The History of Cropsey High School
Cropsey (population 240) is located in east-central Illinois. The village is located on County Road N 4100 East about two miles north of Illinois Route 165. This places Cropsey in far northeastern McLean County about 25 miles northeast of Bloomington. The Illinois Gulf Central Railroad laid some tracks through the center of town.
The history of Cropsey goes back to 1854 when Col. A.J. Cropsey settled there and the village was named for him in 1880 when it was platted along the railroad. Cropsey was part of Anchor Township until 1877 when it broke away from its southern neighbor to form its own community. The school system began in 1859, when a grade school began educating the children of the area. Cropsey started its a two-year high school in 1910, increased it to a three-year school in 1911, then four years in 1920.
The year was 1951 when Cropsey High School formed a consolidation with its neighbor seven miles to the north, Fairbury. Our good friend Bob Zehr tells us:
“The Cropsey High School consolidated with Fairbury High for the 1950-51 school term. They formed Illinois Community Unit District #3. The Cropsey High School was then used as a grade school (grades 1-8), later (1956-57) the 7th and 8th grades were moved to Fairbury. Then eventually the Cropsey School was closed and torn down.”
From former school board member Cindy Helmers:
“The Cropsey school was used during the time of the Fairbury-Cropsey school district. It was used as a grade school for part of the time and then as a “6th grade only” building for the district.”
This consolidation, Fairbury-Cropsey High School, faired well until another consolidation effort took place in 1985 and brought forth Prairie Central School District (based in Fairbury) of which Cropsey is now a part of. The Cropsey building was torn down at in the mid-1990’s after it was declared unsafe during the mid-1970’s, and students were relocated to Fairbury.
Cropsey High School Quick Facts
Year opened as 2-yr school: 1910
Yr it became 3-yr school: 1911
Yr it became 4-yr school: 1920
Year believed to be closed: 1951
School nickname: the “Bulldogs”
School colors: Purple & Gold
School Fight Song: unavailable