The History of Buckingham High School
Buckingham (population 237) is located in the northeastern portion of Illinois in the southwest portion of Kankakee County. The town is about 15 miles southwest of Kankakee (as the crow flies). Illinois Route 115 is the main roadway which passes by the north side of town. County Road S 1600W also passes through Buckingham. According to www.mapquest.com Buckingham is about 5 blocks from north to south and 2 blocks from east to west.
An article published about the town of Buckingham, written by Jim Ridings in his books “County West, A Sesquicentennial History of Kankakee County West” , and “County West Companion, A Further History of Western Kankakee County”, which was submitted by Sherree Benoit, the following is the history of Buckingham:
William Conrow (1839-1881) was one of the founders of the village of Buckingham. He studied law and became an attorney in 1867. He was named superintendent of schools for Ford County in 1871 and 1872. Mr. Conrow and his wife, Annie, moved to the Buckingham area in 1877. In 1878 he was able to convince the Illinois Central Railroad to build their tracks through Buckingham. Annie Conrow was named the first postmaster for Buckingham in 1878 as well. Mr. Conrow died of cold he contracted while working on the railroad plans in February of 1881.
The first grade school for Buckingham was built in 1884. This building also served as Buckingham High School “for a few years”. The original two-story wood-frame building was razed in 1930 to make way for a newer, more modern brick building. We know that this building served the town as a school through 1980. It was that year when the town of Buckingham saw its educational history come to a close. There were a total of 42 kids in the Buckingham Grade School for grades 1 – 4 in 1980, causing the decision to be made by the Herscher School District to close the building.
We do have a photo of the Buckingham High School Class of 1901. This would seem to tell us that Buckingham High School was in service in the late 1800s. Our guess is that Buckingham School offered a two or three-year course of high school study from the late 1800s through the 1940s. The high school portion of the school was likely closed in the late 1940s. Children were then likely to go to high school in nearby Hercher, or possibly Reddick.
The fate of the Buckingham School building built in 1930 is being sought.
Buckingham High School Quick Facts
Year opened: late 1800s?
Year closed: 1940s?
Consolidated to: Herscher or Reddick
Buckingham HS team nickname: “Beavers”
Uniform Colors: Purple, White, Pink