Joy High School "Bulldogs"

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Joy High School Building of 1951
joyhsdav1.jpg
Courtesy of George Carpenter

Joy High School - 1908
joyhsdav.jpg
www.rootsweb.com - Mercer County, Illinois

The History of Joy High School
 
The village of Joy, Illinois is located in the near northwestern part of the state on Il. Rt. 17 approximately 7.5 miles east of the Mississippi River. The town and its population of 373 residents is located in the middle-western portion of Mercer County, approximately 30 miles (as the crow flies) southwest of the Quad Cities.
 
George Carpenter provides the following information regarding the history of Joy:
 
"A post office was established in the area in 1848 in the home of George Scott and named High Point.  The village was laid out in 1848 and the railroad established a station there that same year.  In 1870 the post office was moved into the village and the name was changed from High Point to Joy." (Source - "The History of Mercer County, Illinois 1882")
 
A program from the 55th Class Reunion of the Joy High School Class of 1951 (held July 16, 2006) had the following history of Joy High School written on it.  This program, too, was submitted by George Carpenter:
 
"The village of Joy was laid out in 1869 and a one-room school house was built that smae year on the site of today's Joy Park.  School was held from September to March with a vacation during corn-picking time. It reopened in April for a 3-month summer term. It was not unusual for some of the students to be 21 years old.  Only the basic subjects were taught.
 
In 1896 a two-story brick building was built in the Joy Park location.  The first floor was used as a grade school and a high school was located on the second floor. An addition was built on the north side of the building in 1906.  
 
There were four graduates in the first Commencement Exercise in 1899 and six graduates in 1900.  There were no graduates in 1901-03 or in 1909.  The largest class had 37 students graduate in 1956.  There were 26 students in the last graduating class of Joy High School in 1960.
 
A new high school was built on the north edge of Joy in 1936-37.  Students were relocated from the second floor of the high school in Joy Park to the new facility during the Christmas Vacation in 1937.
 
There was a total of 870 students who graduated from Joy High School which included the last graduating class of May, 1960.  The District was then reorganized and became the Westmer School District beginning in the fall of 1960."      
 
The original Joy High School doubled as a church until a new building was built in 1877. It is known that in 1960 a consolidation effort between the schools and communities of western Mercer County, including New Boston and Keithsburg, took place.  Joy was included in this effort and was fortunate to land the high school in their town. 
 
Joy Westmer High School currently serves the high school students of that area. 
 
Joy High School Quick Facts
 
Year opened:          early 1900s
Year closed:           1960
Consolidated to:      Westmer School District (Joy)
School nickname:    the "Bulldogs" 
School colors:         Maroon & Dark Green
School Fight Song:  "Cheer, Cheer for Old Joy High School"
                                        Notre Dame University Fight Song Tune
 
 
Athletics
 
The boys at Joy were truly able to compete. During the 1920s and early 1930s Joy track athletes brought home 8 state medals.  During the 1950s the boy's basketball team won three Regional titles and three District titles.  Further information is being sought regarding these and other athletics offered at the school.  The successful seasons and athletes are listed below.  Football information was researched and provided to us by Tom Sikorski.
 
Boys Basketball   
 
The 1950s were the home of great memories and accomplishments for the kids of Joy High School. Coach Bob Jackson led the charge and brought home a total of THREE Regional titles and one District title. Season records of these and other teams of the hardwood court at JHS are needed.
 
Some scores from the IHSA State Tournament were located on a website titled "Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores." These scores are printed below. 
 
1933-34              Rock Island District Tournament           Coach's name & record needed
                          1st Rd Beat Cordova 29-28
                          2nd Rd lost to Orion 55-17
                          Orion lost in semi-final round
  
1934-35               Moline District Tournament                  Coach's name & record needed
                           1st Rd Beat New Boston 20-17
                           2nd Rd lost to Aledo 58-16
                           Aledo lost in semi-final round
  
1935-36               Reynolds District Tournament              Coach's name & record needed
                           1st Rd lost to Cordova 20-17 (2 O/Ts)
                           Cordova lost in semi-final round.
  
