Hoopeston John Greer High School “Cornjerkers”

John Greer High School and Gymnasium – 1947
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Photo Courtesy of Carol Hicks
Hoopeston John Greer High School
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The History of Hoopeston John Greer High School

Hoopeston (population 5,965) is located in upper-eastern Illinois about 35 miles northeast of Champaign and 25 miles north of Danville.  Hoopeston is only 6 miles west of the Indiana state border.  It was settled in 1871 in northeast Vermilion County.  Illinois Route 1 runs north and south through town and intersects with Illinois Route 9 which runs east and west.  According to the town’s official website www.cityofhoopeston.org/ a major contributing factor to the town’s early growth was the intersection of two railroad lines, the Louisville & Nashville and the Norfolk & Western.

One of the early residents of the area was named John Greer.  A photo of Mr. Greer is shown below. According to the John Greer School page of the Hoopeston Area School District’s official website http://www.hoopeston.k12.il.us/buildings/johngreer/history.html Mr. Greer had a vision of providing an institute of higher learning to the children of the area.  He made a substantial donation which led to the creation of John Greer College.  In 1914 a High School was added to the college grounds.  In 1926 the college portion was closed but the high school forged ahead.

Hoopeston John Greer School Today
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Courtesy of Carol Hicks

A gymnasium and addition of a tunnel connecting the school to the gym was completed in 1927.  You can view the high school building, tunnel, and gymnasium in the photo at the top of the page.  As you can see on the ticket below, the first game that was played in the new John Greer High School gymnasium took place on December 28, 1927.  The participants were John Greer HS and Hoopeston High School.

John Greer High School served the town until its closure in 1956.  The building served as a grade school for the Hoopeston School District until it was replaced in 1969 by a newer building.  The original John Greer High School building was subsequently torn down,

Hoopeston John Greer High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                       1914

Year gym added:                  1927

Year closed:                        1956

Year building razed:              1969

JGHS team nickname:          the “Cornjerkers”

School colors:                      Blue & White

School Fight Song:               John Greer Loyalty

                                           Washington & Lee Swing

                                                         Lyrics provided by Steve Marlatt & Bob Gatrell

Here’s to John Greer High School , Cheer her varsity

To all her players, pledge fidelity,

There is no other better in the land

Fight for her victory, better every man.


Here’s to John Greer High School

Here’s to blue and white

Here’s to the honor she always homeward brings

Here’s to the players who are all so true

They will bring defeat to all they meet

They’re from John Greer High.

We will pledge to them where-er they be

For dear old John Greer High

Oski Wawa Skini Wawa for John Greer High

Skini Wawa Skini Wawa for John Greer High

Here’s to you, here’s to you

Here’s to John Greer High

                                             (Repeat chorus)

Back Side of Admission Ticket
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We know that John Greer High school offered basketball and football.  We believe that baseball and track were offered as well.  The only information we have on athletics at this time is that coach of the 1927-28 basketball team was Glen Brasil. The coach of the teams in the early 1950s was Arthur Allen Johnson. If you have any other information you can provide regarding the athletic program at JGHS please contact us via e-mail.

John Greer High School Football Team 1930s
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Submitted by John Schwartz

About the Football Photo Above

The above photo was provided to us by John Schwartz whose grandfather was a member of the team.  Other last names of players on this team from the 1930s include:

Marshall, Schwartz, Siville, Harlod Cox, Horner Cox, Houghton, Ernest, Martin, Anderson, Powers.  Any additional information on this or any other John Greer HS team is welcome.




Former student Mike Worthall (Class of 1951) and his daughter Maggie Boone tell us the following:

“The head football coach at John Greer High School in 1951 went on to become head of the Illinois High School Association. The football coach was Lavere Astroff (not sure of spelling) who went on to coach at Champaign, IL. and then became head of the IHSA.”


Need Your Assistance

We are in need of a lot of information to make the John Greer High School page more complete.  If you have any information you wish to share, especially a photo of the building, please contact us via e-mail at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net .  You can also write to us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago,  Il.  60631

Admission Ticket to Hoopeston Vs. John Greer HS

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December 28, 1927

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