Clifton High School

Clifton School Building
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November 2005

The History of Clifton High School

Clifton (popu;ation 1,317) is located in upper-eastern Illinois about 15 miles south-southeast of Kankakee.  This places Clifton in the northwestern portion of Iroquois County.  Interstate Highway 57 passes by the eastern edge of town and has exit ramps taking you to Clifton. The town is actually located on County Roads named Main Street and 2950. The Illinois Central Gulf Railroad travels through town.  A branch of the Prairie Creek flows through the east side of town.

The history of Clifton and its school system is need of research.  It is probable that a school was set into place for the Clifton children by the mid to late 1800s.  It is also probable that a high school was developed by the late 1800s.  The high school served Clifton on a solo basis for approximately 50 years.  In the late 1930s consolidation talks began between the towns of Clifton and Ashkum.  This effort was realized after the 1939-40 school year.  The new district was named the Ashkum-Clifton School District.

Ashkum-Clifton High School we believe was located in Clifton.  This effort lasted for about 10 years when Chebanse High School joined the consolidation effort. In 1949 Chebanse joined Ashkum-Clifton to create the Central School District. A new school complex was built just outside of Clifton to house the Central High School District.  We believe the school in the photo above, now vacant, once was used as the Central and possible Ashkum-Clifton High School buildings. If you have this information please write to us via e-mail.

Clifton High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                   late 1800s

Year closed:                    1940

Consolidated to:               Ashkum-Clifton School District

Clifton HS nickname:        unavailable

Clifton HS team colors:     unavailable

Clifton School Fight Song: unavailable

Clifton School Building – Rearview
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We know that athletics were offered at Clifton High School. The school has seasons and coacnes names listed for its basketball team.  However this is the only listing on the IHSA website ( for any sport at Clifton High School. It is probable that track and baseball were offered as well.  Team niclname, team colors, school fight song, and conference affiliation are all being sought.

Boys Basketball

The boys basketball program at Clifton had many successful seasons however the better records and accomplishments are not available at this time.  The only information we were able to obtain is vrom the IHSA website.  We are hopeful an area fan is willing to research and provide us with some of the missing information we are asking for.

1931-32               Kankakee District Tournament          Coach Arthur Benscoter

1st Rd lost to Donovan 31-14

Bradley beat Herscher in title game

1932-33               Kankakee District Tournament          Coach Arthur Benscoter

1st Rd lost to Cabery 25-14

Kankakee beat Herscher in title game

1933-34               Kankakee District Tournament          Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Gilman 34-6

Kankakee beat St. Anne in title game

1934-35  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1935-36  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1936-37  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1937-38  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1938-39  Postseason scores & record needed.             Coach Howard Rice

1939-40  Postseason scores & record needed.             Coach Verle David

If You Have ANY Further Information

If you have any further information you can share regarding the many accomplishments and history of Clifton High School, especially a photo of the original school building, please write to us at .  You can also write to us via real mail at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St. 

Chicago, Il.  60631

Ma7, 1929 Photo of Clifton Kindergarden Class
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Submitted by Jim Rosengarten, Fort Loramie (Ohio) Historical Association.

From Jim Rosengarten regarding the photo above:

” This photo is from 1929. This photo was recently donated to our museum, Wilderness Trail in Fort Loramie, Ohio. The Quinlin family has Ft. Loramie roots. Raymond Quinlin moved to Chicago for work and raised his family there, his daughter is in this photo. I was just doing a quick search when I found your page, thought it might be of some assistance. Written on back of photo…….May 7, 1929 Kindergarten Class Clifton Public School.”

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