Category Archives: Schools and school districts

Ridgely School fire, 1916

Regular fire drills were credited with saving the lives of an unknown number of children when Ridgely School caught fire in the middle of classes on Nov. 15, 1916. The blaze began when sparks from the school’s coal furnace flew … Continue reading

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Springfield High School explosions, 1932

Two firefighters and a janitor were killed when mystery explosions wrecked a storeroom at Springfield High School on March 20, 1932. A total of 13 people were injured by the blasts, which were never fully explained. The school’s night watchman … Continue reading

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Divernon school photos, 1920s

The above photos of Divernon school students were provided by John Faber. Students’ identifications (except for a few relatives of Mr. Faber) are not available. Divernon opened its first school in 1887, but school enrollment began to jump after the … Continue reading

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Hay-Edwards School (1914-2000)

The former Hay-Edwards School, for which redevelopment plans were announced in August 2015, got its name from a former mayor and school board chairman and a prominent Springfield family. Charles Hay (1841-1916), a brother of President Abraham Lincoln’s secretary (and later … Continue reading

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St. Barbara Slovenian Catholic Church

St. Barbara Church, 15th and Laurel streets, was Springfield’s Slovenian Catholic parish from 1911 until 1947. Thirty-seven Slovenian residents of the Springfield area – many of them coal miners – formed a Slovenian Church Building Association in 1909, each pledging … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Churches, Depression, Labor unions, Prominent figures, Schools and school districts | 5 Comments

Stuart Elementary School

The Sixth Ward Primary School, located between Sixth and Seventh streets and Vine Street and South Grand Avenue, was the first Springfield public school organized after the original four ward schools. Stuart was built in 1883 and closed after the … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Early residents, Education, John T. Stuart, Prominent figures, Schools and school districts, Women | 18 Comments

‘How We Come to School’ — Pleasant Plains High School, 1924

Page 68 of The Anchor, the yearbook of Pleasant Plains Township High School’s class of 1924, suggested most students commuted to school via horseback or buggy, though a few groups posed with automobiles. The class will, below, suggests high school … Continue reading

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Springfield High loses 1933 state championship basketball game (YouTube)

H.V. Porter, who made his biggest mark on sports by inventing the laceless, molded basketball and standardizing the rules of the game, was assistant director of the Illinois High School Association from 1928 to 1940. In that role, he also … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Media, Schools and school districts, Sports and recreation | 7 Comments

Springfield public high schools timeline

1857: First public high school opens in Springfield in rented quarters on Market Street (now Capitol Avenue) near Spring Street. The school would move twice more before the city of Springfield – which then operated the public schools – constructed … Continue reading

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Lincoln College of Law

The Lincoln College of Law educated prospective lawyers, mostly in night classes, for more than 40 years in Springfield. Many graduates went on to distinguished legal careers. The school opened on Sept. 4, 1911, sharing space that first year with … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Higher education, Prominent figures, Schools and school districts | 7 Comments