Armington-Hittle Township H.S. “Mustangs”

Hittle Township High School
Photo Courtesy of Barbara Johnson
Armington Hittle High School
School Memorial North of Gymnasium

The History of Armington High School

Armington (population 368) is located on the U.S. Route 136 spur at Armington Road in southeastern Tazewell County. A nearby town of note is Bloomington located 25 miles to the northeast of Armington. The Norfolk & Western Railroad at one time ran through the center of town however does not do so anymore.  A branch of the Middle Fork Creek still flows through town.

The origin of the school system established in Armington dates back to the early 1900s. With the leadership of Bert Richmond, a vote was held and it was decided to build a new township high school. The decision was made to locate the new high school building in Armington. The first class to graduate from Hittle Township High School was the class of 1906 with ten members earning their diplomas.

In 1965, the school districts of Armington, Hopedale and Minier consolidated but their high schools remained open. This arrangement lasted until 1968 when Hittle Township High School was officially deactivated and its final class graduated.  The high school remained open, however, as a part of the newly formed “Trioka” school district which represented Armington, Hopedale, and Minier. In a unique arrangement, all three towns kept their high schools and grade schools open.

In the late-1960’s/early-1970’s, a talk of consolidating several school Districts in the area surfaced. This became a reality in 1972 when the school districts of Armington-HopedaleMinier (Trioka), AtlantaDanversStanford, and McLean-Waynesville all merged to create the Olympia School District. The high school for the Olympia district was located in a country setting near Stanford.

Former Armington resident Robert Israel provided the following information regarding the fate of the once thriving Armington-Hittle Township School District:

“In the fall of 1992 for my English Composition 111 class, I collected information from a variety of sources on the history of consolidation at Hittle Township High School.  Hittle Township,(Armington Illinois), was first consolidated in 1965 and formed Trioka School District. The consolidation effort included the three small towns of Armington, Minier, and Hopedale. The results of the vote to consolidate had the following results:

Armington voted 98% against consolidation with a population of 350. Minier voted 95% for consolidation with a population of 1300. Hopedale split their vote 50/50 with a population of 850.

The election officials then lumped all the votes together and the consolidation referendum was considered to have passed. Four prominent citizens from Armington, Jack Bossingham (Meat Locker Owner), Bill Bossingham (Road Commissioner), Omar Seniff (Grocery Store Owner), and Dr.Lang (Town Doctor), banded together to file a Law suit challenging the election results. The law suit claimed that each community has to vote for the measure before consolidation can take place. The people of Armington were outraged.

Armington at that time was a very wealthy community and their School District finances were always in the black.  The school district’s building and grounds were in excellent condition.  School conditions at the time in Minier were not as favorable. Hopedale School and grounds were in fair condition.

The Law Suit continued going up the court ladder headed for the Supreme Court of Illinois. Then in 1968 another consolidation referendum was offered to form Olympia School District 16.  Some of the people of Armington viewed this as a way to get out of Trioka District. The referendum for the Olympia consolidation also failed with 92% of the voters in Armington voting against it.  But once again the Election Officials lumped Armingtons votes with all the Trioka School District communities votes.  This time Hopedale voted 58% for consolidating and Minier voted 95% for consolidating.  Construction of Olympia High School began in the middle of a corn field in rural Stanford.

The original organizers of the Olympia District promised Armington they would never lose their Grade School. They also made forecasts about Olympia’s basketball teams being state champions in Illinois. The claims were made because Armington had two All-State Basketball players at the time( Myron Litwiller and Mark Yontz),. This was before the state had went to the A-AA divisions that separated small schools from large population schools.

Armington was eventually left out in the cold.  Olympia School District closed the Armington Grade School in 1986. Olympia High School has never won any State Championships in basketball.  Olympia School District officials were spending money fighting the Armington law suit and blamed Armington for many inefficiencies at the new High School. The School Administration said Armington was the reason the hallways at the school had to be made more narrow than normal.

The law suit was eventually referred to the Supreme Court of Illinois. The final ruling was that The Election officials and procedures were wrong. Each of the communities should have had to pass the referendum individually.  However by this time the construction and consolidation process had went too far to be reversed.  It was decided the new School District was in the best interest of the students.

