OLD SEMINARY NOW STURDY BARN
WAR TOOK ALL ITS STUDENTS
By Marshall Lincoln
Although Walter Kellís livestock probably havenít appreciated it, his barn used to be a school house. Kell, a farmer northwest of Huntertown and a former Indiana county agent, explained that his grandfather, JACOB KELL, was one of the three men who incorporated the PERRY CENTER SEMINARY. Others who sponsored the school in 1856 were NATHANIEL FITCH and GEORGE GLOYD.
Originally the school was south of Kellís farm. It was similar to what we now call a high school and among the subjects taught were higher mathematics, philosophy and astronomy.
Prof. T. W. TILDEN was the teacher and by 1860 the school had grown in enrollment enough to hire two assistants. Pupils came from Noble, DeKalb, Allen, LaGrange and other neighboring counties.
The civil war proved the downfall of the seminary, for most of its pupils dropped out in 1862-3 to enter the Army. Tilden resigned as a teacher and the building fell into disuse until about 1876 when it was torn down, moved to its present site and reconstructed to serve as a barn.
The two-story structure was made in the days when things were built to last. The heavy studding is closely spaced and the roof had an elaborate beam-truss arrangement that helped make the barn solid as a rock. So solid, in fact, that according to Kell it has withstood two cyclones.
Although built nearly a hundred years ago, it has lumber with as fine tongue-and-groove workmanship as is turned out by todayís fancy machines. The roof has been replaced but most of the rest of the building has its original materials, including inch-thick walnut boards which form the partitions in the grain bins. These boards used to be behind the blackboards, Kell explained. (Article probably written in the early 1950ís)