The History of Buda High School
Buda (population 592) is located in north-central Illinois in the west-central portion of Bureau County Il. Rt. 40 is the main roadway to and from Buda, connecting the town to U.S. Route 6 about two miles to the south. The county seat of Princeton is approximately 11 miles east and a little north of Buda. Buda was first known as “Lost Grove.” The mayor of the town in the early 1900s changed the name to Buda toname it after his hometown in New York.
The origin of the school district (District # 506) in Buda is not known. The original Buda High School brick building is standing on the north end of town right on Il. Rt. 40. Construction on the building began in 1919. We believe that Buda High School was in place by the late 1800s. We know that Buda High School served the village proudly for many decades.
In the early 1960s talks began of a consolidation effort between the Buda and Sheffield school districts. The talks became a reality in 1961 when the two districts compbined their efforts to create the Western School District. The high school remained in Buda from 1961 through 1995 when another consolidation effort occurred. This one resulted in the creation of the Bureau Valley School District. The new high school for this district was erected near Manlius.
The Buda High School building was utilized as a grade school for the Bureau Valley School District through the 2016-17 school year. It was in July of 2017 that the buildings, having been deemed unsafe, were torn down. The following is a link to an article in the Bureau County Republican newspaper which documents this sad event.
To view more class photos and snapshots of Buda High School classes please scroll to the bottom of this page.
Buda High School Bears’ Quick Facts
Year School Opened: 1870’s
First Graduation Ceremony: 1874
Year School Bldg. Built 1919
Year School Closed: 1961
Consolidated to: Western High School (Buda)
Team Nickname: The “Bears”
School Colors: Purple & Gold
School Fight Song: “The Buda Loyalty Song”
Faithful and true hearted,
Let us boost for Buda High.
We revere her and defend her,
As her colors proudly fly.
We will stand for her,
United of her deeds we’ll gladly tell.
Her colors streaming, glad faces beaming
So here’s a cheer for her that we all love so well.
Joyous and loyal,
Let us boost for our old High,
Let every heart sing, let every voice ring,
There’s no time to grieve or sigh.
It’s ever on-ward our course pursuing,
May defeat ne’er come nigh,
But, united we will boost for her
OLD BUDA HIGH!!!!!
Thank you to Edwina Larson Christiansen (BHS Class of ’55)
And to Jeanne Moore (BHS Alumnus)
The Buda Bears had some great successes during their existence. They competed in the Little ‘8’ Conference and offered boys sports of Football, Basketball, and Track. Their successes as can be researched are listed below.
The Buda Bears won a total of four District titles on the hardwood floor. Their greatest success was during the mid 1950s when they won three titles in a row! The records and coach’s name however are unavailable. We are looking for assistance in gaining information on these and other great Buda High School basketball teams.
The best postseason finish for the Buda HS “Bears” occurred in the 1954-55 season when the team advanced to the championship game of the Princeville Regional Tournament. The team lost to the MUCH bigger Kewanee High School team in the championship game. In the very next season though, the Buda boys played Kewanee in the Regional semi-final before falling in a close (4 points) game.
Several IHSA tournament games involving Buda High School were located on a website titled “Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores.” They are, in turn, recorded below.
1921-22 Galesburg District Tourney
Oneida 35, Buda 17
1933-34 Princeton District Tourney
Buda 29, LaMoille 12
Sheffield 29, Buda 14
Sheffield lost in semi-final game
1934-35 Princeton District Tourney
Buda 28, Tiskilwa 14
DePue 46, Buda 19
DePue lost championship to LaSalle-Peru.
1935-36 Sheffield District Tournament
LaMoille 23, Buda 12
LaMoille won District title.
1936-37 No scores available for Buda HS.
1937-38 Sheffield District Tourney
Buda 27, Sheffield 26
Only score available for this tournament.
1938-39 N.R.A. District Champions Coaches name unavailable
1939 – 1944 No postseason scores available for Buda HS.
1944-45 Atkinson District Tourney
Sheffield 39, Buda 22
Sheffield won District Tourney.
1945-46 Atkinson District Tourney
Tampico 39, Buda 34
Tampico lost in 2nd round.
1947 – 1948 No scores available for Buda HS.
1948-49 Atkinson District Tourney
Buda 46, Lyndon 23
Cambirdge 45, Buda 29
Cambreidge lost to Atkinson in title game.
1949-50 Atkinson District Tourney
Mineral 36, Buda 21
Mineral won District title.
1950-51 Atkinson District Tourney
Annawan 40, Buda 39
Annawan lost in semi-final.
1951-52 Atkinson District Tourney
Neponset 62, Buda 37
Neponset lost in semi-final.
1953-54 N.R.A. District Champions
District scores not available
Kewanee Regional Tourney
Wyoming 86, Buda 51
Wyoming lost in title game.
1954-55 N.R.A. District Champions Coach Richard Samlin
District scores not available
Princeville Regional Tourney
Buda 68, Wyoming 65
Buda 50, Wethersfield 49
Kewanee 66, Buda 38
1955-56 N.R.A. District Champions Coach Richard Samlin
No District scores available.
