The History of Creal Springs High School
Creal Springs (population 702) is located in far southern Illinois 25 miles southeast of Carbondale. The town was settled in the early 1880s in southeastern Williamson County. Illinois Route 166 is the main road through Creal Springs which sits just five miles west of U.S. Route 45. The Cana Creek flows through the west side of town while the Sugar Creek flows through the east side.
According to “Place Names of Illinois” by Edward Callary, the town now known as Creal Springs was first established in the mid-1840s as Sulphur Springs due to the small area waterways which were ripe with minerals. In 1883 a man named Edward Creal developed a spa and resort and the town grew quickly. The town was named either by Mr. Creal or in his honor.
According to the Illinois Trails web page http://iltrails.org/williamson/maincrealsprings.htm Creal Springs early history included the following:
“Creal Springs was an early French trading post. In 1881 Edward G Creal discovered a mineral springs and built a town there, platted in 1883. The Creal Springs Seminary, it opened in 1884 w Gertrude Brown Murray as principal. It was chartered as a college in 1894 and closed in 1916. Seaburg Church and school were established in 1825 in this section.”
A school system was created for Creal Springs residents in the late 1800s. A new school was built for by the town in 1912. It served the town as a high school and grade school through the late 1940s when the high school was closed. The high school aged children were then bused to Marion to continue their education.. After the high school closed the building continued in its use as a grade school through the 2011-12 school year when it, too, was closed. The school building was then sold to a private resident of Creal Springs and is still being used today (2015) in some capacity.
To view more vintage photos of Creal Springs events and buildings, click on this web link:
http://crealsprings.net/ (go to History section)
Creal Springs High School Quick Facts
Year opened: late 1800s
Year closed: early to mid-1940s
Annexed to: Marion High School
Creal Springs team nickname: possibly the “Lions”
Team colors: unavailable
School Fight Song: unavailable