The History of Bureau Junction High School
Bureau Junction (population 368) is located in the north-central portion of Illinois in the southeast corner of Bureau County. The town sits about 4 miles southeast of the county seat of Princeton. The Illinois Routes of 26 and 29 come together in Bureau Junction. Interstate Highway 180 sits just one mile to the west and one mile to the south of town. The Illinois River and Spring Lake are located to the east of town while the Hennepin Canal passes by the town’s south side. The Iowa Interstate Railroad also passes through Bureau Junction. The town is more commonly known simply as Bureau.
Bureau was named after a French explorer named Pierre de Beuro (http://www.rootsweb.com/~ilbureau/towns.htm). Information regarding the early start of Bureau have been difficult to find. We do know that the town benefitted from its creation as a railroad crossroad in the mid 1800s. One article stated that Bureau was known as the “city of side tracks”.
We know there was a school in place by the early 1870s. We believe that at one point high school courses were offered as well. The only proof we have at this time is a photo of the high school basketball team taken in 1924 (http://www.genealogytrails.com/ill/bureau/History/Photos/Bureau/photos2.html). We also located IHSA District Tournament basketball scores involving Bureau Junction High School from 1932 – 1942.
We do know that the Bureau Junction supported a K-8 grade school in town known as Leepertown Grade School. Leepertown Grade School was held in the former Bureau Junction High School building. Leepertwon Grade School was closed in 2013 due to student enrollment losses and financial strife. The kids of Leepertown school continue their education at nearby Ladd Grade School. Any further information would be greatly appreciated.
Bureau Junction High School Quick Facts
Year opened: late 1800s / early 1900s
Year closed: 1942?
Consolidated to: Hall Township High School (Spring Valley)
Bureau Junction HS team colors: “Bulldogs” (Leepertown Grade School Mascot)
Bureau Junction HS team nickname: unavailable
School Fight Song: unavailable