The History of Bunker Hill Military Academy
Bunker Hill (population 1,801) is located in southwestern Illinois about 25 miles northeast of East St.
Louis. The town sits in the south-central portion of Macoupin County. Illinois Route 159 is the main roadway to and
from Bunker Hill. County Highway 14 also travels through town as Illinois Route 138 passes by Bunker Hill just one mile
to the north.
According to the Wikipedia address of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bunker_Hill,_Illinois , the area in which Bunker Hill was first settled was named Wolf Ridge. This settlement occurred in 1830. An
early settler named Elijah Lincoln platted a town in his name about a mile south of the current Bunker Hill in 1830.
However the post office for the area was located one mile to the north. The idea for the town of Lincoln was eventually
abandoned, and Bunker Hill was established around the post office in 1837.
The school most commonly known as Bunker Hill Military Academy got its start in 1859 as simply Bunker
Hill Academy as it was not originally considered a military school. The start of the Civil War closed the school in
1862. The school's building was used as a public school from at least 1862 through 1869.
It was in 1883 that the Bunker Hill Military Academy opened in the same building. The person credited
with founding the Military academy is Rev. Samuel L. Stiver. The academy was established to provide
strict regiment of classroom learning and discipline for the students, or cadets, who attended there. In the article
written by Carolyn Scroggins, the Academy grounds are described in the following manner:
"There were over 100 large shade trees on the four acres surrounding the buildings. Other grounds
of six or eight acres included a ball diamond, large areas for gardens and pasture land. Structures included the main
Building that was three stories high, a gymnasium with extra rooms at the side for an armory and wheel room, Stiver Hall,
carriage house and stables."
The school's founder, Reverend Stiver, remained the catalyst of the school's success through
his death in 1910. From 1883 through 1910 the Academy had enrolled 1,050 cadets from 17 different states,
with the bulk of those enrolled coming from Illinois and Missourri.
Those Academy leaders who attempted to maintain the success enjoyed by Reverend Stiver
were unable to do so. The Academy was closed in 1914. The Academy buildings were torn down, with the bell from the
Academy being bought by a local church. The grounds which once held the Academy buildings are now maintained as a
park by the local American Legion post.
Bunker Hill Military Academy Quick Facts
Year first closed:
1862 (Civil War)
Used as Public School:
Re-opened as Military Academy: 1883
School team nickname:
School team colors:
Burgandy & Gray
School Fight Song: