The History of East Pike High School
Milton (population 274) is located in lower-western Illinois about 30 miles southwest of Jacksonville and eight miles southeast
of Pittsfield. The town was platted in the eastern portion of Pike County about three miles west of the Illinois River. For
more information on Milton click on this address: http://www.pikeil.org/communities/milton.html
Pearl (population 187) is located in lower western Illinois in the southeast corner of Pike County. Pearl is located on the
banks of the Illinois River. About eight miles of roadway known as Illinois Route 100 connects the two towns. For more information on Pearl check out: http://www.pikeil.org/communities/pearl.html .
The two towns supported their own high schools throughout the first half of the 1900s. In
the early 1950s the residents agreed to combine their efforts into one school district. In 1955 this effort was realized
with the creation of the East Pike School District.
East Pike High School was located in Milton. We believe that a grade school remained in Pearl as well.
The school system was solid for nearly 25 years. However it was decided in 1979 that the District would be dissolved. East
Pike was a great school district and asset to the area. Its loss, as with nearly all of the smaller towns on
this website, had a tough effect in many ways on the towns of Milton and Pearl. East Pike High School Class
of 1979 alum Joy Kern has these memories of EPHS:
"Milton High School closed in 1955, the same year that
Pearl High School,(located 8 miles south) closed. The two schools combined and became the East Pike Panthers. My Grandfather Lyndell Bliss Kern graduated from Milton High School in 1930.
He went on to become a coach and P.E. teacher in the North Green area. Now for some irony, my father Johnie Rae Kern
was in the last class to graduate from Milton High School, my mother Jean Johnson Kern was in the
last graduating class from Pearl High School and myself, Joy Rachelle Kern was in the last class to
graduate from East Pike High School.
East Pike High School closed in 1979. Students
now go to Pikeland Unit 10. In 1976 East Pike was told that if a new "Ag" shop could be built at the expense of the
town we could keep the school open. The town did just that. Sadly, 4 years later, the school was closed anyway. The "ag" shop
is now used to store much of the town's equipement. The school building is still standing but is in a bad state of disrepair.
Milton lost more than just their school when the building
was closed. Many of the businesses were affected as well. Today there is a cafe where the old Bisel Grocery
store was. The entire north side of the square has been razed. The bandstand does still stand and has been refurbished
although I am not sure of the year. East Pike High School may be a thing of the past but I personally will always have
the pride of the East Pike Panthers!"
The students of Pearl and Milton now attend school in Pittsfield. Dale Summers tells
us the East Pike High School building and the Milton Grade School building were razed in 2007.
East Pike High School Quick Facts
Year closed: 1979
Pittsfield High School
East Pike HS team nickname: the "Panthers"
East Pike HS team colors: Black & Gold
School Fight Song: "On
Old East Pike"
University of Wisconsin Fight Song Tune