Congerville High School

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Congerville High School Building - Early 1900s
congervillehsearly1900sbldgdav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Craig

Congerville High School & Gym Between 1935 - 1945
congervillehsandgymdav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Craig

Newspaper Article 1914
congervilletownshiphshistorydav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Craig (Left click on photo for larger view)

The History of Congerville High School
 
Congerville (population 466) is located in upper-central Illinois about 15 miles northwest of Bloomington. U.S. Route 150 runs through the heart of Congerville and Interstate Highway 74 runs just to the south of town. Congerville sits in the south-eastern portion of Woodford County. The Norfolk & Western Railroad also passes through Congerville.
 
A brief history of the town of Congerville was found at the Wikipedia web address of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congerville,_Illinois . In summary, Congerville was originally called "Schrock", named after Joseph Schrock, the man who platted the town in January of 1888. In February of the 1888 the town name was changed to "Conger" in honor of an earlier settler. The name was finally changed to Congerville in July of 1888.  
  
A nice newspaper article was located on the internet by Dave Sanders regarding the history of the Congerville school system. The article was published in the Bloomington Pantagraph Newspaper on December 21, 2008. The title of the article is "Congerville School District Celebrates Century Mark" (http://www.pantagraph.com/news/congerville-school-district-celebrates-century-mark/article_9de0bde2-5c0e-5430-b7ff-3bde3a4462b5.html). The article is copied below in its entirety, however in summary it states the following:
 
Congerville Consolidated School District 115 was created in 1908. Kids from Hickory Point and Sodom also attended the school. The first principal of the school was Joe Whetsel who also taught the upper grades. The first two teachers for the lower grades were Andrew Moore and Maye Corbin. Board members at that time were A.J. Builta, C.A. Daniel and David Schrock.
 
A new brick school building was completed in November of 1908 for a cost of $10,000 ($251,698 in today's world). The building included a furnace, playgound, a large attic for basketball or assemblies, and a barn big enough for "eight horses and two wagons." Children living more than two miles from the school were brought in by wagon until 1926 when Model T Ford trucks were fitted to transport the kids.
 
A two-year high school was likely begun in the early 1920s, though this may have occured in the 19-teens. This program was later expnded to include a third-year of high school. A gymnasium was constructed in the 1930s as was an additional room for kindergarden. It was in 1948 that Congerville High School was consolidated into the Eureka-Congerville-Goodfield.School District 140. Research by Jerry Craig indicates there was likely a graduating class of 1914 consisting of three (Elsie Irons, Maurine Lantz, Louis Zook).  There were classes following in nearly every year. An invitation to the commencement exercises of 1923 is available at the bottom of this article as well.  

Congerville Elementary School - 2012
congervilleschool.jpg
Former Congerville High School

The above photo of the Congerville Elementary School building was found on the following website address: 
It is probable this building also served as the Congerville High School building at one time. Information on the town of Congerville is needed. If you can assist us, please write to us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net.

Congerville "School Bus" 1933
congervilleschoolbus1933zimmermanfarmdav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Craig

The first Congerville HS Board of Education
congervilleschoolboarddav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Crain

Regarding the "bus" photo above to the right, from Jerry Craig:
  
"This is a photo of a 1933 vintage Congerville Consolidated District School Bus to add to the existing on the site.

This photo was taken on the Zimmerman farm east of Congerville.  The first and last in the photo are reportedly Kelly Zimmerman and Bud Zimmerman, both hired "bus" drivers at that time.  The others in the photo are (from left to right):
Fred Knapp - father of Fritz Knapp who donated this photo
June Zimmerman (sitting on the horse)."
      
Congerville High School Quick Facts
 
Year School District formed:       1908
Year 2-year HS Started:             early 1920s
Year closed:                              1948
Consolidated to:                         Congerville-Eureka-Goodfield Community
                                                   Unit School District #140
Congerville HS team nickname: unavailable
Congerville HS team colors:       unavailable
School Fight Song:                     unavailable

Congerville HS Basketball Victory Dinner 01/12/41
congervilletrihighconfdav.jpg
Newspaper Article Submitted by Jerry Crain

Athletics
               
We are quite certain that the Congerville High School boys participated in basketball.  We believe they competed in baseball and track as well.  We are in need of your assistance here.  School team nickname, team colors, fight song, coaches' names, and team records are all items we are searching for.
  
We do know through research conducted by Jerry Crain that Congerville participated in the Tri-High Conference in the 1940s for certain. Members of the conference included Shirley Ben Funk High School, Chestnut High School, Emden High School, and Congerville High School.
          
