|The History of Kenilworth Rugby School for Boys
The History of Kenilworth Babcock School for Young Ladies and Children
Kenilworth (population 2,494) is located in far northeastern Illinois in the northeastern portion of Cook County. Lake Michigan is the town’s eastern border. The largest roadways to and from Kenilworth include Sheridan Road, Green Bay Road, Ridge Road, and Lake Avenue. Kenilworth is a north suburb of Chicago sitting just 17 miles north of the downtown Chicago area.
According to the Wikipedia web address of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenilworth,_Illinois, Kenilworth was founded in 1889 by Joseph Sears. Kenilworth was incorporated in 1896 with a population of 300. The village has a great website with a more detailed history that can be viewed at http://www.villageofkenilworth.org/history.html.
Kenilworth has a very storied history of education for its children. High school and advanced education dates back to even before the town was officially incorporated. A web page (http://www.kenilworth.k12.il.us/district/history.htm) on the history of Kenilworth schools states the following:
“When Mrs. Babcock’s School for Young Ladies and Children moved to Kenilworth from Chicago in 1891, Kenilworth became one of the few places where women were provided with educational facilities before men. But shortly thereafter, the Rugby School for Boys, modeled on the Phillip Exeter plan, was also founded. Each provided the elements of a good education and focused on the moral and physical needs of each student so that they might develop strong character. Each offered courses in mathematics, history, literature, chemistry, physics, Latin, French and German. Mrs. Babcock’s girls were instructed in cooking and the Rugby boys in the manual arts of drawing and woodworking.
“Athletics were important as well with fencing and dancing taught to the girls and a variety of other sports taught to the boys. Both schools closed in 1904. Mrs. Babcock’s school closed due to her declining health. While the main reason for closing the Rugby school is not recorded, some say the tragic fire in 1903 at the Iroquois Theater in Chicago, which resulted in the death of many Rugby students, was responsible for the closing.
Babcock and Rugby schools…..provided a strong, well-rounded education for the children of Kenilworth.”
Though relatively short-lived, the history of these two schools and what they meant to the early growth of what was then a small village should not be forgotten.
Kenilworth Babcock and Rugby Schools Quick Facts
Year opened: 1891
Year closed: 1904
Consolidated to: both were private schools that simply closed
School team nicknames: athletics offered at both schools, team nicknames not available (if any)
School team colors: unavailable
School fight songs: unavailable