The History of La Place High School
La Place (population approx. 200) is located in southeastern Illinois in the southwest corner of Piatt County. The town is located on County Highway 32 just north of U.S. Route 36. The CSX Transportation Railroad passes through the center of town.
A nice history of the town of La Place and its former high school can be viewed in the book titled “Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois, Volume 2” which was written by Paul Selby and Franices M. Shonkwiler. This book was published in 1917.
A brief history of the town of La Place can be located on page 698. A summary of this excerpt states that the town was “laid off” (platted) in 1873 and was originally named Stoner. It was also known as Gatewood. The article does not state why the town eventually settled on the name of La Place.
Page 798 of the book briefly describes the school system at La Place. The following has been copied directly from the book:
“The first La Place school was erected in 1884, and another took its place in 1903. This school has a high school course, and an attendance of about 130 students. Some of the educators connected with this school have been; A.C. Duncan, Arthur Verner, L.F. Nichol, J.E. Underwood. C.E. Leathers, and Everett Garrett.”
We currently have no further information regarding the former La Place High School. Our guess is that La Place High School offered a 3 year course of study, though it is very possible that a 4 year high school was in place. We believe that La Place High School existed on its own through the late 1940s. It was likely at that time that La Place was absorbed or consolidated to Cerro Gordo High School, its neighbor about 6 miles to the north.
It is confirmed that La Place continued to host a grade school for several years after the high school. It is apparent now, though, that the school building in La Place has been dormant for some years.
La Place High School Quick Facts
Year opened: 1884
Year closed: late 1940s?
Consolidated to: Cerro Gordo High School
LPHS team nickname: unknown
LPHS uniform colors: unknown
School fight song: unknown