Roosevelt Military Academy “Rough Riders”

Aledo Roosevelt Military Acedemy
A picture containing building

Description automatically generated

The History of the Roosevelt Military Academy “Rough Riders”

A picture containing letter

Description automatically generated
Courtesy of Dick Larke

The community of Aledo, located on Il. Rt. 17 at Il. Rt. 94 about 20 miles south of Moline, and Mercer County have had a military presence since the War of 1812. The U.S. Government plotted a Military Tract for use for payment to volunteer soldiers who served. Decendents of those may have attended the William and Vashti College prior to the Great War (World War I). After the war, the college closed down and it was taken over by a unit from Osewgo, Kansas. The Illinois Military School was formed in 1924, but went bankrupt during the Great Depression.

The Academy re-opened under the name Roosevelt Military Academy. It prepped up students who wold go on to serve in World War II, the Korean War, and later the Vietnam War.

Here is an example of what student life was at the Academy:

6:30 a.m. – First call

6:40 a.m. – Reveille and setting-up exercises

7:00 a.m. – Breakfast

7:45 a.m. – Inspection of quarters

8:00 a.m. – Chapel execrises

8:05 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. – Classes and study

11:30 a.m. – Physical drill

12:00 noon – Lunch

1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. – Classes and study

3:00 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. – Military drill

4:00 p.m. – Athletics and recreation

6:00 p.m. – Supper

6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. – Study period

8:15 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. – Recreation

9:15 p.m. – Call to quarters

9:30 p.m. – Taps

When the Vietnam War hit in the late 1960’s, the school was faced with pressure from activists who were against military academies. Roosevelt Military Academy closed it’s doors in 1973 and it’s buildings have remained dormant ever since.

An excellent website, which covers the history of the Roosevelt Military Academy including current alumni events, is found at the following web address:

www.rmaroughriders.org

The website was brought to our attention by Bob Fritz, RMA Class of ’65.  Bob is the President of the Roosevelt Military Academy Rough Rider Association. One fair warning though, if you plan to visit the site set aside some extra time for yourself, you will be there awhile!

Also, special thanks to Dick Larke for providing most of the photos on this page.

I.M.S. Scenes
A collage of a person on a horse drawn carriage

Description automatically generated with low confidence
Courtesy of Dick Larke

Roosevelt Military Academy “Quick Facts”:

Year opened:     1924

Year closed:      1973

Nickname:         The “Rough Riders” or “Cadets”

School Colors:   Scarlet and Gray

School Paper:    The Megaphone (I.M.S.)

School Building: Dormant, Administration Building has since been demolished but others remain

Aledo Roosevelt Basketball
A group of basketball players

Description automatically generated with low confidence
Aledo Roosevelt vs. Stronghurst High School

Athletics

The Roosevelt Military Academy offered extra-curriculars for a period of time, including Basketball and Football. They won an IHSA Regional Championship in Basketball in 1946-47. The only known record available on the IHSA web site (www.ihsa.org) is the recognition of the Regional Championship Basketball team from 1946-47. An “R” Club was formed to serve the Academy in extra-curricular needs.

The Illinois Military School (Roosevelt’s sucessor) offered sports during it’s short existance. We know of basketball, football and tennis being offered. Capt. Donald Kinney was the athletic coach during this time. According to a 1932 Geneseo High School yearbook, Roosevelt Military defeated the Maple Leafs in Football, therefore we know that Roosevelt offered Football as a sport and as far back as 1932.

It is also believed the Cadets were a member of the “Bi-County Conference” in the 1960s.

Basketball

As mentioned above, the Regional Championship of 1947 highlighted the Rough Riders basketball success.

1946-47          Regional Champions

I.M.S. Football
A group of people sitting together

Description automatically generated with low confidence
Courtesy of Dick Larke

Football

The following records for the football program at Roosevelt Military Academy were provided by our good friend Tom Sikorski.

1962  5-1-2  2nd place Bi County Conference

1964  4-4     3rd place Bi County Conference

Coach Don Jaschke

1965  5-3     Bi County Conference Co-Champs

                  Coach Don Jaschke

Drama Competition

The Drama Team from Roosevelt Military Academy had a very successful program in the early 1940s.  The team from the 1940-41 school year competed on the “State” level and finished 3rd overall!

I.M.S. Tennis
A picture containing wall, person, posing, group

Description automatically generated
Courtesy of Dick Larke

Seeking More Information

If you have any further information you would like to share regarding Roosevelt Military Academy, and even the Illinois Military School, before its closure, please e-mail us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net.  You can also write to us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.   60631

“The Megaphone”
A picture containing text, newspaper

Description automatically generated
Courtesy of Dick Larke

A close-up of a rug

Description automatically generated with low confidence

   

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: