Hanover High School “Red Devils”

Hanover High School
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Inside Hanover High
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The History of Hanover High School

Hanover (population 836) is located in far northwestern Illinois in the southwestern area of Jo Daviess County.  The town is nestled quietly on Illinois Route 84 about four miles south of U.S. Route 20.  The Apple River winds through and around Hanover and was very instrumental in the town’s location and early growth. To give you an idea of how far northwest Hanover is located in Illinois, it is 20 miles south of Wisconsin and six miles east of Iowa.  It is also both about six miles east of the Mississippi River AND four miles north of the Mississippi River.  Check it out on Map Quest (www.mapquest.com)

An official Jo Daviess website page http://www.hanover-il.com/abouthan/history.htm describes Hanover’s early history:

“The present site of Hanover was a Sac and Fox Indian village when white settlers came to farm the area in 1828. A natural drop in the Apple River made the location ideal as a dam and mill site, the first of which was built in 1829 by James Craig. The settlement was initially known as “Craigsville,” but in 1838 Craig laid out and platted the streets in the village and renamed the community Wapello after the chief of the Indian village. In 1849 the name was again changed, this time to Hanover. The village became incorporated in 1877.”

The same webpage describes the educational history of Hanover in this manner:

“Hanover township had many one-room schoolhouses from the 1840s onward. The last one, Lost Mound, closed in 1960. A two-story brick school was constructed in 1863 where White Park now stands. In 1929, the Hanover school building was constructed, and the old school was torn down in 1935. The present school building will cease use in 2003 when the new River Ridge School is built.”

Hanover Public Schools Grades K – 12 in 1960
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Courtesy of Dawn Haywood Callahan

It would be safe to say that high school curriculum was established for Hanover kids by the late 1800s, probably in the 1870s or so. The high school proudly served the residents of Hanover for about 100 years. In the early 1980s consolidation talks were initiated with nearby Elizabeth (also on this site). Their talks became a reality in 1985 with the creation of the River Ridge School District (http://www.riverridge210.org/) .

The high school building in Hanover was used for the River Ridge grade school from 1985 until 2003. It was in 2003 when a new, all-inclusive school complex was built between the towns of Hanover and Elizabeth. The Hanover school building is now used as a community center for the Hanover Township Park District.

Hanover High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                     late 1800s

Year closed:                      1985

Consolidated to:                 River Ridge School District (Hanover)

School nickname:              the “Red Devils”

School colors:                   Red & White

School Fight Song:            “Our Director”

Thank you to Brian Callahan

                                        Go, Hanover High School.  Go Hanover High.  

                                        H.. A… N… O… V… E.. R.

                                        Oh, here’s to our dear high school.  

                                        Lets treat her right.  

                                        We’ve got a team that always wins a fight.

                                        Rah, Rah, Rah. 

                                        Here’s to our dear fellows doing their best.  

                                        Winning a victory for H. H. S. !!

Hanover High School “new” gym
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“Old” gym and stage
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We are certain that Hanover High School copeted in boys and girls basketball.  We are confident that track & field was offered to boys and girls as well. It is probable that baseball for boys and volleyball for girls, as well as possibly football for boys was offered too. We are searching for these answers as well as the school fight song and conference affiliation of the Red Devil teams.

Boys Basketball

The IHSA website (www.ihsa.org) lists Hanover HIgh as winning five District titles during their existence.  Unfortunately, team records and coach’s names are not currently available.  As you can see, the Hanover Red Devils had some great success in a very good basketball area.

Several IHSA Tournament scores were located on a website titled “Illinois Postseason High School Basketball Scores.” The most significant scores located are listed below.

1921-22              Freeport District Tournament                  Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Winslow 15-13

Freeport beat Orangeville in title game.

