The History of New Douglas
Douglas (population 319) is located in southwestern Illinois in the far northeastern portion of Madison County. New
Douglas is located in a country setting at the intersection of county roadways named New Douglas Road and Rockwell Road. The
Norfolk Southern Railroad line runs by the southeast side of town. New Douglas is about four miles east of Livingston
and Interstate Highway 55. New Douglas is about 23 miles northeast of Edwardsville.
According to page 529 of the book titled "The History of Madison County Illinois"
published by W.R. Brine & Co. in 1882, the area in which New Douglas is situated was first settled in 1819. The first
school for New Douglas Township was opened in 1823. The second school house was opened in 1839. The town of New Douglas (originally
called "Douglas" before a similar town was discovered with the same name) was platted in 1860 by a man named A. Foster and named
after Stephen A. Douglas, a popular politician of the era. The town was the victim of a tornado in 1876. Several injuries were reported and
many buildings destroyed, including the schoolhouse. A new building was soon constructed which included three rooms.
New Douglas prospered for many years, having several businesses and, at one time, six churches.
structure which housed the high school was built in 1905, and was also used by the local Masons as its Masonic Temple. A 2-year
high school may have started around that time, and later expanded to a 3-year curriculum in 1930.
first settler was David Funderburk, a native of South Carolina, who served through the war of 1812. He located
on section 7 in the fall of 1810. He taught school there in 1823 in a small cabin built near his home. The children coming
from adjacent townships. The second school house was a log cabin built in 1839. It stood on the western part of section 18.
Nelson Sparks was the first teacher. We now have a 4 room brick school building and employ 4 teachers. We
have a 3-year recognized high school which has 2 teachers, and we have 2 teachers in the grades. Mr. O. L
Haile has been our principal for 3 years but is continuing his schooling at the Southern Illinois State Normal at
Carbondale and Mr. Wayne Halford, of Sorento has been elected to take his place. We have 3 rural schools
Pisgah, Mt. Calvary and Gehrig. Elm and New Douglas were consolidated in 1930, and the country children are brought to our
school in a bus."
We know that New Douglas High School existed through at least 1949 by viewing
basketball scores from the District Tournament held in Sorento that year. More of this information is available below.
is likely that New Douglas High School closed in 1949. We know that the high school-aged students of New Douglas today attend
Highland High School to the south. The school building pictured at the top of this page hosts 3rd and 4th grade students of
the Highland School District.
Douglas High School Quick Facts
Highland High School
Douglas HS Team Nickname: (Grade School nickname "Flyers")
Douglas HS Team Colors: ??
Douglas HS Fight Song: ??