The History of Foosland High School
Foosland (population approximately 100) is located in east-central Illinois in the northwest corner of Champaign County. Foosland sits quietly in Brown Township. County Highway 8 is the main roadway to and from Foosland, connecting it to Illinois Route 47 just two miles to the east. The Lone Tree Creek flows past the south side of town. The old Chicago and Paducah Railroad (later the Wabash Railroad) ran thru the west side of Foosland. According to www.mapquest.com the railroad line passing through Foosland today is known as the Norfolk Southern.
Foosland was named for William Foos, who came to eastern Illinois in the 1870’s and bought the land that from Civil War veterans, who were reportedly given the land for their service in that war. Foos hailed from Ohio and laid the town out in 1874. More information on the history of Foosland can be read at http://www.rootsweb.com/~ilchampa/towns-townships/browntwnshp.html.
The first school established in Foosland was erected in 1878. High school courses were probably officially recognized at the Foosland School in the late 19-teens to early 1920s. We are told that Foosland High School was originally a three-year high school. The curriculum was later reduced to a two-year course. Kids who wished to attain a four-year high school degree would go on to attend school in nearby Bellflower or Fisher.
We believe Foosland High School closed in 1947. An election was held in 1948 for establishing a new school district in Gibson City. Those in Foosland voted to go with the new district.
The orginal Foosland school building was located on the west side of town until a fire in 1923 destroyed it. A new facility was built on the east end of town,opening up in 1924 with a gym being added in 1940. The school was vacated in 1966 when the grade school students were brought to Gibson City. The school was later sold and used for teen dances. It was torn down several years ago after a tornado that had hit and damaged the school.
More historical information regarding the Foosland High School building was provided by Gerry Halpin:
“An interesting note about this building is that it was designed by the well-known architect Arthur L. Pillsbury of Bloomington. He designed over 100 school buildings throughout downstate Illinois, including many which are pictured on your website. My alma mater, Reddick High School, was also designed by Pillsbury; it was opened in 1921. Pillsbury (1869-1925) was tragically killed at age 56 in an auto accident while returning home from a University of Illinois football game. While most of Pillsbury’s schools are no longer in use, the Gardner-South Wilmington High School at Gardner (built around 1920) is still open as a high school.”
Foosland High School Quick Facts
Year opened: late 19-teens/early 1920s?
Year closed: 1947
Consolidated to: Gibson City School District
Foosland HS team nickname: unavailable
FHS team colors: Orange & Black
School Fight Song: unavailable