Hull High School “Hornets”

Hull High School Building
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Submitted by Lisa Rubles
Hull Elementary School
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Hull, Illinois

The History of Hull High School

Hull (population 474) is located at the intersection of Illinois Routes 106 and 96 in western Illinois’ Pike County.  Interstate Highway 72 has an exit for Hull also.  Hull is located eight miles east of the Mississippi River, close enough to feel the effects of a bad flood (and they have!).  A branch of the Walnut Creek cuts through town as does a line of the Norfolk & Western Railroad.  Quincy is located about 15 miles northwest of Hull.  Hull is probably named after early settlers of the same last name. The above photo was taken from the Pike County web site: .

The history of Hull’s support of its own school system is not available in great detail. The late 1800s is a good bet for its start.  In either 1948 or 1949 Hull High School conslidated with nearby Kinderhook High and New Canton High to form the West Pike School District. Kinderhook landed the High School while Hull is still home to the West Pike Elementary school (pictured above) for grades PK – 5.

Former West Pike High School Coach Richard Heitholt offered the following information on Hull High School:

“The original high school building which was home to the famous basketball team burned in 1945.  Many of the students from Hull went across the river to high school in Hannibal, Mo. until the new West Pike district was formed in 1948 or 1949.”

The following timeline was provided by long-time Hull resident Dixie Ward:

In 1945 the Hull High School building was destroyed by fire.

     1947-49  Community meetings were held to organize West Pike Community Unit District #2

     1948-49  Bonds were approved and renovation began at New Canton to build suitable facility for elementary students

     1949-50  Construction begins on Hull Elementary School building.

     Midterm 1950  All 27 rural schools in the district close.  Students move to the Hull High School Gymnasium which is a separate building from the school that burned.  New Canton High moves to Kinderhook High School.  Kinderhook grade school students move to New Canton High building.

     1950-51 Hull area students leave old gym at Christmas bread and move into new Hull elementary building for opening January 2.

     1951-52 Hull Elementary School houses grades 1-8 and 1-3 from Kinderhook. New Canton Elementary houses grades 1-8 and 4-6 from Kinderhook. Grades 9-12 continue to go to Kinderhook High School.

     1952-53 Kinderhook High School closes.  West Pike High School opens for grades 7-12.  New Canton houses grades 1-6 from the southern part of the district.  Hull houses grades 1-6 from the northern part of the district.

Two nice photos of students at Hull school can be viewed at

Hull High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                  late 1800s

Year closed:                  1949

Consolidated to:             West Pike School District (Kinderhook)

School nickname:          “Hornets”

School colors:               unavailable

School Fight Song:        unavailable


Hull High School had one awesome season in boys basketball and had one athlete place in the State Track Meet under the old one-class system. It is probable that HHS also offered baseball during its existence.  If you have any information on the great teams of Hull High School’s past we are hopeful you will share it with us.

Boys Basketball

The Hull High School boys won two District Titles and had one GREAT run winning a Regional, Sectional, and making the Elite Eight under the old one-class system.  In fact the 1935-36 HHS boys and Coach E. L. “Gene” Ihrig finished the season at 31 – 2 losing to eventual State Champion Decatur 30 – 27 in the quarter-finals!  What an incredible run by this small town.  The excitement must have been bristling in town with the team’s accomplishments.  We are looking for a photo of the team and any newspaper articles from the area covering their great season.  The other two DIstrict title teams are listed however team records and coaches names are not available. Several scores involving Hull High School in the IHSA State Tourney were located on a website titled “Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores.” These scores are listed below.

1921-22                         Quincy District Tournament                   Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Golden 30-24

                                      2nd Rd lost to New Salem 37-15

Kinderhook beat Pittsfield in final

1922-23 through 1931-32  Postseason scores, records, and coach’s names needed

1932-33                         Pittsfield District Champions              Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Pleasant Hill 25-21

                                      2nd Rd Beat Kinderhook 17-14

                                      Semi-final Beat Barry 33-30

                                      Title Game Beat Nebo 26-19

                                      Decatur Sectional Tournament

1st Rd lost to Springfield 33-16

SPRINGFIELD (33): Hallberg 8, Frazee 6, Gord 6, Martin 5, Holliday 4, Cook 2, Warren 2.

HULL (16): M. Whitney 4, Kennedy 4, Rogers 4, Davis 2, W. Whitney 2.

Springfield beat Quincy in title game

Springfield HS lost to Harvey Thornton 14-13 in state title game


1933-34                         Pittsfield District Tournament                 Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Pearl 43-13

                                      2nd Rd lost to Barry 19-15

Pittsfield beat Kinderhook in title game

1934-35                         Pittsfield District Tournament                 Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Baylis 47-3

                                      2nd Rd Beat Atlas 51-16

Lost in semi-final round

Pittsfield beat Kinderhook in title game

1935-36        31 – 2        Pittsfield Regional Champions           Coach E.L. “Gene” Ihrig

                                      Not assigned to play in District

                                      Regional Scores

                                      1st Rd Beat Pearl 26-18

                                      Semi-final Beat Perry 25-20

                                      Title Game Beat Pittsfield 41-23

                                      Pittsfield Sectional Champions

                                      1st Rd Beat Quincy 22-16

                                      Semi-final Beat Jacksonville 28-17

                                      Title Game Beat Beardstown 25-16

                                      State Tourney Finals – Sweet 16

                                      Beat Chicago Phillips 35-23

                                      State Tourney Finals – Elite 8

                                      Lost to Decatur 30-27

Decatur beat Danville 26-22 in state title game

1936-37                         IHSA District Champions                     Coach’s name & record needed

   District Scores Needed

                                      Pittsfield Regional Tournament

1st Rd lost to Pleasant Hill 22-18

Pleasant Hill lost to Nebo in title game

1937-38 through 1941-42  Postseason scores, records, and coach’s names needed.

1942-43                         Pittsfield Regional Tournament              Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Pleasant Hill 29-9

1943-44  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1944-45                         Pittsfield Regional Tournament              Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Pittsfield 66-43

1945-46  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1946-47  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1947-48  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1948-49  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

Last season for Hull High School, school closed in the summer of 1949.


Boys Track & Field

One Hull High School lad brought home a medal from the IHSA State Track Meet (  His name and accomplishment are listed below.

1934-35     Fred Bushmeyer          440 Yard Dash          5th Place

Can You Add To This Page?

Help us remember all the great things about Hull and its former High School before those who remember are no longer around to tell the great stories.  You can e-mail photos and information to us at You can also write to us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago,  Il.   60631  

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