The History of Kishwaukee High School
Kishwaukee is an unincorporated settlement located about five miles southwest of the Rockford area in Winnebago County. Kishwaukee, Meridian, Condon and Stillman Valley Roads all lead you to the area known as Kishwaukee. Kishwaukee Road from IL 72, Meridian Road from the town of Stillman Valley, and Kishwaukee Road from the Greater Rockford Airport all take you directly to the settlement. The Camp McCormick area is located west of the village.
The exact location of the village center itself is in need of research. However, we know that there was a school and church located in the area. The village was platted in 1839 or 1840 by George W. Lee. The town was sometimes called “Leetown” because of another nearby village, New Milford, also being called Kishwaukee. The village is about one mile from the mouth of the Kishwaukee River, emptying into the Rock River.
Kishwaukee’s ediucational past dates back to the first attempt at forming a female seminary in Winnebago County. A building was built, but never completed when the growth of Rockford became significant. Around this time, the railroad bypassed Kishwaukee (which was hoping to be a county seat) and entered Rockford, taking the seminary with them. This Seminary eventually became Rockford Seminary, whose most notable graduate would be Cedarville native Jane Addams.
In 1915, a school was built on Condon Road just west of Stillman Valley Road. The village church was located next door. This school served as a single educational center for the village. High school students also attended, but the school was never more than a three-year institution.
Kishwaukee was featured in a 1920 Illinois schools journal. The following facts about the school were furnished:
No. of districts consolidated: 3
Square miles: 12
Assessed valuation: $214,000
Cost of house: $9,000
Annual tax levy: $5,520
Tax rate: 2.01
Annual tax levy before: $1,900
Teachers now: 5
Teachers before: 3
Enrollment now: 82
Enrollment before: 51
Enrollment in grade school: 69
Enrollment in high school: 13
No. studying manual training: 4
No. studying home economics: 4
Aid from vocational fund: No
Public conveyance: No
Years of high school course: 3
Months in year: 9
Some years after the high school curriculum ceased, Kishwaukee School closed her doors in 1969. More information is being sought about it’s use as a high school.
Only a 1950s-built annex survives, which is pictured. The original building was been torn down in 1975, and the church has been converted into a private residence, having moved west of the village recently. Today, children attend the Stillman Valley school district.
Kishwaukee High School “Quick Facts”
Year opened: 1915
Year deactivated: High School curriculum unknown, school closed in 1969
Building status: Torn down, with annex remaining
School Nickname: Unknown
School Colors: Unknown
School Song: Unknown if existant