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.

Gifford High School existed from 1890 through 1940. The first graduation exercise was held on May 25,1893. A newspaper article in 1916 stated the school had applied to become a 3-year high school. However a newspaper article from 1933 described Gifford High School as a 2-year high school. Gifford High School did exist from at least 1890 through the end of the 1939-40 school year. Throughout its’ existence graduates of Gifford High School would normally attend Rantoul High School to obtain a 4-year high school degree.

The high school-aged children of Gifford today continue to attend Rantoul High School.  Gifford still supports a grade school for children in grades K – 8.

Gifford High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                 1890

Year closed:                   1940

School team nickname:  the “Eagles”

School team colors:       Purple & White

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 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.

1937-38            East Lynn District Tournament       Coach’s name & record needed.

1st Rd lost to Rankin 33-16

Stockland beat East Lynn in title game.

1938-39            East Lynn District Tournament       Coach’s name & record needed.

1st Rd Beat Alvin 23-21 (O/T)

2nd Rd lost to Wellington 35-12

Cissna Park beat East Lynn in title game

1939-40            Roberts District Tournament         Coach’s name & record needed.

**1st Rd lost to Rankin 43-13.

Thawville beat Melvin in title game.

**Final varsity boys basketball game for Gifford High School.



We would bet that school dances, chorus, band, “wiener 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.



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