Alvin High School “Pirates”

Alvin High School Building 1919 – 1948
Submitted by Don Claypool (From “Alvin Centennial Book 1976”)
Alvin HS Building Corner Stone 2013
“Left Click” on photo for enlarged view
Alvin High School Memorial 2013
“Class – 24″ Written on Archway/”1919-1997” Written on Stone
Alvin High School Archway Entrance
Submitted by Don Claypool (From the book “Alvin Centennial 1976”)

The History of Alvin High School

Alvin (population 316) is located in far eastern Illinois. The town sits just north of Illinois Route 119 about 3 miles west of the Indiana/Illinois state line.  This places Alvin about 10 miles north of Danville in upper-eastern Vermillion County.  The Louisville & Nashville Railroad also travels through Alvin.  A branch of the North Fork of the Vermillion River flows in and around Alvin as well.

The following history of Alvin was provided by Don Claypool:

“In 1872 the C&EI railroad came down from Chicago passing through the already established village of Rossville. As it went on south it spawned the towns of Gilbert and Bismarck. Gilbert, named after Alvan Gilbert, was about a mile north of Bismarck.

In 1876 the Illinois Central established a track east and west interlocking the C&EI about a mile north of Gilbert. The people of Gilbert simply closed their town and moved north to the new interlock renaming the town as ALVAN Thus 1876 is the establishment date of modern day Alvin. By 1900 Alvan had two hotels, two grain elevators, a union train station and numerous businesses. Through an error the name was listed as Alvin by the Post Office. It was not changed by the railroads until the early 1900s. Sources: Alvin Centennial Book “Bits & Pieces of Alvin’s Past, 1876-1976” and “Place Names of Vermilion County, Illinois” by the Illiana Genealogical & Historical Society.”

The following history of the Alvin High School district was provided by Don Claypool as found in the Alvin Centennial Book of 1976.

History of Alvin High School
Submitted by Don Claypool (From the book “Alvin Centennial 1976”)
Alvin School Bldg 1899-1931 / Alvin HS 1912-1919
Submitted by Don Claypool (From the book “Alvin Centennial 1976”)

As stated in the article, it was in the late 1940s, the townspeople of Alvin and nearby Rossville began consolidation talks.  The year was 1948 when a new school district was established between the two towns.  The district was appropriately named Rossville-Alvin.

The high school for Rossville-Alvin was located in Rossville. It is not known if possibly the original Alvin High School building was used as part of the Rossville-Alvin School District.  The fate of the original Alvin school building is a familiar but sad one as it has been torn down in 1997.

Rossville-Alvin High School District closed in 2005.  The Alvin kids now have the option of attending Bismarck-Henning or Hoopeston Area high schools.

Alvin High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                1912

Year closed:                 1948

Consolidated to:            Rossville-Alvin School District

School nickname:          the “Pirates”

School colors:               Orange & Black

School Fight Song:        unavailable

Alvin School Gournds 2013

Alvin High School definately offered boys basketball. The school also produced a STATE CHAMPION in boys track and field! It is probable that baseball was also offered.  However there is VERY limited information on the athletic program  If you have any information you wish to share please write to us via e-mail.

Boys Basketball

The IHSA website shows Alvin High School winning a District title in boys basketball.  Unfortunately the team record and coaches names of this and other successful Alvin High School teams are not available.

Scores of games involving Alvin High School in the IHSA State Tournament were located on a website titled “Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores.” The scores we found are reprinted below.

Beginning of basketball program through 1926-27 Postseason scores, coaches’ names, and records needed.

1921-22           Watseka District Tournament                       Coach’s name & record needed

 1st Rd Beat Bismarck 35-18

2nd Rd lost to East Lynn 24-15

Watseka beat East Lynn in title game

1922-23 through 1926-27  Postseason scores, records, and coaches’ names needed.