1936-37 Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1937-38 Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed
   
1938-39               Aledo Regional Tournament                 Coach's name & record needed
                           Joy did not compete in District this year.
                           1st Rd lost to Reynolds 19-9
                           Reynolds lost in semi-final round
   
1939-40 Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed
1940-41 Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed
   
1941-42               Joy Regional Tournament                    Coach's name & record needed
                           Joy did not compete in District this year.
                           1st Rd lost to Aledo 51-26
                           Aledo lost in semi-final round
  
1942-43               Aledo Regional Tournament                 Coach's name & record needed
                           Joy did not compete in District this year.
                           1st Rd lost to Aledo Roosevelt Millitary 63-27
                           Roosevelt lost in semi-final round
  
1943-44 Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
   
1944-45               Aledo Regional Tournament                 Coach's name & record needed
                           Joy did not compete in District this year.
                           1st Rd lost to Aledo 50-35
                           Aledo lost in semi-final round
   
1945-46               Joy Regional Tournament                    Coach's name & record needed
                           Joy did not compete in District this year.
                           1st Rd lost to Alpha 39-27
                           Alpha lost in title game
  
1946-47               Aledo Regional Tournament                 Coach's name & record needed
                           Joy did not compete in District this year.
                           1st Rd Beat Viola 32-24
                           Semi-final lost to Aledo Roosevelt Military 45-32
                           Roosevelt won District title
  
1947-48               Joy Regional Tourney 2nd Place     Coach's name & record needed
                          Joy did not compete in District this year.
                          1st Rd Beat Aledo Roosevelt 35-31
                          Semi-final Beat New Boston 36-26
                          Title Game lost to Aledo 49-36
   
 
1948-49               Aledo Regional Tournament                 Coach's name & record needed
                           Joy did not compete in District this year.
                           1st Rd Beat Reynolds 44-42
                           Semi-final lost to Aledo 39-38
                           Aledo lost title game to New Boston
   
1949-50               Joy Regional Tournament                    Coach's name & record needed
                          Joy did not compete in District this year.
                          1st Rd - won game (results unavailable)
                          Semi-final lost to New Boston 57-44
                          New Boston lost title game to Aledo
   
1950-51               Aledo Regional Tournament                 Coach's name & record needed
                           Joy did not compete in District this year.
                           1st Rd Beat New Boston
                           Semi-final lost to Sherrard 48-31
                           Sherrard won Regional title
  
1951-52               Joy Regional Tournament                    Coach's name & record needed
                          Joy did not compete in District this year.
                          1st Rd - Forfeit by Reynolds (weather)
                          Semi-final lost to Sherrard 37-32
                          Sherrard lost title game to Aledo                  
    
1952-53              Aledo Regional Champions              Coach Robert (Bob) Jackson
                          Joy did not compete in District this year.
                          1st Rd Beat Sherrard 58-52
                          Semi-final Beat Winola 66-58
                          Title game Beat Aledo 61-59
                          East Moline Sectional 2nd Place!
                          Semi-final Beat Morrison 54-53
                          Title game lost to Rock Island 91-48
                          Rock Island lost in Sweet 16 round. 
          
1953-54              Joy Regional Champions                  Coach Robert (Bob) Jackson
                          Joy did not compete in District this year.
                          1st Rd Beat Reynolds74-45
                          Semi-final Beat Roosevelt Military 63-47
                          Title game Beat Winola 59-51
                          Macomb Sectional Tourney
                          1st Rd lost to Bowen 85-55
                          Bowen won Sectional title over Monmouth
                          Bowen lost in Sweet 16 round
     
1954-55              Sherrard Regional Champions               Coach Robert (Bob) Jackson
                          Joy did not compete in District this year.
                          1st Rd Beat Alexis 72-39
                          Semi-final Beat Alwood 72-68
                          Title game Beat Aledo 52-42
                          Galesburg Sectional Tourney
                          1st Rd lost to Augusta 61-54
                          Augusta lost title game to Galesburg
                          Galesburg lost in Elite 8 round.
        
