The History of McLean High School
McLean (population 808) is located on Interstate 55 at the intersection of U.S. Route 136. McLean was
at one time one of the many famous stops along the old Route 66 roadway and is home to the Dixie Truckstop. It is located approximately
17 miles southwest of Bloomington in southwestern McLean County. The Union Pacific Railroad runs through the
center of town.
The following history of the town and its school system was provided by our own Kev
"The history of the education in McLean dates back to the early 1840's when a school house was built in
what is now known as Mount Hope Township (near today's McLean). The building was built of logs and was later moved to McLean
around 1857, before another building was built in 1868. High school studies began in 1878 with a two-year program, which later
was upgraded to a three-year school in 1882, then a four-year school in 1907. A fire destroyed the grade and high school in
October 1917, causing a vote in the village to build separate buildings for both grade and high schoolers. The new buildings
debuted in 1920, while a new gym was added in 1950.
In 1955, residents in Waynesville closed their schools and sent their children to McLean, forming McLean-Waynesville
High School. M-W would remain in session in the McLean HS building until the spring of 1968, at which time Armington came
into the fold for the next four years (1972). At that time, McLean, Waynesville, and Armington along with five other
communities (Atlanta, Danvers, Hopedale, Minier, and Stanford) officially banded together to open the present-day
Olympia HS in rural Stanford, as the result of a November 1966 vote. The majority of the McLean HS building was demolished
in the spring of 1980."
McLean houses a grade school that serves the Olympia District for McLean, Waynesville, and the
southern portion of the district. Most of the original McLean High School building was razed to make room for a
newer McLean-Waynesville Grade School building, which was constructed in 1980-81. The grade achool kept
just the original McLean gymnasium for its use.
McLean High School Quick Facts
Year opened: 1878
(as a 2-yr school)
Three-year school began:
Four-year school opened:
Year merged with Waynesville: 1955
Year Armington was added:
Year merged to the Olympia District: 1972
School nickname: Colts
Navy & Orange
"The Hub" (thru 1968)
School Fight Songs: Two used
Loyal To You, McLean High! (used thru 1955)
Sung to the University of Illinois Fight Song Tune
button below and sing along
We're loyal to you McLean High
orange and blue, McLean High
back you to stand
the best in the land
we know you have sand, McLean High!
crack out the ball, McLean High
We're backing you all, McLean High
team is our fame protector:
boys, for we expect a
from you McLean High!
Rah, Rah, RAH!
out that dear old flag of
on your sons and daughters
men of old, on giants.
reliance, shouting defiance
the broad green plains that nourish our land,
For honest Labor and for Learning we stand.
unto thee we pledge our heart and our hand,
Dear Alma Mater, McLean HIGH!
McLean-Waynesville Cheer Song (used 1955-68)
sung to the tune of the Illinois Wesleyan University fight song
So let's join in a cheer, while we're all gathered here,
for old M-W,
are ready to fight for the Orange and the Blue
our dear old high school...rah! rah!
For her honor and fame, and her glorious name,
will stand every loyal man,
let's cheer, cheer, the gang's all here,
we're all out for M-W High.