|Zeigler High School Building
|Zeigler "Block" School House
|Zeigler's First School Building
The History of Zeigler High School
Zeigler (population 1,669) is located in southern Illinois in southwestern Franklin County. Illinois
State Routes 148 and 149 intersect in the city. Two railroad lines, the Missouri Pacific and the Illinois Central Gulf,
also intersect in town. The Big Muddy River runs just to the south of Zeigler. The town was incorporated by Illinois
in 1914 making it one of the "newer" towns on this site. The basis for the town's establishment was the formation
of underground mining in the area. For location sake DuQuoin is located about 12 miles northwest of Zeigler and
West Frankfort is located 6 miles to the east. A great web site to learn more about Zeigler is found at http://www.zeigleril.com .
The School system in Zeigler is documented at http://www.zeigleril.com/pages/schools.htm. Zeigler began a school system soon after its first houses were built. As Zeigler grew and prospered so did the
educational facilities. The first school house was the "Block School" pictured below. In the 1920s the school
pictured above to the right was built. This served the children until the 1960s when the building
was demolished and a new building was erected. The grade school pictured below was used for the high school for
a bout three years until the new building was finished.
The year was 1962 when the towns of Zeigler and Royalton agreed to consolidate
their efforts. The Zeigler-Royalton School District was established ending the solo efforts of the
two towns. If you would like to add any information regarding Zeigler High School please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adam Rosoho provided the following link to an excellent photo video of Zeigler High School
which includes a rendition of the school fight song from 1950. Phenomenal! http://www.photoshow.com/watch/jY9fF9cr
Zeigler High School Quick Facts
Year opened: early
Year closed: 1962
Ziegler-Royalton High School
Year original school demolished: 1963
the "Purple Tornadoes"
School colors: Purple
School Fight Song:
Zeigler High Loyalty
(University of Illinois Fight Song Tune)
loyal to you Zeigler High.
We're purple and white, Zeigler High.
We'll back you to stand
'Gainst the best in the land
we know you have sand, Zeigler High.
So crack out the ball, Zeigler High.
We're backing you all, Zeigler High.
Our team is our fame protector:
Boys for we expect a
Victory from you Zeigler 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, Zeigler High!
Zeigler High School definately offered basketball, football, and track. If you have information regarding the
Zeigler High School athletic program please e-mail it to us.
|Zeigler HS Basketball Star Sam Ranich
|Submitted by Adam Rosoho
Only the three seasons of IHSA success are listed on the IHSA web site (www.ihsa.org
) regarding Zeigler High School boys basketball. Those three years however ended in Sweet 16 appearances
with one even extending to the Elite 8!
This accomplishment is unique also because all three appearances
were under three different coaches and within a four year period. The teams and their great seasons are listed below.
The photo to the right is of Zeigler High School basketball player Sam Ranich of the 1926-27 squad.
The caption on the photo states the following:
"Sam Ranich center of Zeigler Community High School - Team 1927. Only known high school player to perform
this feat. By Clarks Studio"
1933-34 (beat Collinsville
in 1st Rd. of
Sectional 35 - 17)
1935-36 14 - 7 Sectional Champions
Coach Geoffrey "Red" Moore
40 - 36 to Vandalia
1936-37 15 - 7 Sectional Champions
Coach Claude Neville
Sweet 16 Qualifier
Lost 28 - 26 to Vandalia
1938-39 18 - 12 Regional / Sectional Champs
Coach Byrl Longman
Elite 8 Qualifier
Beat Roodhouse 21 - 11
Lost to Rockford 47 - 34
Rockford HS Eventual State Champs
|Zeigler High School Track Team 1926
|Submitted by Adam Rosoho
BOYS TRACK & FIELD
Two Zeigler High School boys brought home medals from the IHSA State Track Meet under the one-class system.
1936-37 Paul Milosevich 120 Yard High Hurdles 5th Place
1951-52 William Buyaki Long Jump
There are four seasons listed under boys football for the Zeigler High School boys. The best two of these seasons
are listed below. (Zeigler-Royalton High School won the Class 1A Football Championship in 1982!!)
|Ziegler HS Football Field / Cinder Track
|Courtesy of James Horaz
1945 4-4-1 Coal Belt Conference Champs
Coach Hewdy Tweedy
1947 4-2-2 Coal Belt Conference Champs
1951 6-2 2nd place Coal Belt
1952 6-3 2nd place Coal Belt Coach
Coach Glen Whittenberg
1955 4-4-1 Coal Belt Conference Co-Champs Coach
1956 5-3-1 Coach
1958 7-2 Coal Belt Conference Champions
Coach Fred Imhoff
1959 6-3 2nd place Coal Belt
Coach Gordon Butler
**Our good friend Adam Rosoho added this information on some early Purple Tornadoe grid iron teams:
"The following was written by Dr. Allan Patton, a 1957 graduate of Zeigler High School and long time
"Local teams standing head and shoulders above all other area teams include the famous Purple Tornadoe football
teams of 1932-1934. Not only were these teams undefeated for all or part of three season, but they were unscored upon.
