Elizabethtown High School

Elizabethtown High School Building

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Submitted by James Horaz

Elizabethtown High School

A picture containing building, outdoor, brick, house

Description automatically generated

Courtesy of James Horaz

The History of Elizabethtown High School


Elizabethtown (population 348) is located in far southeastern tip of Illinois.  The town sits in the southwestern portion of Hardin County along the banks of the Ohio River.  Illinois Route 146 is the only way to get to and from town. Elizabethtown is the county seat of Hardin County.   


According to the web address of http://www.elizabethtownchamber.com/site-retired/elizabethtown_illinois.html Elizabethtown in Illinois is the smallest town of the six towns in the United States that bear this name. The town is said to be named after Elizabeth McFarlan who, along with her husband James, built the first home in the area in 1812. It also states that much information regarding the early history of Elizabethtown was lost in two seperate fires at the courthouse in 1898 and 1921.


It is likely the residents of Elizabethtown began an educational system for their children in the very early days of the town’s development.  It is probable that high school courses for the kids of Elizabethtown were available by the late 1800s and certainly were available by the early 1900s. It is likely that Elizabethtown High School served the community and the area’s families for several decades.  By looking at the Rosiclare High School history web address of http://www.rosiclare.com/rchs/rchs1.htm we know that Elizabethtown High School competed in boys basketball in 1927.  We also know that Richard F. Taylor served as Elizabethtown HS principal beginning in 1878 (see bottom of page). 


We are not certain when, but at some point Elizabethtown High School was closed.  We believe this may have occurred in the 1940s.  We do know that Elizabethtown students became part of the Hardin County consolidation of Rosiclare High School and Cave-in-Rock High School in 1977. The new school district is known as the Hardin County School District.  The school buildings for Hardin County High School have an address of Elizabethtown.


The original Elizabethtown High School building is still standing and is pictured above.


Elizabethtown High School Quick Facts


Year opened:                      late 1800s (1873?)

Year closed:                       1940s(?)

Consolidated to:                  Hardin County High School (Elizabethtown)

E-town HS team nickname:  unavailable

Team uniform colors:           unavailable

School Fight Song:              unavailable



We know that Elizabethtown High School competed in boys basketball.  It is quite possible that baseball and track may have been part of the athletic program as well.  Currently we do not have any team records or coach’s names to share with you on this page.


Some scores involving Elizabethtown High School in the IHSA State Tournament were located on a website titled “Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores.” These scores are posted below.


1933-34                    Harrisburg District Tournament           Coach’s name & record needed.

                                 1st Rd Beat Omaha 27-20

                                 2nd Rd lost to Harrisburg 37-9


1934-35                    Eldorado District Tournament             Coach’s name & record needed.

                                 1st Rd Beat Omaha 34-18

                                 2nd Rd lost to Shawneetown 31-27 (O/T)


1935-36                    Brookport District Tournament            Coach’s name & record needed.

                                 1st Rd lost to Karnak 25-16


This is the extent of the scores listed on the site. Please contact us if you have any further information. 


Extra-Curricular Activities


We are also certain that, like many small schools, the folks of Elizabethtown valued a good, well-rounded education for their children..We are curious if band, chorus, and several club activites were offered to the children who attended Elizabethtown High.  If you have any of this information to share with us, please follow the directions below.


School Administrators


Dave Sanders provided the following information on two early principals of Elizabethtown schools:


“In the book: The Biographical review of Johnson, Massac, Pope and Hardin counties … By Biographical Publishing Company

A biography of Richard F. Taylor (Illinois States Attorney 1892-1896, State Representative (?-?) says he “began teaching school in the year 1873, in which he continued for 5 years when he was appointed Principal of the High School in Elizabethtown”.


In the book: Semi-centennial history of the Illinois state normal university, 1857-1907 By Illinois State Normal University

A brief bio of Hiram R. Fowler (Illinois State Senator 1900-1904) says he was the Principal of Cave-in-Rock from 1878-1883 and the Principal of Elizabethtown from 1886-1888.”


We Need Your Assistance…


…in researching the history and accomplishments attained by the Elizabethtown residents and their former high school.  If you have any photos or any information you would like to see added to this page, please write to us via the Guest Commentary Form. You can also send items to us via real mail at:


Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva Ave.

Chicago, Il.  60631   


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