Brocton (population 322) is located in lower-eastern Illinois about 20 miles northeast of Charleston, home of Eastern Illinois University. The road leading to and from Brocton is Illinois Route 49. County Road 8 also leads to Brocton. The Norfolk & Western Railroad travels through town as does the Hog Branch of the Embarrass River. Brocton sits quietly in west-central Edgar County. Brocton was established along the lines of the Toledo, St. Louis, & Western Railroad. It was named after Brocton, Mass., a town where many of the railroad workers originated from. The post office for Brocton was set up in 1882.
The history of Brocton High School is in need of research. A high school curriculum most likely was established by the early 1900s. We do know that Brocton High School served the town for about five decades, possibly longer. The late 1940s saw the consolidation effort in Illinois take place. This brought the neighboring towns of Brocton and Redmon together for consolidation talks. The result was the formation of the Brocton-Redmon School District. This effort was finalized for the 1952-53 school year.
Brocton HS Building History
Submitted by Tim Apgar
Brocton-Redmon High School was located, we believe, in Brocton. Brocton-Redmon HS served the area for 20 years before consolidation led to its closure in 1968. The Brocton school building stood the test of time through the year 2017. That year, sadly, the school was deemed in a state of disrepair and was demolished..
Brocton HS Building Being Demploished – 4/10/2017
Submitted by James Watson
Brocton High School Quick Facts
Year opened: late 1800s / early 1900s
Year closed: 1952
Consolidated to: Brocton-Redmon High School
Brocton HS team nickname: the “Purple Martins”
Brocton HS team colors: Purple & White (?)
School Fight Song: unavailable
Brocton High School, like most small town schools, embraced its basketball team. Baseball and track were probably offered as well. School team nickname, team colors, school fight song, team records, and coach’s names are among the many items we are searching for.
Brocton “Midgets” Basketball Team – 1933
Coach Pete Van Horn, Ray Witt, Max Turnipseed, Jacob Housely, Paul Kiley, Gene Ogden, Roy Patchett
The basketball program at Brocton High was a force to be reckoned with in their neck of the woods. A Regional title in the 1936-37 season was the hi-light of the school’s athletic history. BHS followed this with a pair of Distict titles (www.ihsa.org). All three titles were won in three consecutive seasons. Great job Brocton High School boys of the late 1930s!! Team records and coach’s names of these and other great BHS teams are being sought. Several scores from the IHSA Tournament involving Brocton were located on a site titled “Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores.” These scores are listed below.
Coach Pete “PJ” VanHorn was said to be the leader of several great teams in the 1930s at Brocton High School. Coach VanHorn can be viewedin the picture to the right with his “midget” basketball team of 1933.
1921-22 Charleston District Tournament Coach’s name & record needed
1st Rd lost to Westfield 25-15
Westfield lost to Kansas in semi-final
Kansas beat Charleston in title game
*Atwood HS lost in State Title Game to Centralia this year!
1922-23 through 1932-33 Postseason scores, records, and coaches’ names needed.
1933-34 Tuscola District Runner-Up Coach’s name & record needed
1st Rd Beat Atwood 26-14
2nd Rd Beat Newman 38-9
Semi-final Beat Tuscola 35-23
Title Game lost to Longview 25-24
Longview lost Sectional Title Game to Champaign HS
1934-35 Tuscola District Tournament Coach’s name & record needed
1st Rd lost to Arthur 22-20
Arthur lost to Villa Grove in semi-final
Villa Grove beat Tuscola in title game
1935-36 Paris Regional Runner-Up Coach’s name & record needed
1st Rd Beat Metcalf 45-13
Semi-final Beat Kansas
Title Game lost to Paris 25-23
1936-37 Tuscola Regional ChampionsCoach Pete “PJ” VanHorn
1st Rd Beat Hammond 33-24
Semi-final Beat Cerro Gordo 29-20
Title Game Beat Bement 26-22
Casey Sectional Tournament
1st Rd lost to Charleston 21-19
Charleston lost to Vandalia in semi-final
Vandalia beat Paris in title game
Vandalia lost in Elite 8 Rd.
1937-38 IHSA District ChampionsCoach Pete “PJ” VanHorn
District Scores Needed
Paris Regional Tournament
Title Game lost to Paris 43-18
Paris placed 3rd in IHSA Tournament
1938-39 IHSA District ChampionsCoach Pete “PJ” VanHorn
District Scores Needed
Matoon Regional Tournament
1st Rd lost to Windsor 42-28
Windsor lost to Charleston in semi-final
Charleston beat Matoon in title game
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 Ashmore District Tournament Coach’s name & record needed
1st Rd lost to Newman 26-24
Newman beat Oakland in title game
1945-46 Kansas District Tournament Coach’s name & record needed
1st Rd Beat Ashmore 46-35
Semi-final lost to Kansas 53-33
Kansas beat Redmon in title game
1946-47 Brocton District Runner-Up Coach’s name & record needed
Early Round Scores Needed
Title Game lost to Kansas 33-28
1947-48 Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.
1948-49 Brocton District Tournament Coach’s name & record needed
1st Rd Beat Westfield 51-49
Semi-final lost to Chrisman 43-40
Chrisman lost to Redmon in title game
1949-50 Newman District Tournament Coach’s name & record needed
1st Rd lost to Longview 56-41
Longview lost to Newman in semi-final
Newman beat Chrisman in title game
1950-51 Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.
1951-52 Newman District Tournament Coach’s name & record needed
**1st Rd lost to Chrisman 51-46
Chrisman lost to Kansas in title game
**Final game as Brocton High School, became Brocton-Redmon High School in the summer of 1952.
Need Your In-put
If you have any information regarding the Brocton High School athletic program and other school programs offered there, please share them with us. We are especially interested in sharing photos of the old high school building and great teams and coaches. Please share with us by completing a School Submission Form or a Guest Commentary Form. You can also reach us by the following means: