The History of Alma High School
Alma (population 386) is located in south-central Illinois in north-central Marion County. Illinois
Route 37 angles through town from northeast to southwest. Interstate Highway 57 travels just west of town as well.
The Illinois Central Railroad parallels Route 37 and travels through Alma too. Alma is located about 55 miles east of
East St. Louis and 60 miles south of Decatur.
The following history of the town and its educational beginnings was provided to us via research conducted
by Jamie Driskill:
"The Centralia Sentinel"; Centralia, IL; Aug. 6, 1910
p. 122; The Village of Alma
The village of Alma was laid out and platted by John S. Martin in 1854. Additions
have been made since by J.S. Martin, M. French, Samuel J. Tilden, S. McCullough, L.C. Pullen, N.D. Laughlin, L.C. Pullen,
N.D. Laughlin, and J.W. Ross. The village is situated in sections 6 and 7, Alma township. The first stone house on the site
of the original town was built by Dr. T.O. Hatton, father of Mrs. C.M. See. The town was first named Rantoul. As there was
a town in the state by that name, the postoffice was named Grand Mound City in 1855. The town and postoffice were changed
Dr. T.O. Hatton was the first doctor, the first merchant, and the first postmaster.
Other postmasters have been: J.S. Martin, R.C. O’Bryant, J.R. Sloane, H.L. Allmon, C.M. See, T.E. Mayes, N. Warner,
MV. Helton, I.A. Sprouse, T.B. McCartan (incumbent), H.P. Winks.
The first teacher in Alma public schools was Hugh Moor. Alma has had as teachers,
J.B. Abbott, J.E. Whitchurch, and J.S. Knisley -
in all four men who were county superintendents of schools."
The exact dates of operation for the high school in Alma are a little cloudy. We believe that Alma High
School may never have offered more than two-years of high school education. It is likely that Alma High School ceased
offering high school curriculum in 1940. The Alma School District probably continued to support a 1 - 8 grade school
for 12 more years. It may not have been until 1952 that the school districts of Kinmundy and Alma actually
consolidated. It appears in research conducted on the neighboring town of Kinmundy that Kinmundy-Alma High School District was
established in 1952.
The former Alma High School building served as a grade school through at least the late 1970s. The building's
fate is being sought.
Alma High School Quick Facts
Year Alma High School closed: 1940
Year Kinmundy & Alma consolidated: 1952
Alma HS team nickname:
Alma HS team colors:
Purple & White (?)
Alma HS Fight Song: