The History of Stonefort High School
Stonefort (population 292) is located in the far southern portion of of Illinois, in the eastern portion
of Illinois' tip. The town is about 12 miles southwest of Harrisburg and 15 miles southeast of Marion. Though
Stonefort is considered to be a part of Saline County, it is almost equally divided from north to south by the Saline County
/ Williamson County line. U.S. Route 45 is the main roadway to and from Stonefort. The Illinois Central
Railroad passes by town about one mile to the east.
An early history of the town of Stonefort can be found at the web address of http://www.carolyar.com/Illinois/SALINE/Saline217.htm . In summary, the original town of Stone Fort was platted in 1858. It was established just
to the southeast of where the current town now sits. By 1872 the town had reached a population of 150. The
railroad did not pass the original town's location however and folks soon moved to the current location of Stonefort, which
at the time was named Bolton. The residents of Stone Fort took with with them many of the structures, leaving the once
thriving community nearly bare.
Since there was already a post office in Illinois named Bolton, the post office in this Bolton
was named Stone Fort. It is believed that because of this, and since most of the residents
had relocated from Stone Fort, the town of Bolton took on the name of Stone Fort, and later, Stonefort.
We know that the original town of Stone Fort had a two-story brick school building that was left behind
in 1872. A school building was erected in the "new" Stonefort in 1873. We can only surmise the next 90 years of
education in Stonefort. We would guess that residents of Stonefort began a high school curriculum for their children
by the late 1800s, certainly by the early 1920s. We believe that Stonefort High School was a four-year institution.
It served the town and the surrounding farm families through the early 1960s. It was in 1963 that the residents
of Carrier Mills and Stonefort agreed to consolidate their educational efforts. This arrangement led to the creation of the Carrier Mills
- Stonefort School District.
We are currently not certain if the town of Stonefort still hosts a grade school. We are also
curious if the high school building still stands in town.
Stonefort High School Quick Facts
Year opened: late
1800s / early 1900s
Year closed: 1963
Consolidated to: Carrier
Mills - Stonefort School District
Stonefort HS team nickname: unavailable
Stonefort HS team colors: unavailable
School Fight Song: unavailble