Danvers High School “Dragons”

Original Danvers High School Building
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Courtesy of Gerry Halpin and the North Suburban Library System
Former Danvers HS Building – 2009
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Courtesy of Jason Smith (Left Click on Photo for Enlarged Version)

The History of Danvers High School

Danvers (population 1,183) is located in northwestern McLean County on Il. Route 9 at E. 1700 North Road. This places Danvers about 10 miles west of Bloomington. The Conrail Railroad makes its way through the center of town and the West Fork of Sugar Creek wraps around the north and east sides of town.

This community was formed in 1836 as Concord, but later changed its name to Stout’s Grove in 1849 in honor of Ephraim Stout, who was the first settler in the area in 1825. The name changed to Danvers in 1861 by post office petition.

The history of Danvers High School began as a three-year school in 1890, before it expanded to a four-year curriculum in 1938. The first high school building in Danvers was built in 1915, then expanded in 1938 for the four-year students, and then again in 1971 as the community readied itself for the new Olympia School District, a consolidation with Atlanta, Armington, Hopedale, Minier, McLean-Waynesville, and Stanford that became a reality in 1972. Today, the high school building is now used as Olympia North Elementary.

Danvers HS Building Cornerstone – Built in 1915
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Courtesy of Jason Smith (Left Click on Photo for Enlarged Version)

Danvers was a member of the Kickapoo Conference in the 1950s and 1960s prior to its merger to the Olympia, taking on the likes of Saybrook-Arrowsmith, DownsEllsworth, Wapella, McLean-Waynesville, Heyworth, and Deland-Weldon.

Danvers High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                          1890 (as a 3-yr school)

Year it began offering 4th year: 1938

Year closed:                           1972

Now part of:                             Olympia School District

(used as Olympia North Elementary School)

School nickname:                   Dragons

School colors:                        Green & White

School Fight Song:                  unavailable

Yearbook name:                     “Danversanna”


Two sports are listed on the IHSA web site as having been offered at Danvers High School. Boys Basketball and boys Track & Field both saw IHSA hardware come home with them. The Danvers High School kids were also offered baseball (both fall and spring). We are seeking assistance from an area enthusiast regarding the DHS athletic program.

Danvers Basketball Team of 1952-53
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Boys Basketball

The Danvers HS gymnasium was in a “quonset hut” style building. The basketball floor was flanked by a raised stage at one end. The locker rooms were described this way by former student Steve Graves: “The locker rooms, a level down and flanking the stage…were just like the ones in the basketball movie of the period “Hoosiers.”

Though only winning two District Titles, the Danvers boys had many successful seasons. The best of those seasons as listed on the IHSA web site are mentioned below. One interesting note: since Danvers was only a three-year school at the time, three members from the 1928-29 district champion transferred to Bloomington for their senior year and led that school’s team to a second-place finish at the IHSA state tournament. Donald Argo, Clarke Buescher, and Gerald Cooke (also known as the “ABC Boys”) were instrumental in helping the Purple Raiders after being members of the Dragon varsity.

1928-29      N.R.A.    District Champions       Coach George Clinebell

1953-54      17 – 7      (good record)                 Coach Joe Nicolay

1955-56      18 – 6      (good record)                 Coach Joe Nicolay

1957-58      20 – 8      (good record)                 Coach Maurice Hesses

1958-59      21 – 6      District Champions      Coach Maurice Hesses

1959-60      21 – 6      (good record)                 Coach Tony Rolinski

Boys Track & Field

The boys track program had one individual bring home two medals from the State Track Meet. Ron Schieber’s efforts resulted in a 10th Place finish for the Danvers Track Team in 1958. 

1957-58     Ron Schieber       440 Yard Run         3rd Place

                 Ron Schieber       220 Yard Run         4th Place

Great Athletes

Former student Steve Graves described the Schieber brothers (Ron and Jerry) in this manner:

“Ron Schieber, as you mention, was an outstanding runner. Although he never played high school football, Ron emerged as a star running back and most valuable player selection at Illinois State and played pre-season games with the Detroit Lions as a free agent in 1963. He was also one of the key sprinters on a national contending mile relay team at ISU.

Probably an equally amazing story was his brother Jerry Schieber. Danvers had no community pool-just an 18′ in length pool built by the local undertaker. Jerry had not only never been in a swim meet but had never seen a swim meet until he also enrolled (Illinois State Normal University, Normal, Illinois). He went on to not only swim well (breast stroke was his event) but he qualified (national time standard) to go to the US Olympic Trials in 1960.”

Thank you to Steve Graves for sharing this information.

Boys Baseball

We are told the Dragons had a good baseball program as well, having won the 1942 McLean County Championship over defending titlist Bellflower, 10-9.. If you have any further information on the diamond men of Danvers High School please send it to us so we can share it on this site. We do know that baseball was offered in the fall and spring.

Danvers HS Bldg. – Side View (2009)
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Submitted by Jason Smith (Left Click on Photo for Enlarged Version)
School Building Entrance
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Submitted by Jason Smith
Danvers HS Building – Rear View
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Submitted by Jason Smith (Left Click on Photo for Enlarged Version)

Need Your Help

If you have any information you can add regarding the Danvers High School District and their athletic accomplishments, please submit a Guest Commentary Form or a School Submission Form. We are always glad to add a photo of any of the great teams from Danvers HS past. You may also e-mail us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net or write us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago,  Il.    60631

Danvers High School (Photo by Kev Varney )
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Now Olympia School District Grade School
Danvers High School Building
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1915 building to far left, 1938 addition in foreground
Danvers School / New Addition
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Danvers High School Side View
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