Cable Public School

Cable Public School
A picture containing outdoor, tree, house, outdoor object

Description automatically generated
Submitted by Gerry Halpin
Cable Public School Building
A picture containing text, tree, outdoor, plant

Description automatically generated
Courtesy of Gerry Halpin

The History of Cable Public School

Cable (population approximately 25) is located in upper-western Illinois in the northeast corner of Mercer County.  The small hamlet sits about 15 miles south (and a little east) of Rock Island.  Cable is situated in a true country setting with County Highway 21 and County Road 3000E the roadways that lead you to and from town.  The main major route near Cable is U.S. Route 67 located 3 miles to the west. This small village is about three blocks wide and two blocks long.

The history of the town is in need of research. The school system at Cable is likely much along the lines of other such schools on the Glory Days website such as Detroit or Castleton. It is likely that Cable Public School never offered true high school curriculum.  We know that Cable School served grades 1 – 8 for sure, with students likely attending high school in nearby Sherrard.

Research conducted by Bill Bertrand of the Mercer County Historical Society provided the following information:

“The school at Cable taught grades 1 through 8. I found one source, an article written by a local citizen that said “a child could take two years of high school”, but an official record by a county superintendent indicated the grades 1 through 8. It is likely that the “two years of high school” were grades 7 and 8. Using the terminology of earlier times, “grammar school” covered grades 1-6 and anything beyond that was considered “high school”. Publicly funded schools in the 1800s at first covered only “grammar schools” and it was several decades before communities debated the wisdom or necessity of publicly funding “high schools”.

Cable’s school was a five room building only open 6 months per year due to financial constraints, and was built to hold 80 students, although one teacher recalled a year with 93. It was closed in the 1950s and boarded up. I do not know if it is still standing — 20 years ago it was thought to be a safety concern.”

So it is likely that Cable Public School never offered more than a grade school curriculum for grades 1 – 8.  However I feel the photos above (taken by Gerry Halpin) dictate that Cable School be given its own page.  The building is likely torn down at this point.  The almost “ghostly” images above speak of the days when the school building was a vital part of this small hamlet and the then many farm families and their children who attended there.

Cable School Quick Facts

Year opened:                  late 1800s

Year closed:                  1950s

Students now attend:      Sherrard School District

Athletics:                       likely never offered

Famous Student?

From Shane Kazubowski:

“While I was at Sherrard rumor had it that Don Nelson (of the NBA) grew up in Cable until 6th grade where he then moved to Rock Island.  I am not certain if this is true or not, but some of the veteran teachers of Sherrard communicated this information.”

Sincere Thanks

Our sincere gratitude goes out to Gerry Halpin and Jamie Driskill for their efforts in assisting with the research on Cable School.

Seeking More Information

It is probable that sports were never offered at Cable School.  We are curious what other extra-curricular activities may have made the Cable School experience a fun and pleasant one.  If you have ANY information regarding Cable School and the town of Cable, please contact us at .  You can also mail items to us at:

IHSGD Website

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.  60631   


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: