One of nine townships in Marion County, Lawrence Township was established in 1822 as a trading center near Indianapolis. Originally named Lanesville, the town changed its name in 1866 after the first post office erected in the area, to help minimize confusion with another southern Indiana town of the same name. In 1853, a formal township system was set up in Lawrence, with 10 schools built in the area to educate students.
Fifty years later brought Fort Benjamin Harrison (built in 1903), which boosted the population and brought a new importance to the area. Still, the community remained a rural one, but became a leader in rural school consolidation. Lawrence became the first township to completely consolidate its one-room schoolhouses, eventually leading to a system of three schools — Castleton, Lawrence and Oaklandon schools. In 1915, the schools graduated 10 students, five each from Lawrence and Oaklandon (Castleton's lone senior was transferred to Lawrence that year). The town became officially incorporated in 1929, with the few more than 600 residents voting to officially make their village a town.
In 1940, Lawrence again consolidated, establishing one high school named Lawrence Central High School. Through the next three decades, the school and community continued to grow, seeing a 20-room wing added to the school in 1960, a brand-new cafeteria in 1961, and an entirely new school building in 1963, which sits at the current Lawrence Central location on East 56th Street. In 1976, Lawrence North High School was opened as the Lawrence population outgrew the township’s lone high school. Lawrence Central High School was expanded and renovated in 1971, 1986 and 1990.
At present, Lawrence Central boasts a world-class performing arts program, is an International Baccalaureate school, and educates a diverse student body of over 2,000 students for life in the 21st century.
This collection is made possible by Friends of the Library through gifts to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation.