PIERCETON SCHOOL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
In October 1835, Johnny and Vince Makemson settled in the fertile farming area of Washington Township, Kosciusko County, just 8 miles east of the unincorporated town of Warsaw, Indiana. They were farming there in 1840, when the first school in the area was built, a subscription school located on the farm of William Moore, just north of the little community. On May 10, 1866, with the Civil War still a painful memory, the Town of Pierceton was incorporated and its citizens elected Adam Simmons, John Moor, and Alexander Daugherty to the first town board.
The new town quickly became a center for agricultural and commercial trade. Sidewalks were installed, the spitting of chewing tobacco was forbidden, and the small town bustled with life. Just after the town was incorporated, another small school was erected about a mile south on Deed’s Creek, but it wasn’t until 1870 that Pierceton got its first dedicated school building. That building stood on the small hill south of town until 1921, when it was destroyed by a fire of suspicious origins. But the community would not be denied its school, and in 1923 a grand and beautiful new school emerged from the ashes of the 1870 building. A short time later, a new community building was added, and the Pierceton School became the center of community life.
While the origins of our alumni association are lost in the fog of yesteryear, historical records (see 1899-1927 Sec. Report rotator below) show that by 1893, graduates of the small high school had begun to honor graduates at an annual banquet and had organized an Association to stay in touch with their school-day friends. From its inception, through two great world wars, several cycles of National economic prosperity and hardship, and multiple local cultural shifts, the Pierceton Alumni Association never lost its sense of purpose or its commitment to the school and the community.
Although our name has now changed to the Pierceton School Alumni Association, we are proud to continue in the footsteps of multiple generations of students and faculty who began this journey over 150 years ago.
The mission of the Pierceton School Alumni Association is to preserve the heritage and legacy of the Pierceton Schools. We are organized as a not-for profit corporation in Indiana, raising funds with the help of the Kosciusko County Community Foundation, an Indiana 501(c)(3) corporation.
In spite of the restraints imposed by government-mandated quarantine measures in 2020 and 2021, we delivered snacks and treats each month to the faculty and staff of Pierceton Elementary School. In addition, we set up a display of Pierceton School memorabilia at the Whitko Career Academy to commemorate the accomplishments and the stories of our alumni. In 2022, working in coordination with the Whitko School Corporation, we began to incorporate exciting enhancements to the Memorial Tribute that will allow easier access and permit more space for memorial pavers.
The next meeting of the Pierceton School Alumni Association officers will be held Wednesday, June 15, 2022 at 1:00pm at the Whitko Career Academy in Larwill. All PSAA members are invited to attend all PSAA Officer’s meetings.
Honoring Our Legacy
PSAA is committed to honoring the legacy and history of the Pierceton School, comprised of two magnificent buildings, where young people studied and made life-long friends from 1870 through 2015. For nearly 150 years, multiple generations of families attended classes in these buildings and brought honor to the school and the community. Our goal is to ensure that students attending the new Pierceton Elementary School will embrace and enhance the relationship the old schools had with the community.
Embracing Our Heritage
Our primary project at our 2014 restructuring was the Pierceton School Memorial Tribute, now located at the entrance to the Pierceton Elementary School. Follow-on projects included restoring and displaying Senior Class photos (1913 – 1971), digitizing all of the school yearbooks (1948 – 1971), and restoring old sports trophies and other artifacts from the school. We maintain a revolving display of Pierceton School memorabilia that can be viewed at the Larwill Campus of the Whitko Career Academy.