Anchor High School “Aces”

Anchor High School 1895 – 1975
A group of people standing outside a building

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Anchor, Illinois

The History of Anchor High School

Anchor (population 175) is located in eastern McLean County on Illinois Route 165. The town began to form in 1879 when local farmer Daniel Stewart platted the town on his land to entice the railroad to build tracks through it. The town was dubbed “Anchor” by George Buck, an ordained minister of the day. The Illinois Central Gulf Railroad owns tracks which take a curve through the center of town. A branch of the Mackinaw River also flows through town.

Anchor Township began an educational system for its children in 1858. Following construction of a new school in 1895, a first year of high school studies were added to the grade school program in 1896, followed by a second year in 1907. In 1916 the school gained state recognition as a high school when it added a third year to the curriculum. The fourth year was set in place in 1922, which required a gymnasium. classrooms, and an assembly hall to be added on in 1923-24.

Anchor Student Body of 1916
A group of people posing for a photo

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Submitted by Richard Savage

It is known that Anchor High School existed through the late 1940’s when a consolidation effort between the neighboring high schools of Anchor, Cooksville, and Colfax took place. It became a reality in 1949 when Octavia High School was formed and all students were brought to Colfax. The Anchor school building was used as a grade school for the Octavia school system for a while before eventually being phased out. The fate of the original Anchor High School building is, like all to many other small communites, a sad one. The Anchor School building was torn down in 1975.

A second consolidation effort took place between Octavia High School and Saybrook-Arrowsmith High School in 1989. The children of Anchor still attend school in Colfax but now as part of the Ridgeview School System. A good account of the history of Colfax Ridgeview High School and Anchor’s role in its development can be found at:

Anchor High School Quick Facts

Year opened:             1895

Year closed:              1949

School Building now:  Torn down in 1975

School nickname:      the “Aces”

School colors:           Orange & Blue

School Fight Song:    “Anchor High Loyalty”

                                           Sung to the Illinois University Fight Song tune – click below left to listen.

                                We’re loyal to you Anchor High

                                We’re orange and blue, Anchor High

                                We’ll back you to stand

                                ‘Gainst the best in the land

                                For we know you have sand, Anchor High!

                                                Rah! Rah!

                                So crack out the ball, Anchor High

                                We’re backing you all, Anchor High

                                Our team is our fame protector:

                                On boys, for we expect a

                                Victory from you Anchor High!


                                Che-he, cha-ha, cha-ha-ha-ha,

                                       Anchor High School

                                         Rah, Rah, RAH!


                                Fling out that dear old flag of

                                Orange and Blue,

                                Lead on your sons and daughters

                                Fighting for you

                                Like men of old, on giants.

                                Placing reliance, shouting defiance


                                Amid the broad green plains that nourish our land,

                                For honest Labor and for Learning we stand.

                                And unto thee we pledge our heart and our hand,

                                Dear Alma Mater, ANCHOR HIGH!


It is a fact the Anchor High School Aces competed in boys’ basketball. The Aces also competed in baseball, cross country, and track. We are hopeful for some assistance from an area fan or resident to help us in researching this information.  If you have any photos or information on the athletic program at Anchor High School please send them to us at


Boys Basketball

The Anchor High School “Aces” had a great run to close out their school. Did they sense their impending school closure and want to show some final pride for their town? Did they have a great coach move in and strike up this one last measure of glory? Perhaps a great athlete or group of athletes led them to this final last hurrah?

Whatever the case, the Aces went out with four straight District Championships to their credit! From 1946 to 1949 the Aces were, well, aces in their area. We are hopeful for some help regarding the Aces’ boys basketball of these and other great seasons. The four District title years, according to the IHSA web site (, are listed below. Scores involving Anchor High School in the IHSA State Tournament were located on a website titled “Illinois Postseason High School Basketball Scores.”

1925-26    11 – 6                                               Coach Amacher

Anchor High School “Aces” of 1925-26
Submitted by Richard Savage

1932-33                Gibson City District Tourney   Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Bellflower 30-15

Rantoul beat Fisher in title game


1933-34                Gibson City District Tourney   Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Strawn 27-19

Rantoul beat Fisher in title game


1934-35                Bloomington District Tourney   Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Bloomington 25-19

Bloomington beat El Paso in title game


1935-36                Colfax District Tourney              Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Downs 18-16 (O/T)

Chenoa beat Cooksville in title game


1936-37  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1937-38  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1938-39  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1939-40  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.


1940-41                Colfax District Tourney              Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Colfax 44-21

Cropsey beat Gridley in title game


1941-42  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.


1942-43                Colfax District Tourney              Coach’s name & record needed

 1st Rd Beat Cooksville 29-28

Semi-final lost to Arrowsmith 35-27

Arrowsmith beat Colfax in title game


1943-44  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.