I interviewed Bill and Jack Bossingham for first-hand information on the Law suit,(Mr.Seniff and Dr.Lang were decease).  Bill and Jack stated all four of the law suit participants had spent their life savings protecting Armington. I did research at the Circuit Clerks office in Pekin.  On microfiche I followed the Laws Suit from one court to another, appeal after appeal.  The Armington Residents won every ruling until it went to the Supreme Court of Illinois.

I concluded, along with many (most) of the residents of Armington, that bigger is not always better.”

Nice report Robert.

Further information was provided by a student of Hittle High School that lived through the consolidation effort.  Janet (Brandt) DuChanois graduated from high school in 1969.  She attended the Hittle High School through her junior year as part of the Trioka School District. From 1966 – 1968 this school district held combined graduations of the high schools held in Armington, Hopedale, and Minier. For her senior year, it was decided that the Olympia School District would be formed.  Until these facilities were ready, however, several local high schools were combined. This included the creation of the McLean-Waynesville-Armington (MWA) High School  Janet officially graduated from M-W-A High School in 1969. Janet relates the following information regarding this very emotional consolidation:

“I’m from Armington, Illinois and I attended Hittle Township High School for 11 years but was caught up in the consolidation of  the district and had to attend another school my senior year.  That school was officially called McLean-Waynesville-Armington (MWA) High School.

–          Although a part of the Trioka school district beginning with the 1965-66 school year,

all 3 schools retained their original names – Hittle Township High School (Armington),

Hopedale High School and Minier High School – until the consolidation into the

Olympia High School District at the beginning of the 1968-69 school year.

–          The Trioka School District existed for 3 years and the reason I remember that so clearly is that each school hosted one combined graduation – 1966, 1967 and 1968.  I attended them all.

–          The consolidation to the Olympia district was announced in 1968, a day that I will NEVER forget.  It broke my heart.  The new district took immediate measures to close some high schools.  Minier had to be closed due to structural problems that were exposed in a building inspection; they consolidated to form Stanford-Minier High School .  They sold the Minier high school building to a private business and a good deal of it still stands today. (The towns of McLean, Waynesville, and Armington created another high school, M-W-A)

–          Armington’s objections to the forming of the district and continued lawsuit worried the new district officials that the vote to form the Olympia district could be nullified.  (I recall one of the conditions for pulling out of the district was that we would have to absorb 1/8 of the debt of all 8 schools that formed the district.  Humorous note, we were the only school in the black when the district was formed – but yet we would be asked absorb debt we never had.)

–          Our high school building became a victim of a wrecker ball so that we would have no place to resume holding classes should we be able to pull out of the district.  They wouldn’t consider selling it to a private business or individual.  The ag shop/bus garage and gymnasium were purchased for $1 and Armington formed a park district which still operates successfully today.  The gymnasium is rented on a frequent basis for recreational activities such as basketball and volleyball. It is now the main gathering place for community events, school and family reunions, etc.

–     The year Hittle Township High School closed (1967-68) it had an enrollment of 59 students.  When the Olympia School District was formed, it was the largest school district in land area in the United States.  With all the consolidation efforts since then, I am not sure if this is still true.

–         Armington still has a lot of heart and wonderful people that are proud to call it home.  But, there are still many of us who still hold a bitter grudge against those who forced us to become part of a school district we never wanted.

As I stated earlier, I have very vivid memories of all that occurred with the consolidation to the Olympia School District because I was a broken-hearted 17-year-old who lived it.  And if you ask me where I went to school – my answer is Hittle Township High School.”

Thank you, Janet, for this excellent view and for sharing these facts and personal feelings.

Armington High School Quick Facts

Year opened:             1902

Year closed:              1968

School nickname:       Mustangs

School colors:            Purple & Gold

School Fight Song:    “We’re Loyal to You Hittle High”

                                           For music click play button below left

                                We’re loyal to you Hittle High

                                We’re purple and gold, Hittle High

                                We’ll back you to stand

                                ‘Gainst the best in the land

                                For we know you have sand, Hittle High


                                                Rah! Rah!


                                So crack out the ball, Hittle High

                                We’re backing you all, Hittle High

                                Our team is our fame protector:

                                On boys for we expect a

                                Victory from you Hittle High!


