Bushnell High School “Braves”

Bushnell High School
A large building with a tree in front of it

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Bushnell HS Bldg 1878
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From “1878 McDonough County History” Submitted by John Bybee

The History of Bushnell High School

Bushnell is located at the intersection of Il. Rt. 9 and Il. Rt. 41 in eastern McDonough County.  The population of 3,221 is spread out nicely around the A,T & SF Railroad.

It is not known when the school system in Bushnell was started.  A consolidation effort between the towns of Bushnell and Prairie City took place in the early 1950s.  The effort was realized in 1952.  A new school was developed and is now called Bushnell-Prairie City High School. The photo above is that of the original Bushnell High School. BPCHS built a new building on the grounds where the above building once stood.

Bushnell High School Quick Facts   

Year opened:                                   late 1800s

Year consolidated with P.C.:           1952

Consolidated School District name: Bushnell-Prairie City School District

Bushnell HS team nickname:           the “Braves”

Bushnell HS team uniform colors:   Blue & Purple

Bushnell HS fight song:                   unavailable

Bushnell HS Building
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There was very limited information regarding the Bushnell High School Braves athletic program available to us on the internet.  We are sure that Bushnell High School offered boys basketball.  Baseball and track were likely offered as well as football.  If you know of other successes and sports offered by Bushnell High School please send us a note.


Our own Beau Spencer provided the following infomration on the BHS grid iron history:

“In 1931, the Braves beat Lewistown 109-0 and Industry 114-0 under Head Coach Golden Babcook.  In the early 1940’s they played a couple NIGHT games under LIGHTS (imagine that, small school football games at night 50!!! years before night baseball at Wrigley Field!!!), but had to travel to Galesburg and Abingdon (yes, Abingdon was one of the first schools in western Illinois to get lights).  Coach Babcook coached from 1925 (1st year) to 1931 (maybe later, don’t have ’32 records), and compiled a 16-0 record in the 1930 &’31 seasons.  The trashing of Industry occurred on October 30th 1931, the Lewistown lashing on November 20th.  In 1931, the Braves outscored their opponents 506-6.  Farmington was the only team that scored against them in a 52-6 game.  Another high score that season was 71-0 win at Colchester. The football program at BHS started sometime between 1916 and 1924.”

Seeking Further Information

We are hopeful someone from Bushnell or a BHS alumnus will be willing to share more information with us regarding the school.  If you have ANY information regarding Bushnell High School or the town of Bushnell please complete a School Submission Form or a Guest Commentary Form.  You may also write us via e-mail at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net or write to us via mail at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.    60631

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