Danforth High School “Tigers”

History of Danforth High School

Danforth (population 587) is located in the upper eastern portion of Illinois.  The town is located in the west-central portion of Iroquois County about 20 miles south (and a little west) of Kankakee.  U.S. Route 45 is the main roadway to and from Danforth while Interstate Highway 57 travels just west of Danforth. The Illinois Central Railroad passes through Danforth as well.

A nice article regarding the history of the town of Danforth can be read at the web address of  http://www.genealogytrails.com/ill/iroquois/Danforth.htm .  In summary the village of Danforth was “laid out” in 1872.  This is after the railroad line had been established in the area in 1865. The town is named after the original land owners, George and A.H. Danforth.

The history of the Danforth school system has proven harder to research. We would guess that a school was set up by the late 1860s.  It is probable that high school courses were established by the late 1800s, though it would be conceivable that the high school was not instituted until the early 1900s.

Rick Scharp, Danforth Class of 1945, provides the following information regarding Danforth High School:

“The last year Danforth offered any high school courses was during the school year of 1944-45. I was a sophomore that year and finished with two years at Gilman. Danforth only offered two years at that time, but I understand that they had offered three years of high school at sometime prior to that, but it was never a four-year high school.”

Danforth High School Class of 1926
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Submitted by Lee Nemnich / Edith Schriefer Center Row, Far Right

Danforth High School was annexed into the Gilman School District in 1945.  The kids of Danforth today attend school as part of the Iroquois West school district.  Danforth currently hosts an elementary for Iroquois West.

Danforth High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                           late 1800s / early 1900s

Year closed:                            1945

Consolidated to:                      Gilman Iroquois West

Danforth HS team nickname:  “Tigers”

Danforth HS uniform colors:    Orange & Black

School Fight Song:                  unavailable


We are certain that Danforth High School  boys competed in basketball.  It is probable that baseball and track were offered too.  We are searching for the school’s team nickname, uniform colors, fight song, coach’s names, and season records.  We are interested in any information you might be able to provide about Danforth High School and its athletic program. Some basketball scores involving Danforth High School in the IHSA State Tournament are listed below as well. The scores were located on a site titled Illinois Postseason High School Basketball Scores.

Coaches at Danforth High School

1933-39     Ralph A. Naffziger

1940          H. B. Tate



1943          W. R. Woodward/Roy W. Sprauge

1934-35            St. Anne District Tournament                     Coach Ralph Naffziger

1st Rd lost to Manteno 50-7

Manteno lost in semi-final to Sheldon

1935-36            Bradley District Tournament                       Coach Ralph Neffziger

1st Rd lost to Bonfield 33-24

Bonfireld lost in semi-final round

1936-37            Watseka District Tournament                      Coach Ralph Naffziger

1st Rd lost to Piper City

Piper City beat Onarga in title game

1940-41            Crescent City District Tournament               Coach H.B. Yate

1st Rd lost to Crescent City 30-22

Crescent City lost in 2nd Rd.

1942-43            Crescent City District Tournament               Coach H.B. Yate

1st Rd lost to Crescent City 43-31

Crescent City lost in 2nd Rd

**Information regarding Danforth High School and the basketball facility:

“My grandmother also grew up in Danforth. She attended a one room country school until they built the new school in town, (in the same location where the I.W. grade school is now, the bell in front is from the original building) . She attended High School in Gilman (1945). Sporting events (basketball) for Danforth were held in the gymnasium at the Danforth twp. building. Their team nickname was the Tigers, and their colors were in fact Orange and Black. The nickname and colors were carried on by the Danforth Little League baseball until the 1990’s.”

If You Have ANY Further Information to Provide….

…regarding the history and accomplishments of Danforth High School, along with the history of the town of Danforth itself, please write to us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net.  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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