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

                                        Armington Hittle High,

                                           Rah, Rah, RAH!


                                 Fling out that dear old flag of

                                 Purple and Gold,

                                 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, Hittle High!

Armington Grade School
Now Privately Owned
Armington Hittle High School Gymnasium
Now Town Park Gymnasium – 2005


Hittle Township High School won several titles in the sports of boys basketball, baseball, and track.  We are unsure if any other sports were offered at the school.  We are looking for the records and coaches names from what appears to be some great seasons at Armington High.  The Hittle Township High School Mustangs showed their school spirit was strong to the final out as the basketball and baseball teams of 1967-68 closed out the school’s athletic history with both teams winning District titles.

Boys Basketball

The Hittle Township High School boys basketball team won 7 regional titles including four in the 1960s.  One interesting fact is that the all-time winningest coach in Illinois High School history, Dick Van Scyoc, began his coaching career at Armington.  Coach Van Scyoc spent his first two years of coaching at HTHS in 1950 and ’51 starting his career with 27 wins. Coach went on to greater fame at Washington and Peoria Manual reaching incredible heights.

Coach Van Scyoc happens to be a fan of the Glory Days site and had this to say about his days at Hittle Township High School:

“I enjoyed reading the comments pertaining to Hittle High.  I have many fond memories of my days in Armington.  I’ve sure had a great time at the class reunions that I have been able to attend.”

The best of the H.T.H.S. basketball seasons are listed below. Some scores from the IHSA State Tourney involving Armington are also listed as found on the website titled “Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores.”

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

1st Rd lost to Green Valley 26-16

Green Valley lost in 2nd Rd to Pekin

Pekin beat Peoria Kingman in title game

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

1st Rd lost to Green Valley 29-23

Green Valley lost in 2nd Rd to Pekin

Pekin beat Peoria Manual in title game

Pekin finished 3rd in IHSA State Tourney

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

1st Rd lost to Latham 47-24

Latham beat Atlanta 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  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

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

1942-43  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

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

1944-45                   New Holland District Tourney Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to McLean 36-33

McLean lost to New Holland in title game


1945-46                   New Holland Dist Runner-Up Coach’s name & record needed

Title Game lost to McClean 46-33

1946-47                   IHSA District Champions     Coach Albert P. Kaufman

                                District Scores Needed

Lincoln Regional Tournament

                                1st Rd Beat Williamsville 43-42 (O/T)

                                Semi-final lost to Lincoln 61-29

Lincoln lost to Mt. Pulaski in title game

1947-48  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1948-49                   San Jose District Tourney       Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Green Valley 55-28

Green Valley Beat Hopedale in title game

1949-50  14 – 12      Armington District Tourney     Coach Dick Van Scyoc

                                1st Rd Beat Green Valley 66-33

                                Semi-final lost to New Holland 46-45

Mew Holland lost to McLean in title game

1950-51  13 – 12      Armington District Tourney     Coach Dick Van Scyoc

Early Rd score needed

Semi-final lost to McLean 76-54

McLean lost to Hartsburg-Emden in title game

1951-52                   New Holland Dist. Champs  Coach Joe Stowell

                                Season record needed

                                Early Rd Score Needed

                                Semi-final Beat New Holland 53-38

                                Title Game Beat Elkhart 45-42

                                Lincoln Regional Tournament

                                1st Rd lost to Hartsburg-Emden 59-42

                                Hartsburg-Emden lost to Lincoln in semi-final

Lincoln beat Mt. Pulaski in title game

1952-53  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1953-54  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1954-55  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1955-56  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1956-57  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1957-58  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.


1958-59                   Hartsburg District Champs  Coach Joe Stowell

                   Season Record Needed

Semi-final Beat Hartsburg 38-37

                                Title Game Beat Elkhart 59-49

                                Lincoln Regional Tournament

                                1st Rd lost to Atlanta 71-39

Atlanta Beat Lincoln in title game

1959-60                   Armington District Champs  Coach Norman FInk      

                                Season Record Needed

                                Semi-final Beat Elkhart 62-39

                                Title Game Beat Hartsburg-Emden

                                Lincoln Regional Tournament

                                1st Rd lost to Atlanta 60-48

Atlanta lost to Lincoln in semi-final

Lincoln beat Riverton in title game

1960-61  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.


