Colona High School

A black and white photo of a house with a group of people in front of it

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The History of Colona High School

Colona (population 5,173) is located in Henry County in Northwest-Western Illinois just a few miles east of East Moline and Carbon Cliff, and a mile west of Interstate 80. Illinois State Route 84 runs through the town, as well as the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe railroad and the former Rock Island Railroad.

According to the town’s website (here) Colona was platted in 1855 on the north side of what is today’s Colona, and incorporated in 1903. The town was once two seperate entities. The Hennipen Canal was built along the southern edge of Colona between 1893-1907. In 1939, the town of Green Rock was platted south of the Canal. After a failed merger attempt in 1968, the two towns came together in 1997.

According to the 1968 Henry County History (“Corn, Commerce, and Family Living”) Schooling in Colona was held in a Catholic Church until 1872, when a two-story building was built on the present site of the SW corner of Warren and Broadway. High school education began in 1923, with the first graduating class of five students commencing in 1924.

Students from Colona, Green River, Briar Bluff and Cleveland all went to the high school in Colona. The other towns had schools of their own up until the 8th grade.

The school had a steady enrollment until Green Rock was platted. With the coming of new residents to the area, the school saw its enrollment swell. The building would undergo many changes and renovations to fit the needs of the community’s youth. From the high school’s beginning until 1934, it was a two-year school. A third year was added.

Eventually by the late 1940s overcrowding became a serious issue, big enough to call for a larger school building to be built elsewhere in Colona. It was decided to eliminate high school education in 1948 in order to accomodate the grade school level, thus ending the history of high school education in Colona. The high school went back to two years in 1946.

Elementary-aged students from town attend school at the new Colona School, built in 1949. The old building has since been reduced to one story, and was converted into apartments.

A book by long-time Colona-area resident Joann Hawthorne Terry entitled “Fading Footsteps” is available at the Colona library for reading. The book, written in 2005, has an excellent history of the Colona school, including that of high school education.

Colona High School Quick Facts

Year old building opened:                1872

Year HS opened:                          1924

Year HS closed:                            1948

HS students attend:                      Geneseo School District

Colona HS team nickname:          ?

Colona HS team colors:                ?

School Fight Song:                       ?

Former Colona HS – now apartments
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Colona, Ill.

The Colona High School athletic program likely included the sports of basketball, baseball, and track.  We are searching for team records, coaches names, and individual accomplishments.  Also welcome are the “quick facts” items we are missing above, including team nickname, uniform colors, and school fight song.


Colona High School offered several extra-curricular activities on top of sports.  School dances, clubs, band, and chorus were possibly offered to the CHS students as well.

Seeking More Information

As you can see, we are in need of a lot of information about Colona High School. If you have ANY information about anything related to the school, including a picture and our unknown “Quick Facts” information, please drop us an E-mail at – or – you can write to us at:

Illinois High School Glory Days
6439 N. Neva Ave.
Chicago, IL  60631

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