Kewanee Regional Tourney
Buda 58, Wethersfield 56 (3 O/T)
Kewanee 49, Buda 45
Kewanee won Regional title.
1956-57 11 – 13 District scores not available Coach Roger Andrews
1958-59 8 – 16 Coach Roger Andrews
Annawan District Tourney
Atkinson 71, Buda 53
Atkinson won District title.
1959-60 10 – 15 Coach Roger Andrews
Buda District Tourney
Mineral 66, Buda 46
(Final boys basketball game for Buda HS)
Mineral lost in title game.
One of the best players to grace the hardwood for the Buda Bears basketball team was Chuck Moretz. In a February 17, 1956 game against Neponset, Moretz scored 57 points, shooting 24 successful shots from the field.
Another great player was Arnold Lind, who scored 234 points in 24 games during the 1941-42 season, ranking among the area’s scoring leaders at the time.
Coach Roger Andrews made a stop at Buda High. His IHSA career record of 388-270 includes stops at Niantic-Harristown and Antioch.
It is known Buda High School supported a track team which also competed in the Little ‘8’ Conference. However, there is no known records available to the web site in order to document their successes. If you have access to any information on the Buda Bears track teams please contact the web site by completing and submitting a School Submission Form or Guest Commmentary Form.
An excellent copy of the Buda High School newspaper, “The Purple Spotlight,” was submitted by Sharon (Hanley) Wilson. The paper is dated December 28, 1933 and provides a year by year account of the Buda HS football teams of 1921-1933. The season records and player’s names are also listed below. We do not know the name of the conference Buda belonged to at that time, but we believe it included Buda, Sheffield, Manlius, and Walnut. The game at that time was 8-man football. Other teams played by the Buda Bears in the 1920s and 1930s included Rock Falls Lightweights, Kewanee Visitation, Tiskilwa, Malden, Bradford, Neponset, and Ohio. According to details we have received from Sharon Wilson as well as Tom Sikorski, Buda’s overall record from 1921-1960 was 140-154-14.
1921 4 – 2 – 1 Conference Co-Champs Coach M. F. Sprunger
Players: Stoklas, Crumley, Bliss, Forth, Bell, Blake, Hinderliter, C. Simms,
G. Westervelt, Shawger, Eckoff
1922 6-3 Conference 3rd Place Coach M. F. Sprunger
Players: Crumley, Stoklas, Blake, T. Horton, Harry, H. Foster, Hinderliter,
C. Simms, Forth, Churchill, Bliss (Captain)
1923 2-3 Conference 3rd Place Coach M. F. Sprunger
Players: McLaughlin, Crumley (Captain), C. Redebaugh, Shawger, H. Foster,
Bitting, Lathrop, Churchill, Knudsen, Webb, T. Horton
1924 6-1 Conference 2nd Place Coach M. F. Sprunger
Players: Wheeler, R. Carper, P. Philhower, A. Levere, Barry, Swope,
D. Foster, Preston, T. Horton, Churchill, Knudson (Captain)
1925 5-2 Conference 3rd Place Coach Alfred Moser
Players: Johnson, M. Ward, Clark, A. Levere, Kopp. Philhower,
Redebaugh, Preston, Lathrop (Captain), Stevens
1926 4-3 Conference 3rd Place Coach Alfred Moser
Players: Johnson (Captain), D. Foster, A. Levere, Kopp, Reid, D. Carper,
Redebaugh, Brainard, R. Carper, F. Simms, Webb
1927 5-2-1 Conference 2nd Place Coach Butler
Players: D. Foster, Lambert, Kopp, A. Levere (Captain), C. Bitting,
Grubb, Redebaugh, Brainard, M. Ward, F. Simms, D. Carper
1928 6-2-1 Conference 2nd Place Coach Orville Litwiller
Players: Lambert, Akin, Grubb, Kopp, W. Bitting, C. Bitting,
Redebaugh (Captain), V. Westervelt, Brainard, Fifield, D. Carper
1929 7-1-1 Conference Champions! Coach Orville Litwiller
Players: Akin, G. Carper, F. Carper, J. Levere, Friend, Ickes, Elliot,
V. Westervelt, Fifield, H. Ward, D. Carper (Captain)
1930 5-2-1 Conference 2nd Place Coach Orville Litwiller
Players: G. Carper (Captain), Akin, F. Carper, J. Levere, A. Redebaugh,
A. Dix, Lamb, H. Ward, H. Fifield, Ickes, Stinson
1931 4-4-1 Conference 4th Place Coach Orville Litwiller
Players: R. Carper, Clark, Ickes, Hubert Hainley, Flint, Rasmussen,
Lamb, J. Dix, H. Ward, H. Fifield, Stinson, Worley,
Taylor, Haynes, Davis, Arnold, Hull, Chase
The above photo is of the team of 1931. Players identified are as follows:
Seated L to R: Harold Ward, Harold Fifield, Hubert Hanley, ??, Delbert Lamb(Captain), ??, ??, Bob Carper, ??.