1955-56               Aledo Regional Tournament                 Coach Robert (Bob) Jackson
                          Joy did not compete in District this year.
                           1st Rd Beat Sherrard 65-28
                           Semi-final lost to Aledo 74-58
                           Aledo lost title game to Little York
    
1956-57 Postseason scores & record needed.                 Coach Robert (Bob) Jackson 
     
1957-58              Joy District Champions                      Coach Robert (Bob) Jackson   
                          Title game Beat New Boston 61-57
                          Aledo Regional Tourney
                          1st Rd Beat Rockridge 77-59
                          Semi-final lost to Aledo or Alwood
                          Alwood beat Aledo for Regional title
           
1958-59              Joy District Champions                      Coach's name & record needed
                         Semi-final Beat Keithsburg 70-41
                         Title game Beat New Boston 66-60
                         Alexis Regional Tourney
                         1st Rd lost to Sherrard 65-64
                         Sherrard lost title game to Alwood                         
 
          
1959-60              Joy District Champions                      Coach's name & record needed
                         Semi-final Beat New Boston 78-56
                         Title game Beat Little York 54-51
                         Regional scores unavailable
   
Last season as Joy High School, became Joy Westmer High School beginning with the 1960-61 school year.
     
Boys Track and Field         
 
1915     L. Bridgeford    220 Yard Hurdles        3rd Place
            L. Bridgeford    Pole Vault                  3rd Place
1920     Morrow            High Jump                  3rd Place
            Steele              220 Yard Hurdles        2nd Place
1923     Eckhart            Discus                         2nd Place
1924     Eckhart            Discus                         3rd Place
1930     Hesse              Shot Put                      2nd Place
1931     Walgren          220 Yard Hurdles        5th Place
   
1952-53                   Coach Robert (Bob) Jackson  
1953-54                   Coach Robert (Bob) Jackson
1954-55                   Coach Robert (Bob) Jackson
1955-56                   Coach Robert (Bob) Jackson
1956-57                   Coach Robert (Bob) Jackson
1957-58                   Coach Robert (Bob) Jackson 
 
Football
 
1952  6-0      Valley Conference Champs            Coach Robert Jackson
1953  5-1      Valley Conference Champs            Coach Robert Jackson
1954  4-3                                                             Coach Robert Jackson
1955                                                                   Coach Robert Jackson
1956                                                                   Coach Robert Jackson
1957                                                                   Coach Robert Jackson
 
Joy moved to the bigger Corn Belt conference in 1955 and struggled.  The last year JHS fielded a team was 1959. In 1960 Joy HS consolidated with Keithsburg and New Boston to form Joy-Westmer.
 
Memories
 
From our good friend George Carpenter:
 
"Dear Friends

As I reminisce thru the high schools on the Glory Days site, my mind pictures classmates meeting, dating and marrying their high school sweethearts. What a wonderful place to meet a partner to share the rest of your life with. Such was the case with me. In the summer after my sophomore year at Joy High School I met a pretty brown eyed farm girl at a small skating rink in the country who would be a junior at Reynolds High School
in the fall.

Because my 1931 Model A Ford Coupe could only travel between mud puddles due to a leaky radiator, I was pretty much without wheels in the winter. When school was out in the spring and things thawed out, we continued our courtship and, as luck would have it, my family moved into the Reynolds district and we became classmates our senior year. We graduated together in the Class of 51 and were married the next January.

When I came home from overseas after my tour of duty, I saw my son for the first time. He was 9 months old and born just 3 days before our first anniversary.  Like many GIs at the time, it was a struggle to find affordable housing. Things finally came together and we began to work toward the American Dream.

Because of our commitment to each other and our faith, we made it happen. Now after 56 years of marriage and having traveled to many places in the world, we look back and rejoice in the choices we have made. If I met my wife today, she would be my only choice.  Life is good.

So, since I see lots of space at the bottom of every page of each high school, I think how great it would be if we could share some of our life experiences with students who married their classmates."
   
**From Donna Jackson:
   
"I just read this article about Joy High School in the early 1950's.  My husband, Robert  (Bob) Jackson, coached  football , basketball and track during the 1952-53 until 1957-58 seasons.  It was then that we moved to Sherrard High School where he finished his career as basketball coach in 1973.  He retired fom the school system in 1986.  Thank you for an interesting article."
    
Seeking Further Information     
 
Records, Coaches names, and other sports offered are just a few things we are missing from this page.  If you have some of this knowledge and would like to share it please complete a School Submission Form or Guest Commentary Form.  You may also write us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net or:
 
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago,  Il.    60631                     

Original Joy High School Building
joyhs2dav.jpg
Courtesy of George Carpenter