The History of DeWitt High School
The town of DeWitt (population 188) is located in eastern DeWitt County. Illinois Route 54 runs through the center of town and connects DeWitt with its neighbor ten miles to the northeast, Clinton. A town of note near DeWitt is Champaign located about 30 miles to the southeast. The Illinois Central Gulf Railroad also runs through town.
DeWitt was settled in 1832 as Marion, although that would change in 1837 after learning there was another community called Marion in southern Illinois. The town founders, Benjamin S. Day, James Morrison, James McCord, Z.G. Cantrell, and Jame Hutchison, were involved in settling, then surveying and plotting the town from 1834 to 1837. DeWitt was incorporated in 1879.
The DeWitt school system began in 1836 and evolved over the years to the point that two years of high school were taught in the late 1890’s. A new building was built in 1911 after a fire, and the new school contained a gymnasium on the second floor. DeWitt students then went to nearby Weldon for grades 11 & 12 to receive their diplomas. A reorganization of school districts all over the state took place in the mid-1940’s and changed that when DeWitt decided to annex the school into the Clinton School System.
The school building in DeWitt served as a grade school for the Clinton school system until 1971. It still stands proudly in DeWitt, though a mere shell of its former greatness due to being weather-beaten.
DeWitt High School Quick Facts
Year opened: 1890’s
Year closed: mid-1940’s
Grade school closed: 1971
School nickname: unavailable
School colors: unavailable
School Fight Song: unavailable