Gifford High School “Eagles”

Gifford High School Building 2013
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Now Gifford Consolidated Grade School

The History of Gifford High School

Gifford (population 815) is located in upper east-central Illinois in the northeast corner of Champaign County.  U.S. Route 136 is the main roadway to and from this town located about 5 miles due east of Rantoul, and about 15 miles northeast of Champaign. The town appears on the map as having an unusual distinction of being about 14 blocks from north to south and 4 blocks from east to west.

The web address of provides us with a nice history of the town of Gifford and provides some mention of the town’s former high school. The town of Gifford was platted in 1875 by the person it was named after, Benjamin Gifford.  Mr. Gifford was a well known man from nearby Rantoul.  He was also a Civil War veteran who had served under General Ulysses Grant. The town was originally conceived as part of the plan to build a railroad through the area was formulated.

We know through the same web address that Gifford supported a high school as early as the very early 1900s.  A graduate of Gifford High School, Gertrude Wooldridge Barnes, was born in 1893. This would suggest that she graduated from the high school around 1910.  The article later refers to a class photo taken in 1935 at which time Gifford was a three-year high school. This is currently the only information we have on Gifford High School.

We believe that Gifford High School existed through the late 1940s.  It was probably around 1948 that Gifford High School closed.  The high school-aged children of Gifford today attend Rantoul High School.  Gifford still supports a grade school for children in grades K – 8.

Gifford High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                 late 1800s?

Year closed:                  late 1940s?

School team nickname:  the “Eagles”

School team colors:       unavailable

School Fight Song:        unavailable

Gifford High School Gymnasium
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We know that the Gifford 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 uniform colors and fight song, as well as coach’s names and season records, are all items we hope add to this page.


The Gifford High School boys competed in the annual IHSA State Tournament for certain. We have found two scores for Gifford in the District Tournament from the 1930s on a website titled “Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores“. Those scores are posted below. If you have any further information regarding Gifford High School basketball please contact us.

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

1st Rd. Lost to Bellflower 40-13

Bellflower lost in 2nd Rd.

1935-36             Farmer City District Tournament        Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Lost to Penfield 33-28

Penfield lost in title game.


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

Please Help Us With Our Research On Gifford High School

If you have any information to share regarding the history of Gifford and its former high school, please contact us at  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


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