Grand Chain High School “Chainers”

Grand Chain High School Building
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Submitted by Jamie Driskill
Grand Chain HS 1915-17 Principal Orous I. Leach
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Courtesy of Connie Leach Luker

The History of Grand Chain High School

Grand Chain (population 233) is located in far southern Illinois in eastern Pulaski County.  Illinois Route 37 runs through Grand Chain and parallels the Consolidated Railroad line that also divides the town.  Grand Chain is actually about 3 miles north of the Illinois/Kentucky border which is the Ohio River. Grand Chain is about 25 miles northeast of Cairo, Illinois’ southern most city.

The town and school history are in need of research or the expertise of someone from the area.  We know that the school was probably established in the late 1800s.  A high school served the community of Grand Chain through the 1964-65 school year.  That year (1965) the communities of UllinKarnak, Grand Chain and others joined together to form the Century School District.  Century High School is located in Ullin.

The following history of the Grand Chain HS building was provided to us by Mark Sauerbrunn:

“The Grand Chain High School building held classes for Century Elementary until the early 2000’s when the new Century Elementary was built.  The school now houses an alternative school for students with behavior disorders.  My grandmother attended Grand Chain high school.  The WPA worked on the building because on the front steps there is a WPA sign with the year.”

It is known that Grand Chain is home to an elementary school for the Century School District for grades PK – 6.

Grand Chain High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                    late 1800s

Year closed:                     1965

Consolidated to:               Century High School (Ullin)

School nickname:             the “Chainers”

School colors:                  Maroon & White

School Fight Song:           unavailable

GCHS Entrance
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Courtesy of Jamie Driskill


Grand Chain High School holds onto one great season which kept it on the IHSA weeb page ( This was accomplished in boys basketball.  It is believed the athletic program at GCHS also included baseball and track & field.  This information is being sought as well as information on the other accomplishments of Grand Chain High School.

Boys Basketball

The Grand Chain High School boys of 1941-42 will carry the school spirit banner for eternity for the alumni of Grand Chain. The team won the school’s only IHSA hardware by bringing home a District title. There were probably MANY other great seasons in Grand Chain High School history, however this is the only mention of the school on the IHSA web site.  If you have information you would like to add, please send us an e-mail. The team record and coach’s name of the 1941-42 Champs are not available.

1941-42     District Champions

Seeking Your Help

If you have ANY information you would like to share about the great history and great memories enjoyed at Grand Chain High School we are hopeful you will write to us.  We are especially interested in a photo of the high school building.  You can e-mail us items at  You can also write to us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.   60631

GCHS Building
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Photo Taken by Jamie Driskill
Grand Chain HS
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Taken by Jamie Driskill

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