1932-33              Savanna District Runner-Up                 Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Fulton 29-25

                            2nd Rd Beat Shannon 30-23

                            Semi-final Beat Thomson 30-18

                            Title Game lost to Savanna 26-14

1933-34               Savanna District Champions               Coach’s name & record needed

Early Round Scores Needed

                            Title Game Beat Fulton 37-20

                            Freeport Sectional Qualifier

                            1st Rd lost to East Moline 37-19

Freeport beat Kewanee in title game

Freeport lost in Sweet 16 Round to Charleston

1934-35              Stockton District Runner-Up                Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Orangeville 26-15

                           Semi-final Beat Mt. Carroll 30-20

                           Title Game lost to Stockton 34-17

1935-36              Savanna Regional Runner-Up              Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Lanark 46-31

                            Semi-final Beat Savanna 27-25

                            Title Game lost to Fulton 53-19

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

1st Rd (Semi-final) Beat Lyndon 64-24

                            Title Game Beat Shannon 23=19

                            Mt. Carroll Regional Tournament

                            1st Rd Beat Lanark 51-30

                            Semi-final lost to Morrison 39-37

Savanna beat Morrison in title game.    


1960-61               Galena District Champions                  Coach Richard “Dick” Thompson 

                            Semi-final Beat Scales Mound 54-50

                            Title Game Beat Elizabeth 53-51

                            Freeport Regional Qualifier

                            1st Rd lost to Warren 69-65

Freeport beat Lena-Winslow in title game

1963-64               Pearl City District Champions              Coach’s name & record needed

Early Rd Scores Needed

                             Title Game Beat Pearl City 49-48

                             Stockton Regional Tournament

                             1st Rd Beat Freeport Aquin 86-60

Semi-final lost to Freeport 87-50

Freeport beat Warren in title game

1964-65               Hanover District Runner-Up                 Coach’s name & record needed

Semi-final beat Elizabeth 68-64

Title Game lost to Pearl City 47-45


1968-69               Hanover District Champions                Coach’s name & record needed

Semi-final beat East Dubuque 57-51

Title Game lost to Orangeville 51-47

                            Freeport Regional Tournament

                            1st Rd lost to Freeport Aquin 91-52

Freeport beat Stockton in title game

1984-85               Galena Class “A” Regional Tourney       Coach’s name & record needed

*1st Rd lost to Galena 56-54 (O/T)

Elizabeth Beat Scales Mound in title game

*Final game for Elizabeth High School boys basketball.

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The Hanover High School boys football program were a very competitive group.  The better records of the program are listed below, beginning with the 1955 season, thanks to the diligent research of Tom Sikorski.

Dick King provided the following information about the early years of Red Devil football:

“After 11-man football had been discontinued for three years Hanover started a 6-man football team in 1950, and played six games against established teams. In our three home games we outscored our opponents 154 points to 18 points. We played Leaf River twice and outscored them 120 points to 12 points. The games were decided by the end of the first quarter. It was the most fun I ever had in my life and I was glad to be a part of it.”

1950-51      6 – 0    (6-Man Football)

Hanover HS Football Team of 1950

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Submitted by Dick King (Place cursor on photo /Left click on mouse to View Enlarged Version)

1955  4-3

1956  4-4

1959  4-2-2                                                                               Coach Robert Patton

1960  6-2-1                                                                               Coach Robert Patton

1962  4-4                                                                                  Coach Dave Wongstrom

1963  8-0     Wisconsin Blackhawk Conf. Champs                   Coach  Dave Wongstrom

1966  4-4                                                                                  Coach Dave Wongstrom

1971  5-3-1

1972  3-4-1  3rd place Northwest 7 Conference

(first year in league)

1974  4-4                                                                                  Coach Lavern Welp

Hanover last fielded a football team in 1975

Need Your Assistance

If you have ANY further information regarding the acheivements and successes of Hanover High School please contact us via e-mail at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net.  We are especially interested in a photo of the original high school building.  You can also write to us via real mail at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago,  Il.  60631

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