Standing L to R: Coach O.J. Litweller, ??, Oscar Stinson, Hobart Flint, ??, Jim Dix, Bob Arnold, ??, ??.,
1932 5-3 Conference 2nd Place Coach Orville Litwiller
Players: Worley, Huntley, Pickering, R. Carper, Chase, Hull, Arnold,
J. Dix (Co-Captain), Flint, J. Ward, Hubert Hainley (Co-Captain)
1933 5-2-1 Conference 2nd Place Coach Orville Litwiller
Players: Huntley, Philhower, Chase, Van Dorn, Smith, Haley, Arnold,
J. Ward, Flint, Conner, J. Dix (Captain)
1934 4-4 coach unknown
1935 0-4-3 coach unknown
1936 4-2-1 Coach Winfield Bates
1937 3-4 Coach Winfield Bates
1938 6-1 (good record) Coach Winfield Bates
1939 2-6 Coach Mike Dremann
1940 1-7 Coach Mike Dremann
1941 2-4-1 Coach Mike Dremann
1942 3-4 Coach McLellan
1943 0-7 Coach Orville Litwiller
1944 1-5 Coach Orville Litwiller
1945 2-4 coach unknown
1946 1-5 Coach Bob Carper
1947 1-7 Coach Bill Smith
1948 0-8 Coach Al Smith
1949 4-4 Coach Al Smith
1950 3-5-1 Coach Al Smith
1951 4-5 Coach Al Smith
1952 3-6 Coach Dick Samlin
Here are some of the better Buda High football records from the mid-1950s supplied by our good friend Tom Sikorski.
1953 4-4-1 5th place Little 8 Conference Coach Dick Samlin
1954 6-3 3rd place Little 8 Conference Coach Dick Samlin
1955 3-5 Coach Dick Samlin
1956 6-2 3rd place Little 8 Conference Coach Bob Bezely
1957 7-2 3rd place Little 8 Conference Coach Bob Nordhagen
1958 0-8 Coach Phil O’Connor
1959 3-3-1 Coach Ron Hewitt
1960 3-5 (last team) Coach Ron Hewitt
We do not have evidence that the ladies competed in basketball, but they may have. We do know they participated in gym class, as evidenced by the photo from 1921 below. The caption under the photo reads ” A girl’s gym class in 1921-22, Miss Rowland (Mrs. Howard Webb) directed the physical education classes at that time.”
Graduating Class Information
The following information was sent to us by Sharon Wilson regarding some of the very early graduating classes at Buda High School:
Graduating Class of May 15, 1896
Class Motto: “No Heights, Without the Climbing”
Class Graduates: Edith E. Herbert, Mary E. Herbert, Mary E. Crisman, Grace G. Buchan, Kittie D. Mosher, Mabel B. Turner, Maude K. Burke, David R. Paul, Harry Suggitt and Raymond Swope.
Teachers: A.J. Magee, Principal; Gertrude Beckwith, Assistant; Forrest Fowler, Grammar; Jessie Cooke, Intermediate; Retta Boyer, Second Primary; Lydia Corbin, First Primary.
Directors: Dr. O.H. Huntley, President; Sylvester Toomey, Clerk; Mrs. Jennie B. Hannum.
Graduating Class of May 10, 1899
Class Motto: “The Present is Ours”
The Twenty-Second Annual Commencement
Held at the Opera Hall, Buda, Illinois
Class Graduates: Kittie W. Cummings, Tracy E. Crisman, Anna G. Herbert, Bertha M. Gaskill, Marcia D. Waite and Gussie A. Webb
Teachers: A.J. Magee, Principal; Alice Warren, Assistant; Alice Watts, Grammar; Neva Marquis, Intermediate;Stella Reed, Second Primary; Estella Marlin, First Primary.
Directors: Dr. O.H. Huntley, President; Sylvester Toomey, Clerk and Mrs. Jennie B. Hannum
Graduating Class of May 15, 1908
Class Motto: Non Palma Sine Labore
Held at the Opera Hall, Buda, Illinois
Class Graduates: Hazel Leiferman, Gertrude Fifield, Carrie Rosenburg, Blanche Gaskill, Harry Challender, Glynn Lewis, Bess Carper, Verne White, Leo Willcoxen and Hazel Churchill.
Graduating Class of June 4, 1915
Class Motto: “To be rather than to seem”
Held at the Opera House, Buda, Illinois
Class Graduates: Elvin G. Byers, B. Myrtle Ewing, Harry M. Webb, Truman T. Whited and Laurine F. Zink
Always Wanting More
More photos of the original Buda High School building is also being sought. Sports is not the only subject we like to talk about. If you have any information about the many other acheivements attained at Buda High School please share them with us. You send items to us at email@example.com or via real mail at:
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva Ave.
Chicago, Il. 60631
**From Shelly Harris regarding the photo above:
“A copy of this photograph was given to me by a descendant of Bertha Monroe VanHoosen, the only identified individual in the photograph. I would love to know if anyone can identify the others.”