|The History of Kinderhook High School
Kinderhook (population 249) is located in northwestern Pike County, just 10 miles east of the Mississippi River in the western portion of Illinois. Three Illinois Routes (57, 96, & 106) intersect in Kinderhook. A town of note in the area is Quincy, just 20 miles to the northwest of Kinderhook. The Norfolk & Western Railroad makes its way through Kinderhook as well.
Kinderhook was founded in 1836 by Chester Churchill and Bridge Whitten. The town was likely named after a town of the same name in New York. The post office was established in 1837, and the town was officially recognized by the state in 1869.
Education in Kinderhook started early and has continued for probably over a century. Kinderhook High School existed on its own until some point in either 1948 or 1949. The exact year is not known; however, Kinderhook and the nearby towns of Hull and New Canton consolidated their school districts to form the West Pike School District.
The following timeline for the formation of the West Pike School District 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.
The fate of the original Kinderhook High School is being sought; however, it is known that Kinderhook is home to the West Pike High School and the building may be used for that purpose.
Kinderhook High School Quick Facts
Year opened: late 1800’s
Year closed: 1952
Consolidated to: West Pike School District (Kinderhook)
School nickname: “Killers”
School colors: unavailable
School Fight Song: unavailable