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Dahlgren School - Hamilton County, Illinois
|This school was located in Dahlgren Township near the intersection of County Roads 2000N and 100E.||It was an active school from 18xx to 19yy. It served grades __ to __.|
The following information was taken from the Oral History Project by Frank J. McNair, 1978.
|The following information ...|
Dahlgren's first school was a frame structure on land given by the Sturman's about 1850 and was used until after the coming of the railroad to Dahlgren in 1870. As the village began to expand, it was found that many of the school children were obliged to go farther to school, so a decision was made that the building be relocated.
A few lots were purchased on the west edge of town on Sixth Street and were built of brick. The building first contained two rooms, with one above the other and a liberal amount of space in front for use of stairs, closets, and storage. When more room was needed, this building was joined to the first structure. Fourteen years later in 1900 this addition was made, another two-room structure, one room above the other, using the same original stairway to reach the upper room.
This plan worked well and gave ample room, but in 1912 a new school law enacted that provided direction of window lighting and other restrictions and specifications. It was difficult to alter the new law. It was decided best to build a new building for years to come. It was thought if such a building was built, it was best to have more ground for additional buildings. Different sites were discussed and considered and a vote was taken on a proposition to purchase five acres at the south edge of town on Dale Street with ample room to provide for the future. The vote carried.
C. F. Goin was employed as foreman to wreck the building, move part of it to the new site and secure new materials as needed for the project. It was almost time for school to begin when the wrecking and building began. To arrange to have school that coming term was no easy undertaking, but dwellings, lodge halls, and others were secured and school went on.
When winter came, there still was much to be done on the building,
both outside and inside.
In 1944, the school became a four-year high school and R. W. Hawthorn
was chosen as principal, a position he held for several years except
one year when Morris Simpson was chosen.
All the high school pupils in the outlying territory are now bussed
to McLeansboro and some of the lower grades are bussed from McLeansboro
to attend at Dahlgren. During the preceding years, there had been
efforts made to vote in a bond issue to build a gym, but most people
thought it was not necessary, and they continued to rent the opera
house for this purpose and save a lot of expense. Each time these
propositions were rejected until 1950, when it carried and a larger
gym was constructed, costing from $125,000 to $150,000.
About this time, the directors employed a man as principal who claimed he could do the work of an architect and contractor and he made them believe enough of his claim that he was allowed to plan some low buildings and get them built. His claim was that he could save them a lot of expense and build them to comply with the specifications of the state. He wanted to wreck the present school building and build a number of one-story structures. He was permitted to build two of these, but before they were completed it was found that his figures on expense were not correct and the state inspector would not approve of his construction. He was not allowed to wreck the old two-story building, nor start anymore buildings.
The principal moved away to a distant community to accept a position.
Since the vote compelled all high school students to go to McLeansboro,
what money the man was allowed to spend on his project at Dahlgren
was a total waste of thousands of dollars. The high school is no longer
at Dahlgren. Much of the need of the gym is no longer the case either,
so Dahlgren now has a lot of building space no longer needed. The
bond expense will go on for many years yet.
In 1958, all the country schools were consolidated in Dahlgren Township
and most of these students were bused to Dahlgren, including the pupils
attending the Catholic parochial school. The parochial pupils began
attending the public schools. Consolidation gave the pupils a better
chance of learning because there were more in the classes. Some of
the country schools were so low in attendance that teachers sometimes
had only two or three pupils. Bussing is very expensive but so are
teachers when there are no pupils for them to teach. There are many
other expenses about schools besides teachers and much of this expense
is eliminated by consolidation.
The custom was, before the high schools were established, to learn the common branches thoroughly. This was done by learning and reviewing until grown instead of quitting at age fourteen. But we attended until we were grown and sometimes to twenty years of age. Sometimes the teachers of the country schools attended with us after their own schools were out. They did not have as many months of school as we did in town.
The principal of our school received $50 per month except the last two months. I am so glad I got to study under John Phillips. He was qualified to teach the high school branches and we got a little of it in connection with our other studies. He argued, "Get the common branches thoroughly before you take the higher branches. We found to learn the common branches completely was better for us than just to get a little of the common subjects and a little of the higher branches later. Following Phillips were Snyder, Summers, and Hawkins.
My school days were over in 1908. I then spent my time on the farm
or doing concrete work and did very little reading. This resulted
in a loss of some of the learning I had acquired. I have retained
more than the students of later years received by the methods of their
Below is a list of the available documents / photos for the school. Click on each link to load that page. Close the page that opens to return to this page. The links are arranged oldest to newest, left to right and top to bottom within each category with all unknown year items placed at the end.
|1927 Freshmen||1927 Seniors||1929 & 1930||1931||1932||1933|
|1934||1936-7 Freshmen||1939-40 3rd & 4th||1944 Freshmen||1944 Sophomores||1944 Juniors|
|1944-5 7th & 8th||1951 2nd & 3rd||1953 Teachers||1958||Unknown 1||Unknown 2|
|1921 Girls Team||1921-2 Girls Team||1922 (1) Basketball Team||1922 (2) Basketball Team||1924 Basketball Team||1925 Basketball Team|
|1932-3 Basketball Team||1936-7 Basketball Team||1955 (About) Basketball Team||1956 Basketball Team||1950s (Late) Basketball Team|
|Gym Heating Stove|
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As mentioned above, if you can add to or correct any information presented or if you have any document / photo that you wish to contribute to this project, please contact us at HCHSGenealogy@gmail.com.