Colfax (population 989) is located in eastern Illinois. Illinois Route 165 runs through the northside of town. The Mackinaw River flows to the south of Colfax and the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad runs directly through town. Colfax is situated in upper eastern McLean County about 15 miles east of Bloomington.
The village was founded in 1880 by William Anderson and James Wood, well known farmers of the area who owned the land that the town was established on. The town was named after Schuyler Colfax, a former Vice President under President U.S. Grant. Colfax also served as Speaker of the House at one time. The town is located in Martin Township named after a famous doctor in the area at the time, Eleazer Martin.
The first high school classes offered in Colfax began in 1891, ten years after the first school house was built. Colfax had some hard luck when it came to fires. The original school building was destroyed by fire in 1900. Subsequent fires destroyed parts of the school building in 1903 and 1948. The gymnasium was destroyed by the fire of 1948, causing the Colfax boys basketball team to play its “home” games in nearby Anchor or elsewhere.
Colfax High School served the town of Colfax only through the 1949 school year. It was then that the towns of Anchor, Cooksville, and Colfax agreed to consolidate their high schools. This consolidation effort resulted in the creation of the Octavia School District, which was centrally located in Colfax.
The Colfax High School building built in 1903 was razed in 1973.
Colfax High School Quick Facts
Year opened: 1891
Year best building built: 1903
Year Octavia District formed:1949
School nickname: the “Tigers”
School colors: Green & White
School Fight Song: unavailable
Though no evidence of IHSA hardware being won by a team was found, the Colfax Tigers were known in the area as a tough group to play against in any athletic venue. The boys competed in football, basketball (remember, no home games after 1947), track, and possibly baseball. One male athlete, Tom Tipton, won a medal at the state track meet.
The Tigers competed in the Tri-Valley Conference with fellow conference members Anchor, Arrowsmith, Bellflower, Cooksville, Cropsey, Downs, Ellsworth, Saybrook, and Towanda….schools that are also featured on this website. If you have any information about the athletic successes attained by the Tigers, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Colfax High School Tigers
Football Team of 1946-47
The school at Colfax had a small enrollment, making it difficult to compete in regulation 11-man football. The late 1940’s saw the inception of six-man football in Illinois. Only a few teams took up this sport and the Colfax High School Tigers were one of them. They often traveled far to play their games, including trips to Tolono (whose program was very successful).
That is, until they played their rivals Lexington. When the game was played in Lexington, the Colfax boys played 11-man football. But when the game was hosted by Colfax at its home field in Cooksville, the game reverted to 6-man football. Some great pictures of the Colfax Tigers and history of their teams can be found at www.ridgeviewfootball.us, a site maintained by current Colfax Ridgeview Head Football Coach Mike Benton.
Colfax High School Gymnasium
As stated in the history portion of this page, Colfax High School’s gymnasium was destroyed by fire in 1948. The basketball games from then on were played on the road, even the home games were held in a nearby town. In 1920 and 1921, the Tigers won the Junior Division of the McLean County Tournament.
Scores from games played by Coolfax High School in the IHSA State Tournament were located on a website titled “Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores.” These scores are plsted below. We are also looking for more information on the basketball successes of Colfax High.
1919-20 McLean Co. Jr. Division Tourney Champs Coach’s name & record needed
1920-21 McLean Co. Jr. Division Tourney Champs Coach’s name & record needed
1921-22 Bloomington District Tournament Coach’s name & record needed.
1st Rd lost to Bellflower 25-21 (O/T)
Bellflower lost in 2nd Rd.
1922-23 through 1932-33 Postseason scores, record, and coaches’ names needed.
Colfax HS Tigers Basketball 1930-31
1933-34 Normal District Tournament Coach’s name & record needed
1st Rd Beat Cooksville 37-17
2nd Rd lost to Bloomington 30-18
Bloomington lost to Normal U-High in title game
1934-35 Bloomington District Tournament Coach’s name & record needed
1st Rd Beat Downs 28-27
2nd Rd lost to Normal 24-7
Normal lost in semi-final round
1935-36 Colfax District Semi-Finalist Coach’s name & record needed
1st Rd Beat Arrowsmith 28-16
Semi-final lost to Chenoa 32-19
Chenoa won District title over Cooksville
1936-37 Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.
1937-38 Colfax Hosted District Tournament Coach’s name & record needed
Colfax HS scores unavailable
Cropsey beat Cooksville 36-12 for title
1938-39 Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.
1939-40 Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.
1940-41 Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.
1941-42 Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.
1942-43 Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.
1943-44 Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.
1944-45 Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.
1945-46 Colfax Hosted District Tournament Coach’s name & record needed
Colfax HS scores unavailable
Anchor beat Cropsey 35-29 for title
1946-47 Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.
1947-48 Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.
**1948-49 Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.
**Last season for Colfax High School. Became known as Colfax Octavia for the 1949-50 school year.
TRACK & FIELD
The Colfax Tiger tracksters had some great seasons as well Below is a photo of the thinclads of 1910-11 who won the McLean County track & field championship!! Also pictured is Tom Tipton (on the right) who won CHS’s only medal at the IHSA State Meet.
Members of the Colfax Track team of 1910-11 pictured below included:
Back Row-L-R-Joe Brown, Quincy McLellan, Edmund “Curly” Small, Coach Smith, Alvie Decker, Dave Murphy, Leroy Withers
Front Row-L-R-Dick Henderson, Bryce Knight, Scott Gamien, Guy Hamilton, Charles Hamilton
Colfax HS Track & Field Team 1910-11
McLean County Champions
The year was 1932, when the IHSA Track Meet was a “one class” affair, that Tom Tipton made the Colfax folks proud. Tipton ran the grueling 880 yard run in a time of 2:01.7, good enough for 3rd place in the entire state!
The students of Colfax High School were offered a wide variety of activities to help round out their education. Glee Club, choir, band, and many other extra-curricular activities were available so that all kids could be a part of the great school spirit of CHS.
Colfax High School Glee Club 1930-31
Need Your Assistance
If you have any information to add to this page please write to us at email@example.com. You can also write to us at: