Hoyleton High School “Thunderbolts”

Hoyleton Grade School Bldg 2007 – Former HS Bldg?
A tree in front of a building

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The History of Hoyleton High School

Hoyleton (population 520) is located in far south-central Illinois in the northwest corner of Wasington County.  Illinois Route 177 is the main roadway leading you to and from Hoyleton.  County Highway 24 also travels through town. Hoyleton is about 10 miles southwest of Centralia.

We are still researching the history of this progressive, small community and its former high school. Hoyleton does have a rich tradition.  One of the better operations in the area for children and people with special needs is the Hoyleton Youth and Family Services faclity, which has been operating in the town for over 100 years.  Check out www.hoyleton.org/locate.htm for information on this great organization.

Hoyleton is home to two K – 8 grade elementary schools.  They are the Hoyleton Consolidated Elementary School and Trinity Lutheran Elementary School. It is our belief that Hoyleton High School was begun in the early 1920s.  We know from research that Hoyleton High School boys basketball participated in an IHSA District Tournament in 1928. Our best guess is that Hoyleton High School likely served the town through the late 1940s, possibly into the 1950s.

Doug Bradley of Columbus, Indiana advised us that Hoyleton High School was a two year high school, at least according yearbooks he researched from the late 1940s. We do know that Hoyleton’s high school-aged children attend Nashville High School today.

Roberta VanBriesen tells us “The high school, a 2 year school, was located in the basement of the grade school.  The article said it closed in 1952.”

The fate of the Hoyleton High School building is a good one.  Shaun Renth tells us “Hoyleton’s former high school building, I believe, is the Hoyleton Youth and Family Services Facility today.”

Hoyleton High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                           late 1800s / early 1900s

Year closed:                            1952

Consolidated to:                       Nashville High School

Hoyleton HS team nickname:    “Thunderbolts”

Hoyleton HS team colors:         Blue & White

Hoyleton HS Fight Song:          unavailable


As stated above, we are certain that Hoyleton High School boys competed in basketball.  It is likely that baseball and track were offered as well.  Hoyelton HS fight song, coach’s names, and team records are being sought.

Boys Basketball

Some excellent research was completed by Doug Bradley of Columbus, Ind.  Doug found the following information while searching the internet.  He located Hoyleton High School yearbooks from 1946, 1947, 1948, and 1950.  Doug in turn summarized the information and sent it to us as follows:

“There may have been no nickname before 1947-48. October 29, 1947 basketball players Leroy Greiman, a sophomore, and Ronald Dykstra, a freshman, won a contest to choose the new nickname, “Thunderbolts”. School colors may have been Blue and White (1946, ’47, and ’50 yearbooks had blue and white covers).”

1945-46     17-17     Coach Norman W. Beck

(best record in school history

Sparta Junior Tournament Class B champs)

1946-47       3-16     Coach Norman W. Beck

1947-48                  No HS team

1948-49        N/A     Coach J.C. Deaton

1949-50       9-10     Coach J.C. Deaton

We were also advised that the boys lost in the second round of the 1928 District Tournament in Greenville to Patoka 49 – 15.  They must have won their first round game however.

Other Activities

Dances, plays, band, chorus, clubs, all were likely a part of the high school experience in Hoyleton.

Noteable Folks From Hoyleton

Hoyleton is the hometown of former S.F. Giants pitcher Kirk Rueter, who just retired last year (2006) with over 130 victories in the majors.

If You Have Any Information…

…you would like to share regarding the Hoyleton High School successes we urge you to share them with us.  The hard work and dedication of those who made the school work and succeed should not be forgotten.  You can e-mail information (especially a photo of the HS building) to us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.com .  You can also write to us at:

Illinios HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago,  Il.   60631

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