Hopedale High School “Indians”

Hopedale High School 1920 – 1975
A picture containing old, outdoor, white, apartment building

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From the booklet “Hopedale..My Home Town” by Ruth Schipp (Submitted by Jason Smith)
Hopedale HS Building 1895
A tree in front of a building

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From the booklet “Hopedale..My Home Town” by Ruth Schipp (Submitted by Jason Smith)

                            The History of Hopedale High School

The “village” of Hopedale (population 929) is Illinois’ 710th biggest city according to the 2000 U.S. Census. Hopedale is located in Tazwell County on Il. Route 122 approximately two miles east of Interstate Highway 155. A city near by of note is Bloomington located 25 miles to the east-northeast of Hopedale. The Illinois Central Railroad travels through the southeast side of town and the Indian Creek parts the town right down the middle. The “Mapquest” site (www.mapquest.com) shows the location of the Hopedale elementary school.

The following special memories of the Hopedale High School years were provided by Class of 1970 alumna Linda (Wilson) Thomas:

“The building was made of sturdy red brick and was two stories tall. The home ec room was located in one corner of the basement floor. The other corner on the same side of the building housed the locker rooms and the gym took up the other half of the basement area. The library and large study hall room were located on the top floor and had a wooden floor. The staircases and hallways were speckled granite.

“The bleachers in the gym were raised 1/2 floor above the gym floor and were made of wood. They extended the entire length of the basketball court. (In those days, girls only played basketball in PE class and they played by girl’s basketball rules.) An enthusiastic basketball crowd could and did create quite a noise. The gym was used for PE classes, FHA suppers, Christmas vespers and even for prom. Many hours were spent by ambitious juniors who determinedly transformed the gym into a fantasy land using crepe paper streamers and hand-made paper flower!

“It truly looked magical and many underclassmen looked on in admiration and dreamed of the year when they would be in charge and would be a part of the annual dance preparations.

“The grade school was located a short distance away and when it was time for lunch, there was a mad dash from the high school to the grade school gym/cafeteria.

“My class, the Class of 1970, had 23 students. In 1968, if I remember correctly, the school population was 50 boys and 49 girls.”

Research is needed regarding the origin of Hopedale. Its’ school system began sometime in the late 1800’s with a high school opening in the 1880’s. The first class of two-year graduates were honored in 1893, then a third year was added in 1903, with a fourth year added in 1904. A new building was built in 1920.

In 1965, the school districts of Armington, Hopedale, and Minier consolidated but their high schools remained open on a solo basis. In the late 1960’s/early 1970’s, talk of consolidating several school Districts in the area surfaced. This became a reality in 1972 when the school districts of Armington-Hopedale-Minier, AtlantaDanversStanford, and McLean-Waynesville all merged to create the Olympia School District. The High School for Olympia is located in Stanford. The fate of the Hopedale High School building is a sad one, having been torn down in 1975.

Hopedale High School Quick Facts

Year opened:              possibly late 1800s (1890s?)

First 2-yr graduates:    1893

Became 3-yr school:   1903

Became 4-yr school:   1904

Year closed:               1972

School nickname:        the “Indians”

School colors:             Maroon & White

School paper:              “Hodaco Junior” or “The Indian”

School Fight Song:      Hopedale High School Fight Song

                                             Sung to “On Wisconsin” Click Play button below and sing along!

                                  Hopedale High School,  Hopedale High School,
We are proud of thee.
There is no one that can beat us,
Fight for victory!

                                  Rah Rah Rah!!

                                  Hopedale High School, Hopedale High School,
Fight on for your fame.
Fight, Fellas, fight and we will win this game!!

(chanted) Cha-hee, cha-ha,
Hopedale High School, Rah, Rah, Rah!


Hopedale High School definitely offered boys’ basketball, baseball, and boys’ track. Only basketball and track were mentioned on the IHSA web site (www.ihsa.org). They may also have offered football. We are in need of your help here.

Boys Basketball

An excellent record was kept of the boys’ basketball progress through the closing of the school in 1972. The school produced two District Titles and two other twenty-game winners. Hopedale started its program in 1918-19 with a female head coach and started winning that season by winning a tournament.

The Hopedale High School gynasium was known as a “cracker box” (as were many small town gyms of the day). The bleachers covered one side of the floor and were only three rows high. The stage at one end of the gym filled up quickly with a standing-room-only availability. Some fans even developed seats using the window sills found on each end of the floor. The length of the court also played a part in Hopedale’s home court advantage as the top of the key intersected with the center circle. There was also only one foot of room between the wall on the three sides of the gym and the out of bounds line. (thank you to Roger Springer for this information and insight).