Basketball
 
The Congerville High School boys were participants in the annual IHSA State Tournament. One score from the annual event involving Congerville HS was located on a website titled "Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores." Season record and coach's name from this and other Congerville HS teams are needed.

Congervile High School Basketball Team Mid-1930s
congervillehsbasketball1930s1dav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Craig
1922 through 1935 Postseason scores, records, and coaches' names needed.
  
1935-36            Washington District Tournament                  Coach's name & record needed
                        1st Rd lost to Washington 37-13
                        Washington would win District title.
  
1940-41            Tri-High County Champions                      Coach Keim
   
1936 through 1948 Postseason scores, records, and coaches' names needed.
     

From The Pantagraph Newspaper February 15, 1941
congervillehspantagraphfeb151941dav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Craig

Track

The boys competed with other schools in track & field too. This article (below) was found by Jerry Craig. It was written on May 02, 1940 regarding a track meet between Congerville and Eureka.

congervilleeurekatrackmeet521940dav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Craig (left click on photo for larger view)

Football

The Congerville High School boys competed in football too, at least in the early 1920s for certain. The two following articles were sent to us by Congerville historian Jerry Craig regarding Congerville High School playing Carlock High School in two football games in the month of November in 1924. Congerville took both contests in very close scores.

Congerville HS vs. Carlock HS, November 27, 1924
congervillecarlockfootball11271924dav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Craig

Congerville HS vs. Carlock HS November 06, 1924
congervillecarlockfootballgame1161924dav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Craig

Extra-Curricular Activities
 
We are also interested in items and activities that made Congerville High School unique.  Band, chorus, plays, meetings, clubs, and dances were likely all a part of the Congerville High School experience. If you have knowledge of these please write and share them with us.

Congerville HS Band Member Gladys Streece - 1934
congervillehsgladystreeceschoolband1934dav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Craig

The photo below provided by Jerry Craig is of the Congerville HS kids for the April 12, 1939 operetta performance titled "The Tea House of Sing Lo". The names of the students are listed below the photo.

Congerville HS Operetta 1939
congervillehsoperetta1938dav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Craig

First Row (L to R): Mildred Moser, Eldon Steffen, Bruce Landis, Walter Findlay, Roy Schrock, Merle Widmer
Second Row (L to R): Mary Miller, Alma Zimmerman, Virginia Keidel, Walter Stevens, Margie Zook, Helen Treece, Anna Mae Miller, Dorothy Widmer
Third Row (L to R):  Robert Engel, Marjorie Irions, Miss Mary Lantz, Betty Jones, Arthur McCammon, Kenneth Iron.
  
The photo below provided by Jerry Craig is of the Congerville HS kids in the April 17, 1938 operetta performance titled "Star Flower". The names of the students are listed below the photo.

Congerville HS Operetta 1938
congerville1939operettadav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Craig

First Row (L to R):  Bill Romersberger, Sam Zimmerman, Kenneth Miller, Roy Schrock, Eldon Steffen, Paul Dean Evers, Kenneth Iron, Walter Findley
Second Row (L to R): Helen Azbill, Mildred Hasty, Alma Zimmerman
Third Row (L to R):  Dorothy Campbell, Judy Keidel, Marjorie Zook, Lillian Zimmerman, Dick Romersberger, Robert Engel, Oleta Sharp, Helen Treece, Virginia Keidel, Anna Mae Miller, Arthur McCammon, Eugene Burton, Clyde Schmidt, Walter Stevens
Fourth Row (L to R): Mary Miller, Junior Moreland, Miss Mary Lantz, Betty Jones, Marjorie Irions, Dorothy Widmer, Betty Siebert
    
    

Congerville High School Play Program 1935
congervillehsplayprogram1935dav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Craig

Congerville High School Play Program 1935
congervillehsplay1935dav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Craig

We Need Your Assistance
           
Do you have any knowledge or experiences regarding the former Congerville High School that you would like to share with us?  If so then please drop us a line at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net .  You can also write to us via real mail at:
 
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Il.  60631

James Allen - Would Become Grade School Principal
congervillehsjamesallenwalktohsdav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Craig

Congerville HS Commencement Invite 1923
congervillehs1923commencementexercisesdav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Craig

Congerville HS Commencement Invite 1923
congervillehs1923commencementexercises2dav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Craig

 
Bloomington Pantagraph Newspaper - December 21, 2008 12:00 am  • 

CONGERVILLE - One hundred years ago, children came from Sodom and Hickory Point to join the new Congerville Consolidated School District 115.

