Hinckley High School “Hawks”

Hinckley High School
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Hinckley, IL

The History of Hinckley High School

Hinckley (population 1,994) is located in northeastern Illinois in the southeastern portion of Dekalb County. U.S. Route 30 is the main roadway leading to and from Hinckley. The Little Rock Creek flows through the south side of town. The Burlington Northern Railroad also travels through Hinckley. The city of Dekalb sits about 10 miles to the north and a little west of Hinckley.

The history of the town of Hinckley can be viewed on the town’s official website found at http://hinckleyil.com/villageinfo.htm. This brief history has been re-printed in full below:

“The Village of Hinckley has a rich and proud history. In the 1830’s, a Mr. Hollenbeck (who lived near Ottawa) was traveling the then-unsettled territory. He found a fine grove of trees west of the present-day Hinckley, and named the grove after the squaws who were tending camp.

Back in Ottawa, word spread of the undeveloped land, and in the spring of 1835, John Sebree built a log house. The next year saw more families come to the area, and soon a small town was started at the west edge of what is now Hinckley. The town’s name was Squaw Grove.

Hinckley was conceived in the 1870’s as the brainchild of Francis Hinckley, president of the Chicago and Iowa Railroad. The rail line was placed one-half mile east of the Village of Squaw Grove, which was then named Hinckley.

From this early birth, much change and innovation would come to Hinckley.  Some key dates follow: Methodist Church (1835), first store (1872), Hinckley has 20 businesses (1876), St. Paul’s Church (1885), volunteer fire brigade organized (1886), tornado destroys most of village (1889).”

It is probable that Hinckley High School was established in the late 1800s, possibly early 1900s. Hinckley High served the town for at least six decades. It was after the 1956-57 school year that Hinckley and its nearby neighbor to the east, Big Rock, agreed to consolidate their educational efforts. This effort resulted in the formation of the Hinckley-Big Rock School District.

The high school for the Hinckley-Big Rock District was located in Hinckley. The current high school was built in the late ’50’s or early ’60’s. The original high School building no longer stands.

Our good friend Marty Golby provide this bit of trivia on Hinckley’s storied past:

“One of Hinckley’s “claims to fame” is this: It’s the site of the FIRST Harlem Globetrotter’s game on January 7, 1927, and the sign as you come into town indicates this as well. The Globetrotters wanted to make their debut in a small-town gym, so Hinckley High School was the place!”

Hinckley High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                                    late 1800s/early 1900s

Year consolidated with Big Rock:     1957

Consolidated to:                                Hinckley-Big Rock High School

Hinckley HS team nickname:            the “Hawks”

Hinckley HS team colors:                  Purple & Gold

School Fight Song:                           unavailable


The Hinckley High School boys competed in basketball track for sure. It is probable that baseball, track, and, perhaps, football were offered as well. The school also garnered some success in the Speech Sweepstakes Competition. School fight song, team records, and coach’s names are all items we are seeking at this time.

Boys Basketball

The boys basketball program had some nice seasons listed on the IHSA website (www.ihsa.org). The school won a total of SEVEN District titles. The confusing part on the IHSA website is what year did Hinckley and Big Rock consolidate? The website lists basketball records and a coach’s name for Hinckley-Big Rock High School beginning with the 1957-58 school year. Unfortunately, only the years of the District titles are listed. Coach’s names and team records of these and other Hinckley High School teams are not currently available.

1925-26                    District Champions
1935-36                    District Champions                            Coach Lud Watne
1941-42                    District Champions

1949-50                    District Champions                            Coach L.E. Sadoris

                               Waterman District Tournament

                               defeated Plato Center 33-28

                               defeated Malta 47-34

                               defeated Burlington 61-41

                               for District Title

                               Genoa Regional

                               defeated Genoa-Kingston 49-47

lost to Sycamore 51-29

1950-51                    District Champions                           Coach L.E. Sadoris
1951-52                    District Champions                           Coach Robert Wood

1956-57   10-11                                                                    Coach Tom Sittler


We know through research by Linda Hess that Hinckley High School competed in football, at least in the mid-1920s for certain. The boys defeated Plano HS in a game in 1925 (32 – 0). They were defeated by Plano HS the next two consecutive seasons however, losing 8 – 0 in 1926 and 6 – 0 in 1927.

Conference historian Tom Sikorski has found more information about the Hawks’ football history to corroborate Linda’s facts, providing the win-loss totals below:

1924    0-2                                                                             coach unknown

1925    2-4                                                                             coach unknown

1926    2-1   (one result missing)                                           coach unknown

1927    0-1   (last known team)                                              coach unknown


Speech Sweepstakes

The kids of 1953-54 made the English department of Hinckley High proud. This team won a District title in the IHSA’s Speech Sweepstakes competition!

1953-54                     District Champions

We Are Seeking Your Assistance…

regarding the many accomplishments of the townspeople and schools system of Hinckley. Sports, we are sure, were just a part of the experience. We are especially interested in sharing a photo of the old High School building with the readers of this site. You can e-mail photos and information 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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