Bardolph Community High School “Wildcats”

Bardolph Community High School Building
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Photo Taken by Beverly Kepple in 2003
Bardolph Community High School
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Constructed 1919
Bardolph High School
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1874 – 1920

The History of Bardolph Community High School

Bardolph (population 253) is located in western Illinois in east-central McDonough County.  Bardolph sits quietly on E. 1800th Road about 2 miles north of U.S. Route 136, about 5 miles east-northeast of Macomb. The railroad line running through Bardolph was the CB&Q which was merged into the BN and eventially BNSF. The Kepple Creek flows to the south of town.

The first school in the Bardolph area was a one-room country school built in 1836.  It was not until 1854 fhat the town of Bardolph was platted.  A new school within the city limits of Bardolph was erected in 1860.  The town was actually incorporated in 1869.  In 1874 a “new” two story school building was built for the then great sum of $4,500.

Bardolph established a functioning high school in the late 1800s.  This school served the community proudly for over seven decades. Bardolph Community High continued in the community through the early 1970s, closing as a high school in 1973.

The original Bardolph Community High School building, pictured above and built in 1919, has been razed.

As Joseph English tells us:

“The high school building in Bardolph has started being torn down around mid-2008 and is still in the process of being demolished. About 5 years ago I think that someone used the gym for an automotive repair garage that went out of business in about 6 months. About a year later a part of the gym caught fire and damage was contained to that area. I work for a company that rents out construction equipment and those that are tearing the school down rented our backhoe. When they brough it back it still had a few of the blocks and concrete from the walls that I decided to keep as treasures.”

Remains of School Building 2012 (Chimney Remains)
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Photo by Roberta Van Briesen
Remaining Building from Bardolph HS – 2012
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Photo by Roberta Van Briesen

The Wildcat spirit lives on each summer with an annual reunion held in Macomb. For more interesting reading regarding the history of Bardoph check out the web address of .

An interesting fact about Bardolph High School was sent to us by John Bybee.Ralph Matheny of Astoria served as the last AG teacher at Bardolph HS.  Don Weese was the last Superintendent in 1972, Chris Senn was the Superintendent prior to that.

The kids of Bardolph today attend school in Macomb.

Bardolph Community High School Quick Facts

Year opened:              late 1800s

Year closed:               1973

Consolidated to:          Macomb High School

School nickname:       the “Wildcats”

School colors:            Blue & Gold

School Fight Song:     “Cheer, Cheer for Old Bardolph High”

Bardolph Basketball Team – 1936-37
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Bardolph Community High School, though probably quite small in enrollment, loomed quite large in sports in the Macomb area in its “hey day”.  The Bardolph boys basketball team and boys baseball team both brought home IHSA hardware.  It is believed that track for the boys was also offered at the school.  It would depend upon which year the school closed, however we are unaware if girls athletics or any other boys sports were offered.

Boys Basketball

A total of six District Titles were won by the Bardolph Wildcats boys basketball team.  Unfortunately the team records and coach’s names of these and other great BCHS teams are not available.  How about the conference affiliation, great rivalries, and conference championship teams that Bardolph Community High basketball produced?  If you have photos or information you wish to share please e-mail them to us.

Bardolph Wildcats 1943-44 District Champs
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Submitted by Roland Smith

1922-23            Coach C.C. McCormick

1923-24            Coach C.C. McCormick

1943-44  16 – 5  District Champions    Coach Thornton

                        Beat Media 31-29

                        Beat Kirkwood 42-33

                        Beat Stronghurst 52-46

                        Regional – Lost to Avon 34-31

1951-52            District Champions

1954-55            District Champions

1956-57            District Champions

1957-58            District Champions

1959-60            District Champions

Great Job Wildcats!!

