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 http://www.archive.org/stream/centennialbookgi00poto/centennialbookgi00poto_djvu.txt 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