Not until late in the 1934 season did an opponent, DuQuoin, cross the Tornadoe goal line. This dismal event occurred
during the most important game of that season. In a game played at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds, the DuQuoin Indians
were pitted against the Purple and White crew for the championship of the Central Egyptian Conference. When the smoke
had cleared, the Indians had won the confernce title, handed defeat to a Zeigler team for the first time in nearly three years,
and had scored a touchdown against the toughest defense in southern Illinois. Final score DuQuoin 6, Zeigler 0."
am not sure if it was the season before or not, but the closest a team came to scoring against Zeigler was a 35 yard field
goal attempt by Pinckneyville."
The Zeigler boys competed in boxing for a short while in the 1950s. The photo below was scanned from a 1954
Ziegler High School yearbook. It was sent to us by Adam Rosoho. The only information supplied
in the year book that accompanied the photo included that decisions that year were won by Jerry Capps
and Jim Welch Further results and information are being sought.
|Purple Tornado Boxing Team of 1954
|Submitted by Adam Rosoho
Members of the 1954 boxing team pictured above include:
Row One: Jimmy Rogers, Johnny Holland,
Bob Hiller, Harvey Medley
Row Two: Grant Downen, Noel Morgan, Dexter Reiger, Jim Welch, Buddy Johnson,
Jerr Capps, Mr. Glen Wittenberg, Coach
The Zeigler High School Tornadoes competed in baseball too. Any information including records and coach's names
are welcome. We do know this for sure, that the school produced some great athletes during its existence.
The photo below shows the Zeigler High School baseball team of 1927. It was submitted by Adam Rosoho
and has the following caption written on the lower left-hand corner:
Ever-Victorious Baseball Team of Ziegler
Community High School. Winners of Central
Egyptian Conference 1927
|Zeigler High School Baseball Team of 1927
|Conference Champs - Submitted by Adam Rosoho
The following information was sent to us by Dan O'Brien of the Society of American Baseball Research. It
is a fact that Zeigler High School alum Mike Milosevich played professional baseball. Mike
spent parts of two seasons in the big leagues playing for the New York Yankees! Read the article below regarding Mike's
passing away which was written in the national sports magazine, The Sporting News:
The Sporting News
February 19, 1966
Milosevich, infielder with the Yankees in 1944 and ’45, died at
Chicago, Ind., February 3. He was 50 years
A high school star at Zeigler, Ill.,
Milosevich was working in a steel mill and playing
semi-pro ball at Steubenville, O., when
he decided to take a crack at O.B. in 1935.
it was an easier way to make a living than being a steel puddler,” he
once said. “So I went over to Washington, Pa., where the Yankess
had a farm in the Pennsylvania State League, and asked Bennie
Bengough to give me a chance. He did an I became his shortstop.”
followed Bengough to Joplin (Western Association), where
he played the next two seasons. After four years at Binghamton (Eastern) and two at Kansas City (American Association), he finally was brought up to the Yankees. He appeared in 94 games in 1944
and 30 games in ’45, batting .247 and .217.
back to the minors, he ended his career in 1951 after serving as player-manager of Baxley (Georgia State) and Americus (Georgia-Florida)."
More information on Mike Milosevich was found in the Southern
Illinoisan Newspaper on February 9, 1966:
The Southern Illinoisan
February 9, 1966
Southern Illinoisan Sports Talk
Many Big Leaguers Has This Area Produced?
recent death of Mike Milosevich of Zeigler has stirred up memories of former major league baseball players
from Southern Illinois?
How many can you name?
Milosevich was the Yankee shortstop in 1944 and
1945. He was a good enough player to be voted the most valuable player in the American Associated
with the Yankee farm at Kansas City several times. He played in the minors about
10 years because the Yankees used to have a farm system comparable to the Cardinals and kept a lot of good men “down
on the farm.”
**Mike Milosevich did not forget his roots. He is buried in the Zeigler Cemetery north of town. Special
gratitude goes out to Peg Carpenter, Library Director of the Zeigler Public Library for her research in locating
This bit of information came from a local fan of high school sports and of this site, Hank Maze. Hank
relayed this information to us regarding Zeigler High School:
"This town (Zeigler) had some great athletics in the late 30's and early 40's. Many
of them played at SIU, two or three on the NAIA National Champion SINU basketball team. Two Milosevich
brothers and Shaeffer played on this team and Bill O'Brien, same time frame
in Ziegler, who played football at SINU before and after the war later coached at SINU and became a long time referee
in the National Football League. Coach Glen Whittenberg (a Carbondale native) and coach of the 53-57
football teams at Ziegler, later coached basketball at Proviso East High School, winning a state championship in the
*Gordon Butler - another great Zeigler athlete. After playing high school sports (football, basketball,
and track (no Zeigler high school baseball, at least at that time), he signed a contract with the St.
Louis Cardinals and played three years, 1954, 1955, and 1956 in their farm club: two years at Dothan, Alabama, and
one year at Winnipeg, Canada, before dropping out to finish his college education as he had received his draft
notice for the fall of 1957.
IF YOU HAVE FURTHER INFORMATION TO SHARE
If you have ANY information you can share about Zeigler High School please send us an e-mail. There were probably many
other great teams and other accomplishments made at the school. We are especially interested in photos. You can e-mail
these items to us at email@example.com
or write to us at:
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Il. 60631
|Zeigler Grade School