The History of Deer Creek High School
Deer Creek (population 605) is located in north central Illinois in eastern Tazwell County. U.S. Route 150 runs through the south edge of town. Deer Creek is approximately 15 miles southeast of Peoria. The Norfolk & Western Railroad also runs through the town of Deer Creek..
According to the town’s official web site, www.deercreekillinois.com, Deer Creek was established in 1830. The town was named after the creek that ran by the northwest side of town (now known as Mud Creek) and the herd of red deer that used to visit the creek for drinking purposes.
The first school was established in Deer Creek in 1835 at the home of Edward Durham with Nancy Parker becoming the first teacher. It was probably in the late 1800s that high school courses started being offered at Deer Creek School. An actual high school may have been established as late as the early 1900s, this information is in need of research. It is known that Deer Creek High School served the town of Deer Creek through at least 1948. At that point the towns of Deer Creek and Mackinaw (located 8 miles south of Deer Creek) decided to consolidate their efforts. The result was the creation of the Deer Creek-Mackinaw School District.
Robert A. Chaffer adds the following information about Deer Creek:
“I am too young to have attended that high school but my father, his brother, and his sister all graduated from Deer Creek H. S.
The school mentioned as established in 1835 was a one-room country school which existed in several iterations until 1948. The location of that country school was at the original site of what became Deer Creek but it is about 2.5 miles southwest of Deer Creek’s modern location. The very small town moved twice before taking root at its current site when the railroad was built through the township. I attended that country school (which was known as the Chaffer School) for three years until 1948 when the Deer Creek-Mackinaw Consolidated School District was formed. As part of the consolidation, Deer Creek High School was repurposed as Deer Creek Grade School (grades 1-8) and the high school of the district was located in Mackinaw.”
The high school for “DeeMack” is located in Mackinaw. Grades 4 – 6 attend school in Deer Creek. It is not currently known if the Deer Creek Grade School building pictured above is the former Deer Creek High School building. For more information on Dee-Mack High School go to www.deemack.org.
Deer Creek High School Quick Facts
Year opened: late 1800s
Year closed: 1948
Consolidated to: Deer Creek-Mackinaw High School
School nickname: the “Deer”
School colors: Blue & White
School Fight Song: unavailable