The History of Cornland High School
Cornland (population approximately 125) is situated in the heart of central Illinois. It is located
in south-central Logan County about 15 miles northeast of Springfield and 20 miles south of Lincoln. Illinois Route
54 and the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad line run parallel from southwest to northeast and are the main travel ways though
town. A branch of the Lake Fork Creek flows to the east of Cornland. According to MapQuest (www.mapquest.com) Cornland is approximately four blocks long from north to south and three blocks wide from east to west.
the then brief history of Cornland was written as follows:
"Cornland is on the Gilman, Clinton, & Springfield Railroad in the southern part Elkhart Township.
It was platted by Joshua Day in August 1871. He and Dr. Phinney opened the first store in the village which, in
1873, they sold to the Capps Brothers who are yet in trade. Thomass Bell erected a grocery in 1871 but discontinued
business in 1873. R.W. Jess of Sangamon County opened a general store in 1871 but returned to Sangamon County three years
after. Andrew Wilson is the first mechanic here and is yet in business. In 1876, an elevator was built, and
a good grain trade started. Before this a small warehouse was operated by Mr. Daney of Elkhart. The town is also
a good stock point. A good two-story school house was built in 1877. The school is, however, under
the district control."
Former Cornland resident and school product George Drake offered the following information
on Cornland and its former school:
"I was born in the small town of Cornland 79 years ago and attended school there for ten years.
Eight of those years were in grade school, then I attended the two-year high school there for my freshman and sophomore years.
The high school closed at the end of my sophomore year in late May, 1942. When I started my sophomore year
there were two students in my class and just four freshmen students. During the school year two of the freshmen
moved away from town which left just two sophomores and two freshmen.
I am enclosing a picture of the frame two-story high school building. It was built in 1877 and
was used by the grade school until 1920 when a new brick building was was built for the grade school and the 4-year high school
was started in the frame building (pictured above). Of course, back in the early 1900s, it was not unusual for pupils to attend
grade school for an extra year or two since high schools were often not practical for them to attend.