1944-45    17 – 5   Colfax District Runner-Up      Coach Paul Orr

1st Rd Beat Arrowsmith 72-31

Semi-final Beat Ellsworth 54-33

Title Game lost to Cropsey 38-36 (O/T)

Anchor Basketball 1944-45
Team Record 17 – 5

1945-46                Colfax District Champions    Coach Paul Orr

Semi-Final Beat Arrowsmith 47-41

Title Game Beat Cropsey 35-29

Chenoa Regional Tournament

1st Rd lost to Gridley 46-42

Normal U-High beat Normal in title game

Anchor HS Aces 1945-46
District Champs

1946-47    19 – 3   Colfax District Champions   Coach Paul Orr

                             Tri-Valley Conf. Champs 

District Scores

1st Rd Beat Cooksville 37-21

Semi-final Beat Colfax 61-31

Title Game Beat Bellflower 36-32

Lexington Regional Tournament

1st Rd BEAT NORMAL 44-42

Semi-final lost to Normal U-High 42-36

Chenoa beat Normal U-High in title game

Anchor HS Aces 1946-47
District Champions

1947-48    20 – 7    Colfax District Champions          Coach Paul Orr

                               Tri-Valley Conf. Runner-up 

District Scores

1st Rd Beat Cropsey 50-32

Semi-final Beat Arrowsmith 62-42

Title Game Beat Gridley 51-43

Chenoa Regional Tournament

1st Rd Beat El Paso 38-36

 Semi-final lost to Normal 47-39

Normal beat Chenoa in title game

Anchor HS Aces 1947-48
District Champions

1948-49    16 – 7   Ellsworth District Champions        Coach Paul Orr

                             Tri-Valley Conf. Runner-up

District Scores

Semi-Final Beat Arrowsmith 43-36

Title Game Beat Gridley 56-45

Lexington Regional Tournament

**1st Rd lost to Lexington 51-43

Chenoa beat Normal in title game

**Final boys basketball game for Anchor High School.

Anchor HS Aces 1948-49 / School’s Final Team
District Champions

Boys Baseball

The Anchor HS Aces also faired well in baseball, a fall sport of the day. The records and accomplishments that could be researched are listed below.

1945                McLean County Eastern Division Champs   Coach Paul Orr   

Anchor Aces Baseball 1944-45
McLean County Eastern Division Champs

1947      4 – 2                                                                       Coach Paul Orr 

1948      4 – 2                                                                       Coach Paul Orr

1949      4 – 2                                                                       Coach Paul Orr


Boys Track

No state hardware, but a very competitive group nonetheless. The Anchor kids proved they were loyal to Anchor High, sending the school out on a good note.

1949   Tri-Valley Conference Champions             Coach Paul Orr


Cross Country

According to newpaper articles and historical accounts of Anchor High School, the Anchor Aces harriers were truly running among the big boys. The first state cross country meet was held in 1946 and the Anchor boys were smokin’. The team finished in 5th Place overall in spite of an entire high school enrollment of 42 students! The Aces duplicated their 5th Place finish in 1948. The Anchor boys of 1949 proved their incredible versatility by finishing an incredible 9th at the state meet. The Aces were led by their multi-talented, multi-tasked coach, Paul Orr. The Aces had a great rivalry with their neighbor Cooksville, who also placed at the state meet in two of the mentioned years.


Small Town Pride Lives On

The pride of the Anchor High School Aces still lives strong in town today. Some of the Anchor High School athletes have stayed in Anchor their entire lives. Chet Eyer, member of the ’45 baseball champs as well as a member of the ’46, ’47, and ’48 basketball champs, still resides in Anchor. Two of Chet’s starting teammates of the ’47 and ’48 basketball champs, Donald “Diz” Bielfeldt and Eugene Reicks, are also life-long residents of Anchor. A fourth starter, Erwin Epperson, resides in nearby Leroy while the fifth starter, Donald Simpson, lives in Wisconsin.



“What a great website!! Brought back many memories of Anchor HS (and grade school) Many excellent teachers (remembering Paul Orr-coach, science, biology, ag, and about all others). Keep up the good work. Thanks!”

Paul Morrison (1948)


Special Thank You

Special thanks go out to Chet and Gladys Eyer, who opened their doors, personal scrapbooks, and hearts regarding their beloved Anchor High School to our own Kev Varney. Check out Chet in the photos above. Chet Eyer is #33 in the 1945-46 team photo and #37 in the 1946-47 and 1947-48 team photos! Chet is also in the photos of the baseball team below (middle row, 3rd from the left) and 1944-45 basketball team shown below (back row, 2nd from the left).


Need Your Help to Take Anchor Away…

…to memory lane. The hard work and dedication of the Anchor forefathers should forever be remembered. If you can share any information about the Anchor High School accomplishments you can e-mail them us at You can also write to us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva

Chicago, Il.  60631

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