Cornland High School

Cornland High School – Built 1877
A picture containing text, outdoor, house, window

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Courtesy of George Drake

The History of Cornland High School

Cornland (population approximately 125) is situated in the heart of central Illinois.  It is located in south-central Logan County about 15 miles northeast of Springfield and 20 miles south of Lincoln.  Illinois Route 54 and the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad line run parallel from southwest to northeast and are the main travel ways though town. A branch of the Lake Fork Creek flows to the east of Cornland.  According to MapQuest ( Cornland is approximately four blocks long from north to south and three blocks wide from east to west.

An article written in 1878  was found on the following RootsWeb address:

the then brief history of Cornland was written as follows:

“Cornland is on the Gilman, Clinton, & Springfield Railroad in the southern part Elkhart Township.  It was platted by Joshua Day in August 1871. He and Dr. Phinney opened the first store in the village which, in 1873, they sold to the Capps Brothers who are yet in trade. Thomass Bell erected a grocery in 1871 but discontinued business in 1873. R.W. Jess of Sangamon County opened a general store in 1871 but returned to Sangamon County three years after. Andrew Wilson is the first mechanic here and is yet in business.   In 1876, an elevator was built, and a good grain trade started.  Before this a small warehouse was operated by Mr. Daney of Elkhart.  The town is also a good stock point.  A good two-story school house was built in 1877.  The school is, however, under the district control.”

Former Cornland resident and school product George Drake offered the following information on Cornland and its former school:

“I was born in the small town of Cornland 79 years ago and attended school there for ten years.  Eight of those years were in grade school, then I attended the two-year high school there for my freshman and sophomore years.  The high school closed at the end of my sophomore year in late May, 1942.  When I started my sophomore year there were two students in my class and just four freshmen students.  During the school year two of the freshmen moved away from town which left just two sophomores and two freshmen.

I am enclosing a picture of the frame two-story high school building.  It was built in 1877 and was used by the grade school until 1920 when a new brick building was was built for the grade school and the 4-year high school was started in the frame building (pictured above). Of course, back in the early 1900s, it was not unusual for pupils to attend grade school for an extra year or two since high schools were often not practical for them to attend.

Cornland Grade School Built in 1920
A brick building with a green lawn

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Submitted by Dennis Downey (now a private residence)

A four-year high school existed at Cornland from 1920 through May of 1924 when it closed.  A 2-year high school was started in September of 1930 and it closed in May of 1942.  Somewhere I read that in 1931 the high school had an enrollment of 10 students.  In the spring of 1942 Cornland consolidated with Mt. Pulaski High School.”

Cornland High School Quick Facts

Year GS opened:                     1877

Years 4-Year HS open:             1920 – 1924

Year 2-Year HS open:               1930 – 1942

Consolidated to:                       Mt. Pulaski School District

Cornland team nickname:          none

School colors:                          Green & White

School Fight Song:                   none


Unfortunately the IHSA website was of no assistance to our research. It does not appear as though Cornland High School had any success in athletics on an IHSA level. It is quite probable that CHS competed in basketball, baseball, and track & field.  If you can assist us with the athletic history of Cornland High School please write to us.

George Drake, 1942 alumnus of Cornland School, provided the following information on the athletic program at Cornland:

“I have never heard of nickname for Cornland athletic teams.  For the last three years ending in 1942, the Cornland Grade School, augmented with two to three high school boys, had a basketball team that used green and white as the school colors.  We had no indoor gym, so in good weather we practiced on an outside court.  We did poorly when playing other teams, so our opponents did not object to our using high school boys on the team.”

Need Your Assistance

If you have any information on the history of Cornland High School, especially a photo of the high school building, please write to us via e-mail at You can also write to us via real mail at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.   60631

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