The History of Westervelt High School
Westervelt (population approximately 150) is located in south-central Illinois in north-central Shelby County.
Westervelt sits about 20 miles south (and a little east) of Decatur. Westervelt is located in a true country setting
on County Road 1525 East at County Road 1800 North. Illinois Route 128 passes about 2 miles to the east of town. The
town is about five blocks wide and four blocks long. The Union Pacific Railroad has tracks that pass through Westervelt.
It is likely that the railroad was a major influence in the early development and location of Westervelt.
More research is needed on the history of Westervelt and its former school system. Our guess is
that Westervelt was established in the late 1800s. Gerry Halpin adds this bit of history regarding the
town of Westervelt; "The town is likely named for Dr. L. C. Westervelt, an early Shelby County physician.
There is still a post office and grain elevator in town, also still going strong is the Westervelt Christian
Church, a Greek Revival building that was named to the National Register of Historic Places in February 2006."
A school was likely established at the same time. High school curriculum was probably put in place
in the early 1900s. The high school district for Westervelt High was District 189. This was almost
certainly a 2 or 3 year high school.
We believe that Westervelt High School was strong through the 1940s. We would further guess that
Westervelt HS closed her doors in the 1940s, probably the late 1940s. We do know that Westervelt students continue
their education in nearby Shelbyville.
As you can tell by the photos taken in 2010 by Dennis Downey, the Westervelt High School
building has been razed. All that remains is the wonderfully constructed gymnasium, still standing majestically in town.
Westervelt High School Quick Facts
late 1800s / early 1900s
Shelbyville High School
Westervelt HS team nickname: the "Reds"
Westervelt HS team colors: Red & White
School Fight Song: