Brighton High School “Bulldogs”

Brighton High School Building – 2007
A car parked in front of a building

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Courtesy of Douglas Combs
Brighton High School Building – 2008
A brick building with windows

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Submitted by Douglas Combs

The History Of Brighton High School

Brighton (population 2,196) is located in southwestern Illinois about 10 miles northeast of Alton.  The town got its first post office in 1837 and was incorporated in 1869.  Illinois Route 111 is the main roadway to and from this southwest Macoupin County hub.  Two railroad lines, the At & St and the Illinois Central Gulf, merge in Brighton.  Briarwood Lake sits on the southeast side of town.

It is probable that a high school for the kids of Brighton was in place by the late 1800s.  We do know that it served the town well for at least five decades.  It was in the early 1950s that talks arose of creating a new school district between several neighboring towns and country school districts.  This effort became a reality when Brighton joined ShipmanMedora, and several country schools to form the Southwestern School District.  A high school for the new district was located in a rural setting near a centrally located small hamlet called Piasa.

Brighton School Bldg Cornerstone – Built in 1938
A sign on a brick wall

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Submitted by Douglas Combs (left click on photo for enlarged version)

Brighton is host to two schools for the Southwestern School District, both elementary schools.  One of the two schools is held in the former Brighton High School building pictured above.

Brighton High school Quick Facts

Year opened:                         late 1800s

Year closed:                          1955

Consolidated to:                     Southwestern School District (Piasa)

Brighton HS team nickname:   the “Bulldogs”

Brighton team colors:              Green & White

School Fight Song:                 unavailable


The Brighton Bulldogs had some great success in basketball.  We believe they competed in baseball and track as well.  An excellent webpage for a more in depth look at the Brighton High School basketball program can be found at:

It is a page created by Southwestern School District faculty member Matt Hasquin and is a great resource for the Brighton High School enthusiasts to build on.

Boys Basketball

This is the only sport mentioned on the IHSA website (www,  The Brighton Bulldogs had some great seasons during their tenure.  Two District titles and a Macoupin County championship hi-lite their successes.  Records and accomplishments as found on the above listed website are listed below. Several of the items regarding tournament scores were provided by Matt Hasquin, Brian Hanslow, and Mark Jurenga.

1920-21   12 – 3 – 1     Macoupin County Champions       Coach V.M. Jacobi

1924-25   13 – 5 – 1     District Semi-Finalist

Belleville District (3rd Place)

vs. Venice     W 31-9

vs. Madison   W 12-11

vs. Collinsville L 31-16

vs. Baldwin     W 15-5

1925-26                     District Semi-Finalist

Lost to Collinsville 33 – 24

1928-29                     3rd Place in District Tournament

Lost game to Collinsville 32 – 9

1940-41                     District Champions                        Coach Arthur Wilson

1949-50                     Hardin Invitational Tourney (2nd Place)

Championship-Medora 53 Brighton 40

1951-52   13 – 12       District Tourney (2nd Place)              Coach Harold Knapp

Championship- Benld 69 Brighton 57

1953-54   14 – 10                                                              Coach Harold Knapp

Hardin Tournament (3rd Place)

3rd Place Game- Beat Medora 48-31

1954-55   18 – 10        District Champions                        Coach Harold Knapp

                                School’s Last Season

Great Coaches

V.M. Jacobi

Harold Knapp

Exceptional Athletes

Dick Well

Special Thank You

Sincere gratitude to Matt Hasquin for his assistace with the information provided on this page.

Looking for More Info

We are hopeful and area enthusiast can “fill in the blanks” regarding the Brighton High School successes and history.  We are always in need of photos of the old school building and great teams.  If you wish to help us out please complete a School Submission Form or Guest Commentary Form.  You may also e-mail us at or write us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.    60631


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