Hardin High School “Tigers”

The History of Hardin High School

Hardin (population 959) is located in lower-western, some may even say southwestern, Illinois.  Hardin is the County Seat of Calhoun County and sits about 25 miles northwest of Alton and about 35 miles northwest of St. Louis, MO.  Illinois Routes 16 and 100 lead you to and from Hardin.  Hardin sits on the banks of the Illinois River and is only four miles east of the Mississippi River.

According to the website http://www.greatriverroad.com/Cities/Hardin/HardinCover.htm , Calhoun County is unique in that it is 37 miles long and only seven miles wide at its widest point.  The website goes on to say about Hardin:

“Hardin is named in honor of Col. John J. Hardin, who was killed leading a charge of the First Illinois volunteers at Buena Vista during the Mexican Civil War. The town’s original name was Child’s Landing but was changed when the county seat was relocated from Gilead in 1847. With several restaurants having riverfront views, Hardin is a popular lunch spot for Bald Eagle watchers in the winter.”

The history of Hardin High School is found on the Roots Web address of

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ilcalhou/Education/ruralschools.pdf . This paragraph reads as follows:

“The Hardin High School, which was started in 1917, was operated by District 20. More than half of the students were from rural areas, their tuition being paid to District 20 by the Non-High School Board. In 1937 a new gymnasium was completed and the old grade school re-modeled. The school was recognized by the state as a four-year high school during the school year of 1939-40. The new unit district was organized in 1951-52, and high school pupils of Batchtown, Hamburg, and Kampsville were being brought to Hardin by school busses. The new Calhoun High School one mile north of Hardin was dedicated in 1961.”


As stated above, it was in the early 1950s that the communities of Calhoun County began talks of consolidating their educational efforts.  This effort became a reality in 1951 with the creation of the Calhoun School District.

The new high school complex for the Calhoun District was completed in 1961 and is located 1 mile north of Hardin where it remains today. The fate of the original Harding High School building, which was utilized as the Calhoun HS from 1951-1961, was provided by our good friend Justin Lee:

“The Hardin High School structure is still standing.  After the HS closed in 1961, the building served as a K-8 facility until 1993, and from then until 2000 it served as a K-5 school.  It was then closed and sold to the Village of Hardin for redevelopment.”

Hardin High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                            1917

Year consolidated:                    1951

Consolidated to:                       Calhoun School District (Hardin)

Hardin HS team nickname:        the “Tigers”

HHS team colors:                     Orange & Black

School Fight Song:                   unavailable


According to the IHSA website (www.ihsa.org) Hardin High School offered boys basketball and football for sure. We believe that baseball and track were offered as well. We know that Hardin had some success in the IHSA Speech Competition as well.  Hardin High School team nickname, team colors, fight song, team records, and coach’s names are all items we are seeking.  Hardin was a member of the Illinois Valley Conference from 1956-60.

Boys Basketball

The Hardin High boys won a Regional Championship in the 1956-57 season. This is, however, currently the extent of the knowledge we possess on the Hardin High school basketball exploits.

1956-57          Regional Champions


The Hardin High School grid iron seasons are only listed from 1957 – 1961.  Of those seasons only the 1960-61 season lists a record of above .500. It will be noted, however, that the Hardin Calhoun HS football teams have three State Championship game appearances with two Class 1A titles to their credit!

1960-61       5 – 4

Speech Individual Events

One Hardin High School female student won a medal in the State-wide Speech contest held annually by the IHSA.  Her excellent accomplishment is listed below.

1956-57      Carolyn Warren         Comedy         5TH Place

If You Have ANY Information…

…you can add regarding the history and successes of the Hardin High School District before it sonsolidated to the Calhoun District please take the time to share it with us.  Team records, photos, other extra-curricular programs are all welcome items on this site. These items can be e-mailed to us at

ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net or you can write to us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.   60631

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