On the back of this old photo is written "County Institute, Court House front. School teachers." Given to the Franklin Township Historical Society in "9-1992" it originally belonged to Paul Copeland, a Franklin Township school teacher.
The Indiana State Teachers Association was organized in 1854, but it was not until 1865 that the state began to require annual teacher institutes, later supplemented by monthly township institutes. (The idea was widespread that anyone could teach, especially in a country school.)
Among our possessions is a Xerox copy of a journal kept for a few years by William T. Maze, a local farmer-school teacher who attended the Acton Normal School, and also, on occasion, went to the County Institute in Indianapolis.