The dedication article in the 1908 Woodford County School Bulletin said: "Three teachers were employed by the Board of Directors with an unusual amount of care. Mr. Joe Whetsel is principal and has charge of the advanced pupils. The intermediate grades are in charge of Mr. Andrew Moore and the first three grades are taught by Miss Maye Corbin."

It continued: "The new schoolhouse was built for $10,000, including furnace, furniture, grounds, and equipment. The building was ready for occupancy on Nov. 16, 1908. The building consisted of four recitation rooms, one office and library room, one laboratory room, one boys' play room, one girls' play room, furnace room, sanitaries and cloak rooms.

"It also contains a large attic which can easily be fitted for a gymnasium or an auditorium. … A barn with room for eight horses and two wagons has recently been erected on the school ground."

The board included A.J. Builta, C.A. Daniel and David Schrock.

To commemorate the event, Congerville Elementary hosted a re-dedication ceremony Friday. Principal Randy Berardi and Superintendent Randy Crump spoke, and there was music and singing by former students.

The Congerville Community Club, Parent-Teacher Organization and Woodford County Historical Society helped.

Historical photos show the horse-drawn wagons that transported children who lived more than two miles from school. The wagons were replaced in 1926 with Model T Ford trucks with special bodies.

Congerville HS "Bus" of the 19-teens & 1920s
congervilleschoolbus19teensdav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Craig

Several years after the 1908 consolidation, a two-year high school was established. It later was advanced to a three-year high school.

A gymnasium was added as a Works Progress Administration project during the 1930s and a kindergarten room was provided for 5-year-olds.

In the 1940s, Congerville School and Goodfield School were combined with Eureka schools to form District 140. Congerville School has 89 pupils today, and has taught upward of 10,000 total, Berardi said.

"When I was doing my research on the history of the school, I crawled around in some of the nooks and crannies," Berardi said. "I went up in the attic because up in the attic they used to play basketball up there. I crawled up there in the attic and I couldn't get down.

"It was a Saturday. Audrey came over to check on me and the ladder was too far down. I couldn't get to it. She went over and got a couple construction guys who came over and helped me out."

Berardi's office and that of his secretary have been moved to the first floor, a move forced by the "100-year flood" this spring. Both offices were cloak rooms at one time, and Berardi's office was the original kitchen of the old school.

Woodford County Tournament Bracket 1939
congerville1939basketballarticle1dav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Crain

Congerville HS Track Star Romersberger1942
congersvillehs194142trackstarromersbergerdav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Craig

Congerville HS Basketball Team of the 1940s
congervillebasketballteam1940sdav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Craig

Congervilloe HS Track Meet 1941
congerville194041downnchsfstrackdav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Craig

Congerville Track Meet 1942
congerville194142bhsfstrackdav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Craig

Congerville HS Track Co-Champs 1942
congervillehs194142eurekacochampsdav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Craig

Congerville HS Basketball DInner 1941
congervillehs194041basketballmealdav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Craig

Congerville HS Track Meet 1941
congervillehs194041normalfstrackdav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Craig

Congerville HS Track Meet 1941
congervillehs194041trackmeetdav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Craig

Conference Track Meet 1941
congervillehs194041trihighconfchampstrackdav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Craig

Congervill HS Track Meet 1942
congerville194142nchstrackdav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Craig

Congerville Consolidated School Bldg Early 1900s
congervillehsearly1900sdav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Craig

Congerville vs. Eureka Track Meet - April, 1940
congervillehstrackmeet19400425dav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Craig

Fritz Knapp Wins Eureka HS Sports Award
congervillehsknapp1947dav.jpg
Submitted by Jerry Craig

**From Jerry Craig regarding newspaper article above:

"I came across this clip from the 1947-05-08 Woodford County Journal.

This student, Fritz Knapp, was part of a large farm family that stressed the importance of education in spite of the pressures to work the farm.  Fritz did well at Congerville High but some would say "Oh well, that doesn't mean much at such a small school".  Fritz receiving the Whitman award indicates that two years of education at Congerville High in fact provides a solid basis for further high school and college.  Many that attended Congerville went on to get college educations.

Fritz finished his high school education with eight sports letters in two years at Eureka High.  He is the only student to letter in four sports every year he attended."

Congerville - Carlock Consolidation Issue
congervillecarlockschoolconsolpantagraphsep301914dav.jpg
Pantagraph Newspaper Sept. 30, 1914 (Submitted by Jerry Craig)