Alto Pass High School “Apaches”

Alto Pass High School Building
Courtesy of Dean Thompson
Alto Pass Grade School Bldg – 2011
Submitted by Dean Thompson

The History of Alto Pass High School

Alto Pass (population 388) is located in far southern Illinois about 30 miles north of Cairo and 10 miles east of the Mississippi River.  This location also places Alto Pass about 15 miles southwest of Carbondale in northern Union County.  Illinois Route 127 passes though town as does a county road known as Skyline Drive.  The Cave Creek and a branch of Cedar Creek flow through town.  There is also an unnamed railroad line and a lake on Alto Pass’ west side.  This information was found on .

The history of Alto Pass and its school system are in need of research. It is believed that Alto Pass’ history extends back to the early 1800s.  The school system was probably not far behind. A high school was likely established by the late 1800s.  We are only able to track the school through the 1953 school year when its basketball team won its last District title (  We believe it was 1969 when the Alto Pass High School was annexed into the Cobden School District.

The fate of the Alto Pass High School building was a sad one in that the building has been torn down.  If you have any of the information regarding the history of Alto Pass and its former high school please write to us at

Alto Pass High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                            late 1800s

Year closed:                             1969

Consolidated to:                        Cobden High School

Alto Pass HS nickname:            the “Apaches”

School colors:                           Red & Gold

School Fight Song:                    unavailable


Alto Pass High School offered boys basketball.  It is probable that baseball and track were offered as well. We are obviously missing a ton of information regarding the history and success of Alto Pass High.  The school team colors, nickname, and fight song are all needed. Also needed are the year that Alto Pass students joined forces at Cobden High.  Information on the athletic program such as conference affiliation and foes are needed as well.

Boys Basketball

The boys basketball program brought home a total of four District Championships. Two were won in the 1940s and two were won in the early 1950s.  Unfortunately the records and coaches names of these and other great Alto Pass teams are not available.

1940-41             District Champions

1944-45             District Champions

1949-50             District Champions

1952-53             District Champions

Seeking More Information

We are in need of a lot of research in order to do justice to the former students, faculty, and townspeople who made Alto Pass High School a success for so many years.  A photo of the high school building is especially being sought.  You can e-mail items to us at  You can also write to us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.        60631

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