Ewing High School “Warriors”

Ewing College Memorial
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Submitted by James Horaz
Ewing College Bell & Plaque
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Courtesy of James Horaz

The History of Ewing High School

Ewing (population 310) is located in far south central Illinois in the northeast portion of Franklin County.  Ewing is situated about 6 miles northeast of Benton.  County Highway 1 is the main roadway to and from Ewing and connects it to Illinois Route 37 just three miles to the west.  Interstate Highway 57 lies just to the west of Route 37.  Rend Lake is about four miles west of Ewing as well.

A nice history of the town of Ewing was found at the web address of http://www.lib.niu.edu/ipo/1995/ihy951223.html.  In summary, this article states that Ewing was established in the mid-1800s and was a basic rural Illinois community. The early 1860s brought some prominent local men together who decided the area needed a high school.  In 1867 Ewing High School was established.  This was a pretty forward-thinking view at the time as most rural communities simply established a school for grades 1 – 8 and did not establish a high school until years later.

Soon after the establishment of the high school the local people discovered their high school was not legally recognized.  These folks took things one step further, they decided to establish a college.  Ewing College was established in this very rural setting and attracted many more people and businesses to the area.

The population of Ewing rose to about 1,000 residents in the early 1900s, with the college enrollment a steady 300 students.  World War I and economic hardships caught up with Ewing College.  The school was closed in 1927 leaving the townspeople with heavy hearts.

The caption of the three plaques that comemorate the former Ewing College have unique statements on each. The plaque under the bell states:


EWING COLLEGE 1867 – 1925




Willard Hall; Chapel, Music Hall, Home to Pythagorean and Logossian

Literary Societies Who Often Stole and Hid The Bell, Foundation Laid September 8, 1891,  by Masons, Completed May 1893.”

There are two plaues on the Ewing College memorial wall. One states:

“Ewing College

1867 – 1925

This memorial stands on the first Acre of land ever donated to the college for a campus. William A. King was the donor. The first two buildings were erected a few feet west of this spot. The campus was later greatly enlarged and had a total of five large buildings.”

This plaque goes onto list the presidents of Ewing College

The second plaque on the wall states:

” Ewing College

1867 – 1925

Ewing College began as a non-denominational, co-educational, Christian school, and was later offered to the stockholders to the Baptists who operated the school for almost a half century. The first college class was graduated in 1874 and the last in 1925. The college was officially closed in 1925.

Purpose of the School.

The founders of the college stated the purpose of the school in these words: The pupose of the school was to school our children the best we could.”

This plaque also lists the founders of the college.

There is no more current information available regarding Ewing High School.  Our guess is that Ewing High School continued to serve the folks of Ewing for several more years.  It is likely Ewing High closed her doors in the late 1940s.

We know that the kids of Ewing continue their education today in Benton.  David Smith, a fan of the IHSGD site, provided this bit of information on Ewing Grade School:

“Ewing has a grade school which is located on the site of one of the more famous buildings at Ewing College. It serves 200+ kids from k-8 and is  a feeder school for Benton HS.”

Adam Rosho further advises:

“The grade school is called Ewing-Northern District. The elementary school mascot is the Warriors.  The enrollment for the Elem/Jr. High is 207.  I believe the school consists of students from Ewing,Whittington, and the country area around Ewing.”

Ewing High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                           1867

Year closed:                            late 1940s?

Consolidated to:                       Benton School District

Ewing HS team nickname:        possibly the “Warriors”

Ewing HS team colors:             unavailable

School Fight Song:                   unavailable


We are certain that the boys of Ewing High participated in interscholastic athletics.  The boys played basketball and track, baseball was likely offered as well. The coach’s names and team records are needed.  Also needed are the team colors, fight song, and team nickname.


The boys participated in track & field at Ewing High School. The school even produced an individual STATE CHAMPION! A student with the last name of Cole won the IHSA State Championship in the High Jump in the Spring of 1927 in a one class system. This is an incredible accomplishment for an athlete from such a small school. Mr. Cole high jumped an amazing 6′ 03 1/2″ to win the title, missing the then state meet record by only 1/8th of an inch.

Former Illinois high school track coach Bruce Samoore provided the following information on Mr. Cole:

“There were two young men living in Ewing, Franklin Co., Illinois, during the 1920 Census who could have been the lad who became the high jump champion. Their names are Ernest O. Cole, and James R. Cole. Hopefully there is a sports page story about that in a 1927 Franklin Co. paper, and that it will give the correct name.”

If you can verify the full name of Ewing High School’s state champion high jumper from the 1927 IHSA meet please contact us via the means listed at the bottom of this page.

1926-27      ? Cole      High Jump       STATE CHAMPION!


The boys competed in basketball as well. A website titled “Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores” provided the following scores from IHSA Tournaments that included Ewing High School. The site is incomplete however. If you have ANY further information to add regarding the Ewing HS basketball program please contact us so we can add it to this page.

1934 Benton District Tournament

1st Round – Benton 51, Ewing 21

Benton would win the District title.

1935 West Frankfort District Tournament

1st Round – McLeansboro 55, Ewing 13

McLeansboro lost in semi-final round.

1936 Valier District Tournament

1st Round – Valier 53, Ewing 16

Valier won District title.

No further scores involving Ewing High School were located on the Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores website.


Other activities such as proms, dances, class plays, farmer’s institutes, and various clubs may have been a part of the Ewing High School experience as well.  We are hopeful an area fan or alumni can help us with this information.

Do YOU Have Any Further Information?

If you have any information you would like to add to the Ewing High School page please send it to us via e-mail at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net.  A photo of the former high school building would be greatly appreciated.  You can also write to us via real mail at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.   60631


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