1927-28           Hoopeston District Champions                Coach’s name & record needed

Beat Rankin 13-11

                        Beat Stockland 25-11

Normal Sectional Tournament

                        1st Rd Beat Paxton 30-19

ALVIN (30): Bowman 20, Darr 6, Weyer 2, Hiatt 2.

PAXTON (19): Hoffman 10, Turner 8, Mearns 1.

                        Semi-final lost to Streator 25-18

STREATOR (25): Dixon 9, Paton 6, Mohler 6, Hart 4.

ALVIN (18): Hiatt 8, Bowman 8, Darr 2.

Streator won Sectional title

Streator lost in Elite 8 round

1928-29 through 1931-32 Postseason scores, coaches names, & records needed.

1932-33           Hoopeston District Tournament                   Coach’s name & record needed.

1st Rd lost to Rankin 27-16

Rankin lost in quarter-final round

1933-34           Milford District Tournament                           Coach’s name & record needed.

1st Rd lost to Rankin 27-16

Rankin lost in 2md Rd

1934-35           Hoopeston District Tournament                     Coach’s name & record needed.

1st Rd lost to Wellington 35-16

Wellington lost in 2nd Rd

1935-36           Westville District Tournament                        Coach’s name & record needed.

1st Rd lost to Ridge Farm 26-17

Ridge Farm lost in semi-final round

1936-37 through 1939-40 Postseason scores, coaches names, and records needed.

1940-41           Cissna Park District Tournament                   Coach’s name & record needed.

1st Rd lost to East Lynn 32-17

Potomac beat Cissna Park in title game

1941-42 through 1943-44  Postseason scores, records, and coaches’ names needed.

1944-45           Wellington District Tournament                      Coach’s name & record needed.

1st Rd lost to Wellington 35-32

Wellington beat East Lynn in title game

1945-46           Potomac District Tournament                         Coach’s name & record needed

 1st Rd Beat Stockland 45-32

Semi-final lost to East Lynn 26-24

Rankin beat East Lynn in title game

1946-47  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1947-48           Potomac District Tournament                         Coach’s name & record needed.

**1st Rd lost to Sheldon 42-26

Stockland beat Sheldon in title game

**Final boys basketball game for Alvin High School “Pirates”. School dissolved and became part of the Rossville-Alvin School District.

Boys Track & Field

Alvin High School had many good athletes over the years, however only one placed in the IHSA State Track Meet, and he was crowned STATE CHAMPION!. The following was sent to us by Bruce Samoore and is verified on the IHSA website at the web address of :

“A student from Alvin High School, believed to be William E. Bivans, in 1919placed First in the Mile Run, at the Boys State Track and Field, Class B  Championships. On the IHSA Records his name is spelled Bevans, with no first name listed. With the school now closed, and possibility that the student records could be in Hoopeston, or Rossville, or even in Bismark, might turn up verification of enrollment. The 1920 US census, shows a William Bivans living with his parents and brother, in the village of Alvin, in Ross Twp., Vermillian CO. There is no surname  of Bevans listed for Vermillian Co., 1920.”

1918-19   IHSA Class ‘B’ Championship Meet

William Bivans     State Champion   1 Mile Run


**From Don Claypool:

“After Alvin consolidated the building was taken over by the grade school. I went there my 7th and 8th grade graduating in 1950. I had older siblings who attended Alvin High School. My older sister, Thelma Ross, put together the last High School reunion held there. I believe that was about 1970. I knew the Bill Bivans you mentioned. I believe you have that item correct. Bill never married to my knowledge. He use to take vacations out west to add to his large rock collection.”

If You Wish To Share Any Information…

…regarding the many successes and memories created by Alvin High School please share them with us.  Alvin High School has alumni and carried with it a lot of town pride at one time. Help us recapture that pride on this page.  You can e-mail information and, if you have one, a photo of the original Alvin High School building.  Our e-mail address is  You can write to us via real mail at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.  60631


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