The History of Lena High School
Lena (population 2,887) is located in far northwestern Illinois on Il. Route 73 two miles north of U.S.
Route 20. A nearby town of note is Freeport located 12 miles southeast of Lena. This western Stephensen County
town has tracks from the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad running through its middle. A branch of the Waddams Creek enters
into the north side of town.
Lena's school system dates back to the early 1900s, maybe even the late 1800s. In the late 1950s
consolidation talks were initiated with its neighbor to the north, Winslow. In either 1958 or 1959 this effort
became a reality with the creation of the Lena-Winslow School District.
The following information and memeories of the Lena School building were offered to us by former student John
"The building shown in the picture (above) was torn down in the mid l930's. A new high school
was built by the WPA as high school classes were held in differnt churches in town during its construction. The grade
school classes were held in a church camp grounds on the north edge of town.
The steps on the outside of the building
were replaced with a large fire-tube escape. During noon hour we would use it as a slide. Bread wrapper papers
made of wax served as a seat to make you go faster. We would fly down the shut, run up the inside stairs and down again."
The Lena-Winslow High School building and one of the District's elementary schools are located
Lena High School Quick Facts
Year opened: late 1800s
/ early 1900s
Year closed: 1958
School nickname: the "Lions"
School colors: Red & White
School Fight Song: Sung to the Notre Dame Fight song tune - click "play"