Kemper High School

The History of Kemper High School

Kemper (population 50) is located in southwestern Illinois in the far northeastern portion of Jersey County. Illinois Route 267 is the main roadway leading to and from Kemper. County Highway 3 also leads into town as doees County Highway 20 and Appletree Road. Accordding to, Kemper is about 2 blocks from north to south and 2 blocks from east to west. Kemper is located about 15 miles northeast of Jerseyville.

A very nice history of the town of Kemper can be read at the web address of . This address was found by IHSGD site auther Roberta VanBriesen. A summary of the history of the town of Kemper and its former school is as follows:

The area in which Kemper is located was first settled in 1816. Ruyle Township, in which Kemper is situated, was established by Col. WIlliam Ruyle in 1877. The small hub of Kemper was first known as Palmer’s Prairie and then Delaware. However, when a train line was being laid through the area the land was donated by WIlliam Kemper, under the condition that the town be named Kemper. Though the railroad was instrumental in the town’s early growth, there does not appear to be a railroad line traveling through the area today.

Kemper residents established schooling for their children very early on. A grade school was built in Kemper in 1889. This school was open through 1953. The school had two rooms, one for grades 1 – 4, and the other for grades 5 – 8. The article states the following about high school courses being taught in Kemper:

Then in 1914 and 1915 Mr. Austin Cope taught the 9th and 10th grades and had a nice class to graduate in 1916. Then it was discontinued, and the 8 grades were taught as before.”

The article is full of fascinating information. It was written in 1975 by Mrs. Monroe Elliot from her personal experience. When the grade school closed in 1953 the students attended school in nearby Medora. It is believed that when Medora School District was consolidated into Piasa Southwestern, the Kemper kids followed.

Kemper High School Quick Facts

Year opened (2-year HS):        1914

Year closed:                           1916

Consolidated to:                      Medora HS, now Piasa Southwestern

Athletics not offered


It may have been possible that Kemper High School could have offered some interscholastic activities, given its small size. But if there any residents or historians that may know, we invite you to contact us with this information.

Please send your information via email to or thru the mail at the following address:

Illinois High School Glory Days

6439 North Neva

Chicago, IL  60631

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