+ papers, about the Sparrow School House, that I received.
THE SPARROW SCHOOL HOUSE
Anderson Township, Perry County, Indiana,
NE/NE Section 21, T5S,R3W
The site of Sparrow School House in Perry County, Indiana, is 3 miles southeast of Huffman Bridge and 3 1/2 miles nortwest of the community of St. Mark. It was named after George Sparrow [my great grandfather], whose family owned the site between November 1883 and July 1910. No record has been found of a transfer of the site and school to the Anderson Township Trustee.
In the several transactions for the site from the original purchase as congressional land on October 26 1848 until the present no mention of a school site has ever been made. A Perry County map of 1875 shows no school there. A map of 1894 shows a school on the tract owned by George Sparrow.
On 13 November 1883 Jane Minto [could my great-great grandmother possibly have remarried after her husband, John, died? Here may be a new clue, that I have overlooked for years - she did died between 1880 & 1890. She and John came to America in 1840 - as that is when George was born? Or are the dates in error?] purchassed an 80 acre tract which included the site of the school. After her death on 18 March 1887, no move was made to transfer the title to George Sparrow until the period between 16 May 1899 and 9 June 1900. The tract of 136.75 acres and the school site were sold to Peter Ackerman on 19 July, 1910.
George and Catherine Cullen Sparrow were parents of seven children, most or all of whom attended the school house across the road from their home.
According to the recollection of a former pupil, instruction ceased after the spring of 1940. the more than 2 dozen pupils were reassigned to Avery School two miles to the north.
On 22 January 1941 members of the Deom family purchased the site from Alfred Dupont and his wife. The Deoms deserve praise for maintaining the structure in its current well-preserved state.
An enlarged picture of the Sparrow School House was given by the Perry County Retired Teachers'Association, to the Indiana State Teachers' Association and is hanging in that office in Indianapolis. This picture was enlarged and framed by Harry Huebschman, a retired teacher from Tell City.
I can't believe it!!!! This article I have just copied and told about, had clues I've never noticed. I do get sidetracked easily when engrossed in genealogy, so I decided to check out items I had. That 50+ pages that Ms. Lashley sent me, also included marriages and some cemetary records. JANE B SPARROW married a GEORGE MINTO SR. May 26, 1871! Her name was on the same sheet as my Great grandparents wedding date [or date they applied on], my grandmother's date to my step grandfather, and my great uncle's date.
If stories have 'morals', this one would be, WHEN LOOKING FOR SOMEONE YOU CAN'T FIND - LOOK UNDER YOUR NOSE!!! In otherwords - recheck and reread what you already have. On that one sheet alone, I've answered my question about my great grand mother, and the maiden name of my great aunt for a researcher out in Colorado!