El Dara High School

El Dara High School Building

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Pike County Historical Society & Lisa Ruble

El Dara School Building (2000s)

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Billie Browning and http://genealogytrails.com/ill/pike/schooleldara.html

The History of El Dara High School 


El Dara (population 89) is located in far western Illinois about 35 miles southeast of Quincy.  The village is located in Derry Township in the upper-west portion of Pike County about 10 miles west of the county seat of Pittsfield.  County Highway 13 is the main roadway to and from El Dara.  It connects the town to Illinois Route 106 just four miles to the east.


We know there was a post office established in El Dara in 1849.  The town was officially incorporated in 1881.  Unfortunately this is the extent of the knowledge we currently have of the history of the village. 


The residents of El Dara began a school for their children shortly after settling the area.  We know that El Dara had a small, frame-style school building with tdwo large rooms that were divided into two more rooms. It is likely that El Dara School District #118 began offering a two or three-year high school course in the 1920s.  This probably lasted until the early to mid-1940s.  


The kids of El Dara High School then were sent to nearby Barry High School to finish their education.  It is not stated when the El Dara School actual closed.  We do know that El Dara’s school-aged children attend Barry Western High School today.


For an excellent and informative article on the El Dara school check out the following web address:




**Memories from Joan Grawe:


“I attended the 1st thru 6th grade at El Dara Grade School. A few years before they still taught up to the eighth grade level. The community was able to keep it open solely due to the dedication of the closely held together community’s fund raising efforts. We put on elaborate plays and had parties and fish fries. My grandmother or her neighbor came and played the piano and we had patriotic time in music and hymns of Praise. They also made costumes for us for the plays. Our mothers came and helped the cook on a schedule. We played hard and were known for being a little smarter than our classmates when we went to Barry Junior High (7th Grade). I attended El Dara Grade School of El Dara, IL (rural Barry) from 1963-1969. It was closed as a school in 1969.


The building was demolished in July 2017. El Dara’s public school system enrolled children attend Western Grade School in Kinderhook Illinois and Western High School of Barry. This arrangement was created around 2010.”


El Dara High School Quick Facts


Year opened:         early 1920s?

Year closed:          late 1940s

Consolidated to:     Barry High School

Team nickname:    unavailable

Uniform colors:      unavailable

Fight Song:           unavailable



The El Dara High School boys definitely competed in basketball. It is likely that baseball and track were offered as well. We are interested in the school’s athletic nickname (“Eagles”?), uniform colors, and school spirit song. Season records, coaches’ names, and memories of El Dara High School are also being sought.


Boys Basketball


Though we do not have any season records or coaches’ names for the El Dara High basketball program, we did find one basketball score. A website titled “Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores” lists a score from the IHSA tourney involving El Dara. The score that we located is printed below.


**Scores prior to the 1921-22 season were not available.


1921-22                Quincy District Tournament                 Coach’s name & record needed

                            1st Rd Lost to Payson 42-23

                            Payson lost in 2nd Rd.


Scores from 1922-23 through the closing of the school were unavailable.


Extra-Curricular Activities


It is likely that other activities such as band, chorus, plays, and graduations were held at the school. If you have this information please contact us via the means listed below.


Sincere Gratitude


Thank you to our good friend and long-time fan of the IHSGD website, Roberta VanBriesen, who conducted the research for this page.  Due to Roberta’s interest and dedcication to this cause, the legacy of El Dara HS will live on for years to come.  


Need Your Assistance


El Dara High School legacy should not be forgotten. Athletics and other extra-curricular activities at EDHS should be remembered and shared with others. You can e-mail these items to us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net or you can write to us at:


Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva Ave.

Chicago, Il.    60631     

El Dara High School

A group of people standing outside a building

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Pike County Historical Museum (http://genealogytrails.com/ill/pike/schooleldara.html)


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