The great thing is the two best seasons listed record-wise occurred during the last two years the school was opened. The Hopedale High Indians boys basketball team went out on a great note, thanks in part to 6-7 post player Steve Rich, who set a single-game scoring record at the McLean County Tournament in 1971. Rich is considered the tallest player in school history.

1918-19                   first season                                         Coach Estelle Yewell

Won Bi-County Tournament

1921-22                  Won Tazewell County Tournament     Coach’s name needed

Peoria District Tournament

1st Rd lost to Peoria Manual 32-17

Manual lost to Peoria Central in title game

1921-22                  Mason City District Tournament          Coach’s name needed

 1st Rd Beat Lincoln 39-23

                               2nd Rd. Beat Delevan 35-14

Semi-Final lost to Athens 27-26

Athens Beat Green Valley 32-21 in title game

1930-31        8-14                                                               Coach Burton Carlock


1938-39      15-  9                                                               Coach Ray Caton


1946-47      10-13   Minier District Runner-Up                coach unknown

 1st Rd Beat Goodfield 51-21

Semi-final beat Deer Creek 28-23

Title Game lost to Minier 53-32

1948-49      20-  8   Minier District Runner-Up                Coach Ed Thommen

 1st Rd Beat New Holland 54-42

Semi-final beat San Jose 54-49

Title Game lost to Green Valley 44-33


1956-57        9-12   Tremont District Tournament              Coach (?) Adolphson

                                1st Rd. Lost to Danvers 75-68

Minier beat Danvers in title game


1958-59      20 – 8    Green Valley District Tourney            Coach Ron Thomas

1st Rd Beat Minier 72-50

                                 Semi-Final lost to Green Valley 63-61 (O/T)

Danvers beat Green Valley in title game


1969-70      14 – 12   Delevan District Champions          Coach Richard Burt

                                 Semi-final Beat San Jose 57-56

                                 Title Game Beat Stanford 55-47

                                 Pekin Regional Tournament

                                 1st Rd lost to East Peoria 71-48

Pekin beat Limestone in title game


1970-71      22 – 5     Green Valley District Champions  Coach Richard Burt

                                 McLean County Tourney Champs

                                  District Tournament Scores

                                  Semi-final Beat Tremont 65-45

                                  Title Game Beat Green Valley 79-70

                                  East Peoria Regional Tourney

                                  1st Rd lost to Peoria Limestone 73-48

Limestone beat Washington in title game


1971-72      21 – 6    Tremont Class ‘A’ Regional Runner-Up Coach Richard Burt

Mackinaw Valley Conference Champs

                                 Regional Tourney Scores

                                 1st Rd. Beat Tremont 81-61

                                 Semi-Final Beat Hartsburg-Emden 95-66

                                 **Title Game lost to Delevan 66-63

**Final game for the Hopedale High School Indians boys basketball team.

Some of the great players in Hopedale High’s history include:

Orville Augsburger, Class of 1932?; Robert J. Anderson, baseball, Class of 1942; Steven Rich, basketball, Class of 1972

Boys Track & Field

Two Indians brought home medals from the IHSA State Track Meet under the one-class system. B. A. Prater was the coach and athletic director at Hopedale High in the 1960’s. Mr. Prater and Richard Dutton spent one summer putting in Hopedale’s cinder track. Now that is small town dedication at its best!

1928-29     Emitt Lentz    High Jump         3rd Place

1962-63     Jim Morris     440 Yard Dash    2nd Place


The Indians had a program that was playing as far back as the fall of 1924, and competed in the Corn Belt League with members such as CarlockStanford, Delavan, Minier, Tremont, Mackinaw, and Armington.  Hopedale won several conference titles in this league and also showed their worth in the Mackinaw Valley Conference as well.

1924-25   5-5   in fall                                      Coach Lyle Baker

Won Corn Belt League title in spring

1925-26           Corn Belt League champs    coach unknown

1926-27           Corn Belt League champs    coach unknown

1927-28           Corn Belt League champs    coach unknown

1929-30           Corn Belt League champs    coach unknown

1930-31           Corn Belt League champs    coach unknown

1948-49  7-3     2nd in Mackinaw Valley          coach unknown

1950-51           2nd in Mackinaw Valley           coach unknown

1958-59  4-2                                                 coach unknown

1967-68  5-5                                                 coach unknown

1971-72           Last season                           Coach Dick Burt

Looking for More Info

We are hopeful an area enthusiast can “fill in the blanks” regarding the Hopedale High School successes and history. We are always in need of photos of the old school building and great teams. If you wish to help us out, please complete a School Submission form or CONTACT US form. You may also e-mail us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net or write us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.    60631


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