Members of the 1943-44 Wildcats Pictured above to the right:

Kneeling Front (L-R):  M. Hunter, B. Jones (Cheerleader) 

Front Row (L-R):  L. Switzer, R. Hunter, Roland Smith, D. Harris, D. Landis, R. Thorman, and E. LeMaster (Cheerleader)

Back Row (L-R):  Coach Thornton, K. Gossage, M. Clary, D. Bryan, B. Quigley, L. Griffeth, E. Mac Donald, D.K. Anderson (Manager), E. Douglas (Cheerleader), 

**Steve Goers coached basketball at Bardolph for one year, in 1967-68. It was his first coaching stop in a legendary coaching career.

Goers then moved on to Quincy, where he served as an assistant coach for the 1971-72 Class AA runner-up team, then moving on to Oswego where he coached that school to the 1973-74 Class AA Tournament. After stints at LaSalle-Peru and Harvard, Goers moved on to Rockford Boylan where he won more than 700 games. Goers retired as the state’s leader in all-time boys basketball coaching wins with 881 wins!

Bardolph Baseball Team 1943-44
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Courtesy of Roland Smith

Boys Baseball

The Bardolph Community High School Wildcats went the furthest in boys baseball.  The team of 1965-66 won the Regional title, making them one of the top 64 teams in the state that year!!!  Again, the coach’s name and team record is not available.

1943-44   4 – 2 – 1                                          Coach Parker

1965-66                  Regional Champions

Players of 1943-44 Wildcats pictured above to your right:

Front Row (L-R):  R. Hunter, D. Landis, D. Harris, M. Clarey, R. Thorman, L. Griffeth, M. Hunter

Back Row (L-R):  Coach Parker, B. Quigley, L. Switzer, B. Markely, E. Mac Donald, K. Gossage, D. Bryan, M. Cooley


Distinguished Alumni


** Beau Spencer provided the following information regarding Bardoph High School 1925 graduate Stix Morely:

“LeRoy “Stix” Morley graduated from Bardolph High School and was a member of the very first McDonough County Tournament championship team won by Bardolph in 1925. He was also a veteran of the service in the U.S. Marine Corps in World War II.

Morley won 628 games as a head coach at the high school and college level. He coached at Colchester HS & Watseka HS for a combined 17 years and 22 seasons as head coach at WIU. He led the Leathernecks to a pair of NAIA National Championship games. Morley was the NAIA Coach of the Year in 1955 and was named the Knute Rockne Coach of the Year in 1956. His 1955-56 season (28-3) is the program record for wins in a season.”


Seeking Your Help

A school photo, great teams and players, memorable faculty, all are things we would like to know about and share.  You can e-mail this information to us at or write to us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.   60631

Bardolph Basketball High School Team of 1922-23
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Coutesy of Lois Litchfield Markham St. Pe’

The photos of the Bardolph High School basketball teams of 1922-23 and 1923-24, pictured above and below respectively, were submitted by Lois St. Pe’.

Members of the 1922-23 team seen above include:

Back Row L to R: C. C. McCormick, coach; Harold Markley, Harold Horwedel, Bert Potts, Fred Hensley.

Front Row, L to R:  LeRoy “Stix” Morley, Burrell Kugler, David Litchfield, Wendell Hager, Bob Maxwell, Perry Litchfield

Bardolph High School Basketball Team of 1923-24
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Submitted by Lois Litchfield Markham St. Pe’

Identifiable members of the BCHS basketball team of 1923-24 pictured above include:

Coach C. C. McCormick, back row, far right;

Back Row: second from left is Perry Litchfield, fourth from left is Ralph Kelso.

Middle Row: second from left is David Litchfield.

Front Row:  third from left is LeRoy “Stix” Morley, fifth from left is George Kelso.

Bardolph Store Front Building 2012
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Photo by Roberta Van Briesen
Abandoned Church in Bardolph 2012
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Photo by Roberta Van Briesen
Bardolph Church Memorial 2012 (Active 1837-2000)
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Photo by Roberta Van Briesen
Bardolph Business Building – 2012
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Photo by Roberta Van Briesen
Bardolph Community Center 2012 (Former GS)
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Photo by Roberta Van Briesen

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