Fairdale High School

Fairdale School Building 1926
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Submitted by Richard Larson
Faridale High School Building – 2008
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View From Southeast Side
Fairdale High School Building Front View
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The History of Fairdale High School

Fairdale (population approximately 150) is located in far north-central Illinois in the northwestern portion of Dekalb County.  Illinois Route 72 passes by the northern edge of town.  The Soo Line Railroad passes by the south edge of town.  Fairdale is approximately 3 blocks wide (east to west) and 4 blocks long (north to south).  Fairdale sits about 10 miles southeast of the southern portion of the city of Rockford.

We only know that Fairdale is an unincorporated village.  According to Wikepedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairdale,_Illinois), the town was established at least as far back as 1875 possibly further.  Names previously given to the town included Hicks Mills and Fielding.

A brief history of the town and high school was sent to us by Dana Woodard:

“The town was layed out by Henry Koch in 1875 with name Fielding, but the post name was Wallace (one of Henry Koch’s sons). There was much confusion when addressing the town, so on Jan. 1, 1896, both the town and the post office names were changed to Fairdale.

The town’s old school house was made of wood and was torn down after the new school was built. 1924 was the first year that four-year high school diplomas were granted. Prior to 1924 classes stopped at the 10th grade. If you wanted to complete high school prior to 1924, you had to go out of town. Usually this meant Rockford.”

Fairdale School Building & Grounds 1926
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Submitted by Richard Larson

Fairdale High School served the kids of the area through the 1940s.  It was between 1945 and 1947 that the Fairdale High School District was closed. Melissa (Bailey) Beerbower tells us the Fairdale school continued to host grade school classes through the 1969-70 school year when the building was closed as a school. Ron Hall states that kids from Monroe Center also attended the Fairdale Grade School. The children of Fairdale now attend school at nearby Kirkland as part of the Hiawatha School District.

Fairdale High School Quick Facts 

Year 2-year HS opened:                      early 1900s

Year 4-year HS opened:                      1924

Year HS closed:                                   1945 – 1947

Year School Bldg Ceased as School:  1970

Consolidated to:                                   Hiawatha School District (Kirkland)

Fairdale HS team nickname:               unavailable

Fairdale HS team colors:                     unavailable

School Fight Song:                              unavailable


We believe that the Fairdale HIgh School boys participated in athletics against kids from other schools.  Basketball, baseball and possibly track may have all been offered at one time.  School team nickname, uniform colors, and fight song, as well as coach’s names and season records, are all items we hope add to this page.


The Fairdale High School boys definitely competed in basketball. We found basketball scores involving Fairdale High School in the IHSA State Tournament on a website titled “Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores.” These scores are posted below. Other items such as season records and coaches’ names are also being sought.

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

1st Rd lost to Rockford 45-19

Rockford lost to Belvidere in semi-final

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

1st Rd Beat Monroe Center 30-17

                             2nd Rd lost to Rockford 48-16

Rockford won District, lost in Elite 8 Rd.

1935-36 through 1943-44  Postseason scores, records, and coaches’ names needed.

1944-45                Monroe Center District Tourney       Coach’s name & record needed

**1st Rd lost to Caledonia 25-23 (O/T)

Caledonia lost to Monroe Center in 2nd Rd.

**Final game for Fairdale High School. High School was closed in the summer of 1945.


We would bet that school dances, chorus, band, “weiner roasts”, and other activities played a big part in the experience of attending Fairdale High School.  Please contact us via the means listed below if you have any of this information to share on this page.


**From Steve Schroeder:

I lived in the Fairdale community in the early 1960’s and attended Fairdale school from 1st grade – 4th grade, years 1963 – 1967.   The website says the school closed in 1945 but this must have been only the high school.   When I attended, we all arrived and left by school bus.   I remember at least 3 buses filled with kids going to different areas in the community.  The website doesn’t say anything about this.

It was a four room school when I attended, a room for each grade.  First grade started out in the first room to the right, then we moved to second grade across the hall, then third grade was in the back room on the left, and fourth grade was in the back room on the right.  My first grade teacher was an older lady, Mrs. Webber.  My second grade teach was Mrs. Weeks, if I remember correctly.  My third grade teacher was Mrs. Gustafson, and my fourth grade teacher was a younger lady who I don’t recall the name but she lived in Malta, IL.  The teachers were all nice although I seem to recall that Mrs. Gustafson could be hard.  In the third grade us boys probably needed it.

The pictures of the school is exactly how it looked in the early 60’s except some trees, playground equipment, and a gravel driveway on the west side of the building.  That same old light over the entrance was there (see it in the first picture) and I remember it swaying in the wind and thought it would come crashing down on someone’s head, but never did.   It had to be the original light fixture.   I even remember the trellises.

I left after the 4th grade (family moved to Rockford) and that is the year (1967) the grade school was closed and all the kids had to go to Kirkland, starting the next school year.  I even remember the last month of the 4th grade school year going to Kirkland, so they must have closed it down before the school year even ended.   It was right after the Belvidere Tornado, as my Dad worked for Chrysler at the time.  We only had one car and that day my mother needed the car for something, anyway I went with her to pick up my dad as he got out of work at 4 o’clock and we missed the tornado by 10 minutes.

Classmates I remember include:

– Jimmy Blackburn

– William Hathaway

– Lori Hart

– Randy(?) Douglas

– Tom Bailey

– Randy(?) Kaylas

When I attended the school, there used to be an old country store next to the school grounds, just east of the school right on 72, run by an old timer.   It was pretty small but I remember the store had a small section with candy and us kids would sneak over sometime during recess to get penny candy.  Of course we were told not to do it and got punished more than once.

My great Aunt and Uncle used to live in Fairdale, Henry and Rena Hagemeyer. My parents owned a farm on Wheeler Road and we would visit my great Aunt and Uncle regularly.  They died years ago, around 1980.  Every year while living there we went to the grange hall in Fairdale and had some sort of dinner/celebration , I think it was an annual thing but not sure the reason.  Perhaps it was some sort of harvest celebration.  I remember the food was plentiful and good!

Anyway, lots of memories!”

**From Tammy Moudy:

“From 1971 – 1983 the Fairdale High School building was owned by my parents, Jerry and Vi Klassen, and was known for Club 72.”

Fairdale School Students in Classroom 1926
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Submitted by Richard Larson

Please Help Us With Our Research On Fairdale High School

If you have any information to share regarding the history of Fairdale and its former high school, please contact us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net.  A photo of the school building would be a great addition also. Items can be mailed to us at:

IHSGD Website

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.  60631

Faridale High School Building – Southwest View
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Now a Private Residence – 2008

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