The History of Hurst-Bush High School
The communities of Hurst (population 805) and Bush (population 257) are literally next door neighbors, one might even say suburbs of each other, in far southern Illinois. It appears the only obstacle seprating the two towns is the road that leads you to them, Illinois Route 149. The towns are actually, though, 1/4 mile apart. They are located in the northwestern corner of Williamson County. The Big Muddy River flows to the south of the towns with branches that that flow to the east of Bush and the west of Hurst. The Missouri & Pacific Railroad curves through the two communities as well.
Hurst was named after its land owner, farmer WC Hurst and was platted in 1903. Hurst was incorporated as a town in 1905. Bush was named after B.F. Bush and was originally set up as a mining camp. It was established in 1905 as well. Both of these towns are relatively late starters compared to most of the towns on this site. More information regarding Hurst and Bush can be found on the Illinois Trails webstite at: http://iltrails.org/williamson/mainblairsville.htm .
A school was established in the Hurst-Bush area many years before the towns were even thought of. It was 1865, in fact, when a record of the first school in the area was established.The residents of the two towns probably agreed early on to consolidate their efforts of schooling for their children. A school house was bullt on Route 149 in 1922. The high school was established soon after the towns were incorporated, in the early 1900s.
Hurst-Bush High School served the communities very proudly for approximately seven decades. It appears that financial stress and lowering enrollment became a cause for concern for the residents of the two towns. The year Hurst-Bush High School was closed for good was 1966. The high school-aged kids of the town now attend school at Herrin, their neighbor located about five miles to the southeast.
Hurst-Bush continued to host its own grade school for about several years when, sadly, it too was closed in 1996. The Hurst-Bush Grade School building is standing on the side of the road on Route 149. Its former cafeteria is being used as a bait shop and arcade.
The Hurst-Bush High School building, pictured above, has met an all too familiar fate. After years of not being used, the building fell into a state of disrepair. The building was finally deemed unsafe and razed in May of 2008. See the newspaper article from “The Southern Illinoisian Newpaper” at the bottom of this page.
SCHOOL BUILDING PHOTOS ABOVE
From Kathy Wilhelm:
“We have a forum going on about Hurst Bush Hummers and Bluestreaks. We currently have a few pictures that need dated, if possible, and to lend some closure to a picture.
Please see the (photos above). One (at the top) is of the high school, date needed if possible. The second is a picture of the elementary school on the left and we are not 100% if it is the gymnasium on the right. I personally think it may be a rendition drawing of a picture for people to choose either or for the school. We had a gym there (it still stands), however, it looks totally different than the picture. I for one, attended the high school but when it was considered a middle school 1974-1978 (5th, 6th, 7 th and 8th).
Your assistance would be greatly appreciated.”
From Ron Maybell:
“I have yearbooks 1923-1927 that belonged to “Myrl S Maybell” a student and athlete during those years. I would like to give them to any interested person. I am the elder son of Myrl S. Maybell aka Frank S. Maybell
Please contact me if you are interested at:
18 Heather Valley Circle
St. Peters, MO 63376
Hurst-Bush High School Quick Facts
Year opened: early 1900s
Year brick HS bldg built: 1922
Year closed: 1966
Year bldg razed: 2008
Consolidated to: Herrin School District
Hurst-Bush nickname: the “Hummingbirds” or “Hummers”
School colors: Blue & Gold
School Fight Song: “We’re Loyal To You Hurst-Bush High”
Thank you to BERT GORDON
We’re loyal to you Hurst-Bush High,
We’re Blue and we’re Gold, Hurst-Bush High
We’ll back you to stand
‘Gainst the best in the land
For we know you have sand, Hurst-Bush High!
So crack out the ball, Hurst-Bush High
We’re backing you all, Hurst-Bush High
Our team is our fame protector:
On! Boys for we expect a
Victory from you Hurst-Bush High!