1961-62  28 – 5        Hartsburg District Champs  Coach Norman FInk

Semi-final Beat Elkhart 50-40

                                Title Game Beat Hartsburg-Emden 65-54

                                Lincoln Regional Tournament

                                1st Rd Beat McLean 60-38

                                Semi-final lost to Williamsville 67-60

Williamsville lost to Lincoln in title game

1962-63                   Armington District Champs Coach Lee Edwards

                                Season Record Needed

                                Semi-final Beat Elkhart 61-54

                                Title Game Beat New Holland-Middletown 59-58

                                Lincoln Regional Tournament

                                1st Rd Beat Mt. Pulaski 64-53

                                Semi-final lost to Lincoln 64-56

Lincoln beat Williamsville in title game

1963-64  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1964-65  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1965-66  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1966-67  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1967-68  19 – 8        Hartsburg District Champs  Coach Lee Edwards

                                Semi-final Beat New Holland-Middletown 77-54

                                Title Game Beat Beason 89-62

                                Lincoln District Tournament

                                1st Rd Beat Williamsville 81-72

                                **Semi-final lost to Lincoln 58-54

Lincoln beat Mt. Pulaski in title game 91-48

**Final game for Armington Hittle Township High School. Armington High School had an enrollment of 59 students but gave the boys from Lincoln a GREAT game! Arrmington became a part of the McLean-Waynesville-Armington High School in the summer of 1968.

A great coach at Armington Hittle High was Coach Joe Stowell who attended Bradley University in Peoria where he was a player for the Braves’ basketball program. He came to HTHS high school as a coach. When he left Armington he returned to Bradley University to coach the Braves.

Boys Track & Field

Two boys brought home medals from the Illinois State Track Meet in the 1920s. Only their last names are available.

1920       Britt               Discus           2nd Place

1925       Plummer       Discus           2nd Place

One further story is written about the Hittle High School boys track team that is worthy of mention is as follows.  In 1906 the boys track team was lead by a very talented athlete named Ray Kelly.  The article mentions that Ray was the county and state track meet champion in the 100 yeard dash.  (The IHSA web site ( does not verify Ray’s status as state meet champ however.)  In any case the boys getting to attend the state track meet in Peoria was in doubt as they had no transportation to get there.  A request was made to the railroad to run an extra train to Peoria on meet day however this request was denied by the railroad company.

Several days before the meet was scheduled to run the grain elevator in Armington began to burn.  The Hittle High School boys were dismissed from school to help fight the blaze.  The boys formed a bucket brigade line and successfully fended off potential fire damage to the train depot.  The train company was so thankful and impressed with the boy’s team work and assistance they showed their gratitude by providing a train ride for the boys to Peoria for the state track meet!

Boys Baseball

The multi-talented group of 1962-63 also won the school’s only Regional Title in Baseball.  The baseball team of 1968 was able to duplicate the basketball / baseball twin title year, winning District titles in both sports. To go along with with one of the school’s 7 basketball titles.

1946       18 – 4                           Tri-Valley Conf. Champs    Coach A.H. Crum

1963                                          Regional Champions         Coaches Name Unavailable

1968                                          District Champions             Coach Lee Edwards


From Nancy Canzoneri:

“My great grandfather was a man named Peter B. Leach who was a custodian at the Armington High School. The 1920 census shows him employed there at that time. I recently received an obituary for my great grandmother and it tells that the “the students and faculty attended in a body, in respect to Mr. Leach, who for many years served the high school.” My grandmother passed away in 1927 so Peter was still employed there at that time.

I’m writing to find out if there is a way to obtain any old records on him from the high school. Would there even be any records after this long? Old photos?”

If you have any information to pass on to Nancy, please contact the IHSGD staff at .

Need Some In-Put

If you have any more information you can provide regarding Armington Hittle Township High School please submit a Guest Commentary Form or a School Submission Form.  We like to share photos of the old school buildings and great teams and coaches if possible.  You can also e-mail us at or write us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.     60631 

Hittle Township HS Girls Basketball
Armington, Illinois — 1905
Armington Hittle Township High School
Armington, Illinois

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