South Division did compete on the gridiron, and made history doing so in the process. According to the chronology on the IHSA site (www.ihsa.org) about the sport’s history, Lake View beat South Division in 1885 in what is considered the first-known football game between two Illinois high schools.
Here’s another note of interest involving South Division’s football program. In 1902. Walter Eckersall of Chicago Hyde Park returned a kickoff 110 yards against South Division. That is a record that will never be broken, because at that time, the field was 110 instead of the current 100 yards long. (The length was shortened in 1912.)
The school offered the sport to the girls during the early 1900’s, and we did find one thing of interest. The South Division ladies had one of the lowest scoring games in state prep history as they defeated Medill on January 23rd, 1904, by the score of 3-1.
South Division’s boys were involved in the Cook County League as early as 1890, playing against the likes of Harvard, West Division, and Manual Training. The school won the CCL title in 1902, and sent one player to the major leagues as John Kane played from 1907-1910 with the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs as a utility player. In 261 games, he hit .220 with seven home runs and 59 runs batted in, according to Baseball Library.com (http://www.baseballlibrary.com/ballplayers/player.php?name=John_Kane_1882&page=stats).
Even the school got into playing the indoor version of baseball in the winter months around the turn of the 20th Century. In 1896, North Division, West Division, English (now Crane Tech), South Chicago (now Bowen), and Medill along with South Division were members of the Cook County League, which had formed league play six years earlier.
FAMOUS ALUMNI OR FORMER STUDENTS OF SOUTH DIVISION
–Henry Blake Fuller—notable literary figure of the late 19th century, writing poetry, theater, and novels.
–Hugo Friend (class of 1902)—He participated in the 1906 Olympic Games at Athens, taking third in the long jump and fourth in the 110 meter hurdles. He became a judge and presided at the 1921 trial of the Black Sox.
—Alice Gray (class of 1897)—Author Janet Edwards discusses who she was:
Hello, I just ran across the website regarding South Division High School and saw the request for any additional info. I believe another famous alum of the school is Alice Gray, better known as “Diana of the Dunes,” a legendary figure who lived in the Indiana Dunes from 1915-1925 and became a sensation in the Chicago and Indiana press over those years.
You can google her to find more info; also, I’ve written a book about her: “Diana of the Dunes, The True Story of Alice Gray.”
From my book:
“However, it appears she was among the most successful students. During the 1895 graduation ceremonies, two years before Alice’s own, she received one of two Victor F. Lawson medals awarded for academic excellence.[i]
“At the age of sixteen, Alice graduated from South Division High School[ii] on June 24, 1897, in a ceremony held at Sinai Temple on Indiana Avenue and Twenty-first Street. She was the youngest in a class of ninety students. Among her fellow graduates was her cousin, Sylvester Beers.
“During the graduation proceedings, just one student addressed the audience—Alice M. Gray, who read an essay titled “The Old Teutonic Home.” The keynote address was given by Dr. S.J. McPherson of the Second Presbyterian Church, who spoke on “The School, the Home and the Country.”[iii]
[i] Chicago Daily Tribune, “South Division High School,” June 28, 1895.
[ii] South Division was later renamed Wendell Phillips High School and relocated.
[iii] Chicago Tribune, “End High School Day,” June 25, 1897.
“Thank you for your consideration. I hope you find this information useful …”
|Alice Gray, South Division class of 1897
|Courtesy of Janet Edwards from
DO YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION ABOUT SOUTH DIVISION HIGH?
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