Hammond High School “Wildcats”

Hammond High School Building – Circa 1930s
A picture containing text, outdoor, old, vintage

Description automatically generated
Submitted by DORIS GREGORY
The Original Hammond High School Building
A tree in front of a building

Description automatically generated with medium confidence
Submitted By Doris Gregory

The History of Hammond High School

Hammond (population 518) is located in east-central Illinois about 17 miles east of Decatur.  This places Hammond in south-central Piatt County.  U.S. Route 36 is the main roadway to and from Hammond and runs by the south side of town.  The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad runs through the north side of town.  According to Map Quest (www.mapquest.com) the Hammond Mutual Ditch flows by the east side of town.

The village was established in 1873. Its original names included Shumway and Unity. It was decided eventually to name the village after the president of the newly erected Indianapolis-Decatur- Springfield Railroad line which passed through town. His name was Charles Hammond.

The history of Hammond school system is located in booklet titled “The Prairie Is Our Home.” The book is a history of Hammond from the years 1873- 1998. Copies of pages from the book were provided to us by Donna House.  It is probable that a high school for Hammond students was established in the late 1800s. Hammond High School served the community for at least four decades.  In the late 1940s the push to consolidate schools was felt by the folks of Hammond and nearby Atwood.  The two towns agreed to consolidate their efforts in 1948 by creating the Atwood-Hammond School District.  The high school for the newly created district is located in Atwood.

The Hammond school building is still standing.  It was used as a Junior High (6-8) facility through the 1980s.  It was decided that declining enrollment and the busing of students from the larger town of Atwood to Hammond became an economical issue with Atwood having two school buildings large enough to handle the student population. In 1980 the Atwood-Hammond High School entertained 200 students in grades 9 – 12.  That number has declined and steadied at around 120 students for the past 20 years.  The Hammond school was sold to a private citizen and turned into an apartment complex which did not pan out..  It now sits vacant, a reminder of the town’s storied past.

Hammond High School 1948
A building with trees in front of it

Description automatically generated with medium confidence
Submitted by DORIS GREGORY


We know that Hammond High School, like nearly every small town school on this site, was a very special place during its time.  The above photo was underscored by the written caption in the school’s final yearbook of 1948.  Special gratitude goes out to Doris M. Gregory (a former HHS student) for the photos and several items of information on this page.

Hammond High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                   late 1800s

Year closed:                    1948

Consolidated to:               Atwood-Hammond School District

Hammond HS nickname:  the “Wildcats”

School colors:                  Blue & Yellow

School Fight Song:           unavailable


Hammond High School offered boys basketball and baseball.  This is evidenced by the IHSA hardware won in each sport (www.ihsa.org).  It is probable that track was offered and possible other sports were offered as well.  School team nickname, team colors, fight song, and conference affiliation are all being sought at this time.

Boys Baseball

The Hammond High School hardballers brought home a District title during the 1944-45 school year. Unfortunately the team records and coach’s names of this and other great Hammond High School teams are not currently available.

1944-45              District Champions

Boys Basketball

The HHS hardwood court program brought home two IHSA trophies for their case.  The boys of 1935-36 wona Regional Championship while the boys of 1942-43 won a District title.  Unfortunately this is currently the only information we have available on these and other great Hammond High School teams. Some basketball scores involving Hammond in the IHSA State Tournament were located on a website titled “Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores.” These scores’ are posted below.

1933-34            Tuscola District Tournament         Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Longview 41-22

Longview beat Brocton in title game

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

1st Rd Beat Cerro Gordo 26-16

                          Semi-Final lost to Champaign 31-20

Champaign beat Bement in title game

1935-36             Monticelle Regional Champs     Coach’s name & record needed

Hammond did not compete in District

1st Rd Beat Arthur 32-11

                          Semi-final Beat Monticello 23-22 (3 O/Ts)

                          Title Game Beat Cerro Gordo 31-25

                          Decatur Sectional Tournament

                          1st Rd Beat Riverton 31-18

                          Semi-final lost to Macon 32-13

Macon lost to Decatur in title game

Decatur won State Championship

1936-37            Tuscola Regional Tournament       Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Brocton 33-24

Brocton beat Bement in title game

1937-38   Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1938-39             Decatur Regional Tournament      Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Moweaqua 41-33

Moweaqua lost to Decatur in semi-final

Decatur beat Argenta in title game

1939-40   Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1940-41   Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1941-42   Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1942-43             IHSA District Champions             Coach’s name & record needed

District Scores Needed

 Msttoon Regional Tournament

1st Rd lost to Sullivan 48-37

Sullivan lost to Mattoon in title game

1943-44   Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1944-45             Atwood District Tournament            Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Findlay 54-31

Findlay lost to Arthur in semi-final

Arthur lost to Atwood in title game

1945-46             Bethany District Runner-Up         Coach’s name & record needed

Title game lost to Windsor 54-29

1946-47   Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1947-48             Atwood District Tournament            Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Pesotum 47-26

                          **Semi-final lost to Atwood 50-40

Atwood beat Findlay in title game

**Final game for the Hammond High School Wildcats. The school merged with Atwood in the Fall of 1948.

Extra-Curricular Activities

We are certain the Hammond High School kids had many activities to participate in during the school’s existence. It is likely choir, band, and dances were a part of the student life. Clubs such as FFA, FHA, GAA, and many others may also have been offered,

We Could Use Your Assistance

…in trying to document the storied past of Hammond and its former high school.  We are especially interested in a photo of the former Hammond High School building.  You can e-mail us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net or you can write to us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago,  Il.  60631


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: