Buda Township High School “Bears”

Buda High School Building Early 1920s
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Submitted by Sharon Hanley Wilson
Buda Public School Building 1907
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The Buda High School & Grade School Buildings
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Courtesy of Sharon Hanley Wilson

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.

Buda HS Bldg Under Construction 1919
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Submitted by Gary Kopp

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.

Buda High School Building 2017
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Submitted by Sharon Hanley Wilson

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.


The Last Class of Buda H.S. – The Class of 1961
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Submitted by Sharon (Hanley) Wilson
Buda High School Class of 1961 at the 50th Reunion
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Submitted by Sharon Wilson

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

1957-58   15 – 14    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, SheffieldManlius, 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 VisitationTiskilwaMaldenBradfordNeponset, 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

Submitted by Sharon (Hanley) Wilson
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(Line)Crumley,Forth,Bell,Hinderliter,Whited,Bliss,Stocklas. (backs) Shawger,Simms,Eckhoff,Westervelt

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

Buda HS “Bears” Football Team – 1931
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Submitted by Sharon Hanley Wilson

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

Ladies Athletics

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.”

Buda HS Girl’s P.E. 1921-22
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Submitted by Sharon (Hanley) Wilson

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 ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net or via real mail at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva Ave.

Chicago, Il.  60631

Buda High School Photo 1886
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Submitted by Shelly Harris & Nyles Van Hoosen

**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.”

Buda High School Class of 1927

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Submitted by Sharon (Hanley) Wilson
Buda High School Class of 1933
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Buda HS Class of 1933 Graduation Program
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Courtesy of Sharon (Hanley) Wilson
The Buda HS Class of 1933 at their 50th Reunion
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Submitted by Sharon (Hanley) Wislon
Buda HS Juniors 1931-32
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Submitted by Sharon Wilson (left click on photo for larger version of photo
Buda HS Sophomores 1930-31
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Submitted by Sharon Wilson (left click on photo for larger version of photo
Buda HS Class of 1935
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Courtresy of Charles Philhower
Buda HS Class of 1940
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Submitted by Jeff Calvert
Buda HS Class of 1940 @ 50th Reunion in 1990
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Submitted by Jeff Calvert
Buda HS Class of 1940 As Juniors 1938-39
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Buda HS Class of 1940 As Sophomores 1937-38
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Submitted by Jeff Calvert
Buda High School Building – Now Bureau Valley Elem
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Buda, Illinois

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