- From a publication called The High School Booster (vol. 1, no. 2),
published on February 2, 1917.
- “Schooldays in Chambersburg Sixty-five Years Ago as Compared to the Present,”
by Edward Irving
In the fall of 1852 I commenced my
school career, and oh, how different are the advantages and modes of teaching in the present time as compared to my boyhood
days. My first days in school were spent in a rough log-house, the logs of which were placed in the building in their rough
state, just as they grew in the forest. The building was covered with rough boards, which had been split out in the woods.
There were but two small windows and one door in this school. It was heated by a large fire place in one end of the structure.
The seats which we had were long
benches, place around the room. There was neither back nor desk to these benches and I became so tired the first afternoon
that I attempted to run from school. For that offense I was given a flogging. All this occurred in the woods, east of town
wear (sic) the present site of Mr. Sargent’s home.
The next school that I went to was
set in an old house just north of the Methodist parsonage. I attended there two terms. In the house now occupied by Ben Robbins,
a school for the higher grades was held at the same time. Soon after this our parents furnished a room in the second story
of Mrs. Thompson’s home, which served for both school and church.
It was there that I saw my first
blackboard. As I remember, it was about three feet wide and four feet long. It was a source of wonder to me. However not all
of us sere allowed to enjoy this luxury, and some us were forced to attend school in the house now occupied by Irving Pool,
which at that time stood on the ground now occupied by Charles Smith’s residence.
The country was new then and I resume
our parents did the best they could for us under the circumstances. About 1857 they built a three room house on the land which
still retained for the school grounds. We had blackboards in two of the rooms. I left school in ’62 and up to that time
we all used slates instead of paper for our written work. There were no charts or maps used in my school days. I thought the
teachers whipped hard and often but when I look back, we boys were as wild as the country, and had to be tamed.
We did not go to school eight months
in the year as is the custom now. All of us who were able to work had to work in the early spring and fall to help with the
crops. Three to four months schooling a year was all that many of us could obtain. So it is not surpristing that the children
of fourteen and fifteen years of age are as advanced in their studies today, as were the scholars, twenty-one years old, fifty
and sixty years ago.
- “The Laboratory,” author unknown
The laboratory is one of the many
practical sides of a high school education. Here the theories and principles gained from books and through discussion are
put into practise (sic) and made applicable to everyday life.
Many additions have been made to
the laboratory this year. The Babcock teser and soil auger were purchased last fall. The new aquarium was installed only a
short time ago. Also the stock of chemicals has been enlarged and replenished.
The Agriculture class has two laboratory
periods a week, one on Monday aone on Friday. Two field experiments were made last fall. One was a test of the soil and the
second the computing of the average of a given plat of corn.
Experiments have been made with the
germination and early growth of the corn, as the ear of corn itself.
Anyone who wishes to have milk tested
may do so by bringing samples to the school and m embers of the class will test it with the Babcock tester. They have also
been planning and studying the home garden. Probably in the spring some of the gardens in Chambersburg will be of a different
nature then heretofore.
The Zoology class has eighty minutes,
each Tuesday and Thursday which is devoted to laboratory work. In the fall they studied the earthworm. They have collected
and prepared specimens of many kinds of the smaller animals and insects. Additions have been made from time to time to the
Laboratory work brings the pupils
close to nature herself. The pupils become familiar with the common plants and animals. They are taught to be close observers.
The laboratory prepares the pupils to get the most out of life and to enjoy the things of the outside world. What a GREAT history the town of Chambersburg and its high school enjoyed!!
The great building is still there, looking a little wore out, but filled with the echoes and cheers
of a great school in Illinois' history.
Chambersburg High School Quick Facts
Year opened: late 1800s
Year Gym Built: 1936
Year closed: 1955/56
School nickname: the "Red Raiders"
School colors: Red & Black
School Fight Song: unavailable
Very little information is available on the IHSA web site regarding Chambersburg High and its athletic program.
The only IHSA hardware won by a CHS team was in Boy's Basketball. However as you can read in the information below,
we do know that Chambersburg High competed in baseball, track, and even volleyball.
Robert Stuller advises that, in spite of the small class sizes and small number of boys
for all four grades combined, Chambersburg did compete in baseball. During the early 1950s the school's principal, Eldon
Atwood, doubled as the basketball coach.
Jon Pool, 8th Grade Chambersburg Class of 1960, had these memories to share about his time
at Chambursburg and his father, basketball all-star Robert Pool (see below):
"I am from Chambersburg and graduated in the last class that went
all the way through GRADE school there. Graduating from the 8th grade in 1960. My father, mentioned in the article
you have on basketball, was the only one from the school, then and now, to go on to play Professional basketball. He
was Robert Pool. He played for the Ayers Oilers (I think that is the team he mentioned) out of MO.
He also farmed at the time with his father Edward. My father would have not made the money or the fame
of the players of today, but back then they did it for expenses and the love of the game. Dad played for about 18 years.
When I was in grade school and playing basketball for the same school, Dad would come to the school every day and play with
us kids at practice. Doc never went on to play and became custodian of the school and was always there. I
remember Dad and Doc Hobbs taking on the whole of our team. Dad, being a center and taller would
be the only defensive player and Doc would be offensive as he was much shorter. Dad would always get the rebound and
throw the ball the length of the court to Doc who would score the points for "their team". We never did win!!!
I do have the photo of the winning HS team they played on and the trophies of their victories. Treasures I will always
If you have any other information you would like to share about Chambersburg High School and its athletic
prowess please complete a School Submission Form or Guest Commentary Form or e-mail us at the address provided below.
The successes of the boy's basketball team are listed below.
With class sizes of no more than 6 kids, how the heck did the Chambersburg boys pull off a Regional win!!!
Well, they did it during the 1948-49 season with an enrollment of most likely no more than 25 kids
in the entire high school. Think about it, one of the top 64 teams in the State!!!
Check out the truly remarkable story below regarding the CHS team of 1927-28!! Great job Chambersburg High!
Chambersburg High competed in the P.M.B.C. (Pike, Morgan, Brown and Cass) Conference
1927-28 33 - 2 Mt. Sterling Christmas Tourney
Winners Coach Fred Nations
to eventual State Champ Canton In
1940-41 26 - 9 Conference Champs Coach
1942-43 24 - 6 Conference Champions Coach
Dean "Doc" Hobbs
1943-44 15 - 5 Coach Joe Pursifull
1946-47 18 - 12 Coach
1947-48 23 - 7 Coach
1948-49 27 - 5 DistrictChampions Coach
Season Summary Below
Here is some more information from Doug Bradley's submission:
Chambersburg has played three
games of basket ball since the last issue of this little paper. Nevertheless, although having met with many defeats she is
still up and coming.
The first game was with Milton,
December 23, Milton outclassed us in playing ability and size and the Red and Black went down to defeat 60-12.
The second game was between
the high school and town teams. The final score was 32-16 in favor of the town boys. It was an enthusiastic game throughout.
The third and last game was
with Chapin, January 26. The game was very slow and rough on both sides, two Chapin men and one local boy being eliminated.
Fouls were frequent and although the referee called as many as possible he was unable to get all on both sides. The final
tally was 37-19 in favor of Chapin. The local lads were unable to stand the rough onslaught of the Chapin team. The next game
will be Feb. 3, with Kinderhook. The game will be played in the gymnasium at Bluffs.