|Sidell High School
|Submitted by Bill Daugherty
|Sidell High School - Sideview
|Provided by Bill Daugherty
The History of Sidell High School
Sidell (population 626) is located in lower-eastern Illinois in the southwestern portion of Vermilion
County. Danville is located about 15 miles to the northeast of Sidell. Sidell sites quietly on the intersection
of the county roads of E 300 North and N 600 East. The Missourri Pacific Railroad cuts directly through the middle
of Sidell. A branch of the Little Vermilion River flows by the western edge of town while the Archie Creek flows to
the south of town.
The following EXCELLENT history of the Sidell school system was sent to us by Bill Daugherty.
It was taken from the The Sidell Reporter from about 1972. The information was furnished to the newspaper by Frank
Gilroy who came to Sidell in 1908. He was a blacksmith and a Baptist preacher.:
"Since Sidell is one of the younger towns of the area, it has no background of "subscription schools"
and log schoolhouses. The earliest settlers here sent their children to Archie, Gilead, Barnett and Indianola, where schools
had been established since 1843. After grade school, a few attended seminaries, which offered, advanced education on the basis
of tuition of $1.25 per month per pupil.
The first school in Sidell was established in the upper room of the old depot building about 1883
or 1884. Presumably in the late 1880s a two-room brick building was erected on’ the west side of Chicago street where
the Rose Bailey home is now located. A Mr. Graham was hired as principal, and the two other teachers were Ida Ames and Zua
Spry. In 1892, a second story was added and a two-year high school was established under a Mr. Blankhurst as principal.
In 1894, Clay F. Gaumer became principal, and in 1897 a third year was added to the
high school and it continued as a three-year high school until 1908, when the fourth year was added under Prof. Sherman
Cass. Two rooms had been added to the building in 1905, making it a six-room school. Sometime within this range,
some of the classes were held in the upper story of the Old Hatchery building, south of Courson’s Store. During the
years 1892 to 1908, the public school board of District No. 194 operated the high school.
As early as 1895-96, an attempt was made to organize a high school district, but the effort was defeated
at the polls. It was later accomplished, in 1912, through petitions circulated by Dr. Ceo. B. Jones and Harley
Beaman. The district of 39 sections was called Sidell Township High School District No. 21. The first board of the
new district was elected in April, 1912, and named A. Cathcart as president. Other members were; H.
L. Baum, Ralph Herron, J. C. McDowell, M. A. Dickerson, A. M. Miller and Max Holton.
In the beginning, the high school was established in two rooms of the grade school building, paying
a rental of $25 per month. In 1912, a bond issue of $20,000 was approved for a new high school building, payable at $2,000 per year for 10 years. Three sites were available for the building:
the first, east of the Christian Church the second, the old three-story hotel across the street east of the bank, and the
third, its present location.
The new building was occupied in the spring of 1913, under Sherman Cass as principal,
his salary being $117.50 per month for 12 months. Two other teachers were hired at $75 per month. The completed building cost
The first ‘graduates of the four-year high school were: Walter Carrell, Hazel Williams,
and Caryl Holton. The first janitor of the building, George Overman, was paid $45
per month for 12 months.
The new gymnasium was built in 1925 under Leroy Hooker as principal, at a cost of
$27,000. The school was admitted into the North Central Association in 1916 when V. W. McIntyre was Principal.
W. J. Goreham became principal in 1927 and served until it ceased to be a separate high school in 1955, when
it was consolidated with Fairmount and Indianola high schools to form Jamaica High School.
Principals serving during its history of 63 years were:
E. W. Blackhurst, 1892-94
Clay F. Gaumer, 1894-1903
J G. Slater, 1902-3
Robert Kent, 1903-4
R. W. Sprinkle, 1904-6
J. N. Kirby, 1906-8
Sherman Cass 1908-14
V. W. McIntyre, 1914-17
Mr. Nichols, 1917-18
Mr. McManus, 1918-19
J. R. Bouton, 1919-25
Leroy Hooker, 1925-27
W. J. Goreham, 1927-55
The first official coach of the high school was H. C. Stotler in 1916: The organization of the
Consolidated Jamaica High School was effected in 1953, but did not become operative until 1955. Upon the consolidation, Mr.
Goreham became the first superintendent of the Jamaica High School."
In 1955 the towns of Sidell, Fairmount, and Indianola agreed to pool their high school resources. The effort resulted in the creation of the Jamaica School
The high school for Jamaica District was set in Sidell. The fate of the original Sidell school
building is being sought.
Sidell High School Quick Facts
Year closed: 1955
Jamaica School District (Sidell)
Sidell HS team nickname: the
Sidell HS team colors:
Blue & White
School Fight Song:
"We're Loyal to You Sidell High"
University of Illinois Fight Song Tune
(Thank You To BILL DAUGHERTY)
We're loyal to you Sidell High,
We're white and we're blue, Sidell High,
We'll back you to win,
you'll never give in,
Tho' the score may be thin, Sidell Hi
So keep up the pep, Sidell High,
You're building a rep, Sidell High,
You'll soon have a reputation,
That will produce sensation,
Fight boys for Sidell High!
The Sidell High School boys competed in basketball, probably baseball and track as well. The Englishj Department
at the school also got into the State Competition "act" by winning medals in the Speech tournament. School team nickname,
colors, fight song, team records, and coach's names are all items we are searching for.
|Sidell Rockets - District Champions of 1954
The hardwood courtmen of 1939 had an incredible run. These boys made it to the final round of 64 winning both their
District title and Regional title. Sidell stayed competitive to the very end winning another District title the
year before they merged with Indianola and Fairmount.
1938-39 District Champions
1953-54 District Champions
Members of the 1954 District Champs pictured to the right included:
Front L to R: Bill Daugherty, Richard Swinford, Robert Lucas, Ellie Partenheimer, John Talbott
Back L to R: Jim Eakle, Jim McDowell, UKN, George Stoutin, Dave Meredith
Speech - Individual Events
Two thespians from the Sidell High School academic department brought home medals from the state-wide IHSA Speech
Competition. There were no "classes", so the Sidell kids were matched against kids from towns of all sizes and
make ups. Congratulations to these two Sidell HS students for their excellent accomplishments!
1941 Melba Miller
Verse 4TH Place
1948 Gary Lane Comedy
|Sidell HS Students - 1951
|Courtesy of Bill Daugherty
Memories and Facts of Sidell High School
From our good friend Bill Daugherty:
"Here is some more information on the Sidell High School:
The last Board of Education was comprised of:
Wayne St. Clair, President; L.M. Meece, Secretary; Members: William Thompson, Eldon Craddock, Stewart Maddox,
Chester Eakle and Darell DeNeal.
The last faculty was comprised of:
W.J. Goreham, Principal; Mary Jo Clapp, Home Economics and English; Glenn E
Foster, Science; Chester L Persinger, Coach, Boys' Physical Education and Mathematics; Robert E Evans,
Agriculture; Omer Creech, Jr, Music; Mrs Gleechal Norton, Commerce; and Mrs. Carolyn
Staats, English and Spanish.
A total of 720 students graduated from Sidell High School, through 1892 to 1955."
Seeking Further Information
If you have any further information regarding Sidell High School and its many achievements please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are especially seeking a photo of the school buildings used in Sidell. You can write to us via real mail
IIlinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva Av.
Chicago, Il. 60631
|Sidell High School Class of 1939
|Courtesy of James Morse (Class Member) , Submitted by Bill Daugherty